The Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborated to release new guidance for employers in the meat processing industry on April 26. OSHA and the CDC noted several unique facets of meat processing work that exposed workers to increased likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at work, including close contact, the duration of the close contact, shared tools and surfaces and the frequency of ride-sharing and community-based interactions among employees.
Continue Reading CDC, OSHA Release Workplace Safety Guidance for Meat Processing Employers

The Department of Labor released guidance Tuesday regarding the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including details on how employers can determine whether they are covered by the Act.
Continue Reading DOL Explains 500-Employee Threshold, Provides Other Guidance on Coronavirus Response Act

The CDC has recommended temperature checks for workers in some counties.  Governors are beginning to make the same recommendation.  This step already is in place for many healthcare workers.  Now, employers in other industries are considering whether they should conduct temperature checks on employees who are reporting to work and send them home to avoid possible spread of the virus on the employer’s premises.  
Continue Reading COVID-19 and Employee Temperature Screenings – What Employers Need to Know

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 US Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, outlining steps employers can take to help protect their workforce. The Guidance focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, work practice controls and personal protective equipment, as well as considerations for doing so.
Continue Reading OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

Workers’ compensation provides the exclusive remedy for injuries and illness that employees suffer arising out of and within the course of their employment.  In the early stages of this pandemic, work-related travel to high impact countries or work-related exposure in a case that was being tracked by public health authorities provided support for work-related exposure.  In health care settings, work-related exposure will likely be established when exposure to infected patients occurs.  But in other settings and as the diseases spreads in the United States, the analysis about whether an illness is covered by workers’ compensation will be more difficult.
Continue Reading Workers Compensation, Insurance, and COVID-19

The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016, which implements the District of Columbia’s new Paid Family Leave program, kicks-in for employees on July 1, 2020.  However, employers must post a PFL notice in the workplace no later than February 1, 2020.   
Continue Reading D.C. Employers Risk Fines for Failing to Comply with Paid Family Leave Notice Requirements

Although the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” it has not yet declared the outbreak as a pandemic. Nevertheless, the emergence of the latest coronavirus is an opportunity for employers, as it reminds them to consider policies and procedures related to pandemic planning.
Continue Reading Coronavirus: A Reminder for Employers Without a Pandemic Plan