A proposed rule  published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on October 9, 2020 offers the possibility of expanded information-sharing with respondents/employers in connection with the agency’s conciliation efforts.  The proposed expanded disclosures may enhance the value of conciliation to those parties.
Continue Reading EEOC’s Proposed New Procedures May Enhance Value of Conciliation

Three bills currently pending in the California legislature aim to codify presumptions for workers compensation purposes about the work-relatedness of COVID-19. Governor Newsom first addressed this issue in his May 6, 2020 Executive Order No. N-62-20, which expired on July 5, 2020.
Continue Reading California Legislature Tackles COVID Workers Compensation Presumptions

The U.S. Department of Labor issued supplemental CARES Act guidance  on May 8, 2020, that addresses the interplay between the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program and partial unemployment benefits at the state level.  The FPUC program is the portion of the CARES Act that enhances state unemployment insurance benefits by $600 each week a claimant is eligible for state benefits.  That program is in effect only between the week ending April 4, 2020 and the week ending July 31, 2020.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Clarifies Entitlement to Additional $600 in Partial Unemployment Context

As states have worked to process the millions of unemployment claims arising out of the pandemic, many questions have arisen about who is eligible for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefit under the CARES Act.  The Department of Labor’s most recent guidance attempts to answer many of these questions posed by the states and may be helpful to employers considering furloughs or layoffs.

Continue Reading DOL Amplifies Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

EEOC guidance on COVID-19 continues to evolve as the medical community learns more about the virus.  On April 9, 2020, the EEOC expanded the list of symptoms about which employers may ask when screening employees entering the workplace, without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
Continue Reading EEOC Updates Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Workplace Inquiries

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program, administered separately by each state following guidelines established by federal law. On March 12, 2020, the Department of Labor issued advisory guidance for state workforce agencies, suggesting ways in which the states might relax program requirements and expand benefit eligibility in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading States Follow Department of Labor Guidance for COVID-Related Unemployment Claims

Employers in the difficult position of making workplace reductions because of COVID-19-related business losses should spare a moment for consideration of layoff notice obligations under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act of 1988, 29 U.S.C. § 2100 et seq. and its state counterparts (so-called “mini-WARN” laws). The “unforeseen business circumstances” exception in federal WARN and most analogous state laws may excuse strict compliance with notification requirements, but employers should take the time now to analyze the applicability of this exception rather than make assumptions about it.
Continue Reading COVID-19 and the “Unforeseen Business Circumstances” Exception to WARN Notification

The competing interests of the business community and tipped workers continue to inform public policy decisions about the minimum wage.  We have previously written about increases in the minimum wage on the state, county and municipal level.  Most recently, the cities of Chicago and Denver tackled this issue and joined the many jurisdictions across the country to approve increases to their minimum wage.
Continue Reading Chicago and Denver Increase Minimum Wage

California Labor Code §2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures” incurred by an employee in the discharge of his or her duties. Business travel expenses fall into this category, as do uniforms, and even the portion of personal cell phone costs that can be attributed to business use.
Continue Reading Safety Footwear: Reimbursement Obligation for Restaurants in California?

The First Appellate District’s recent decision in Subcontracting Concepts, LLC v. DeMelo, A152205 (April 10, 2019) applies well-established unconscionability principles to an arbitration agreement signed by an employee of an independent contractor. The doctrine of unconscionability refers to an absence of meaningful choice with respect to the terms of a contract, usually the result of unequal bargaining power between the parties.
Continue Reading California First Appellate District Reminds Employers: Check Arbitration Provisions for Unconscionability