Please join Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP for a complimentary webinar:

New Year, New Laws: An Overview of California’s New Laws Impacting Employers in 2021

Tuesday, January 26, 2020
3:00 pm–4:00 pm ET
2:00 pm–3:00 pm CT
12:00 pm–1:00 pm PT

Read more and register here

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment law landscape has continued to change at a rapid pace.  This includes recent changes to federal, state, and local leave requirements for COVID-19 related sick leave.

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employers with fewer than 500 employees were required to provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave effective April 1, 2020.  The FFCRA leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020.

In California, the requirement to provide statewide supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons also expired on December 31, 2020.  However, many localities continue to maintain COVID-19 sick leave requirements.  These local laws were enacted to cover employers with 500 or more employees that were not required to provide paid sick leave benefits under the FFCRA and to provide up to 80 hours of sick leave for covered employees.

Continue Reading While Federal and California State COVID-19 Sick Leave Has Expired, Some California Localities Continue To Maintain Local COVID-19 Sick Leave Requirements

Ten U.S. senators are asking the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to hone in on employers’ use of artificial intelligence (“AI”), machine-learning, and other hiring technologies that may result in discrimination.

The group of senators—Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR)—jointly penned a December 8, 2020 letter to Chair Janet Dhillon. The letter urges that EEOC is responsible for combatting discrimination resulting from the use of hiring and other employment technologies. The senators voice concern about a number of hiring technologies, including:

  • “[T]ools used in the employee selection process to manage and screen candidates after they apply for a job”;
  • “[N]ew modes of assessment, such as gamified assessments or video interviews that use machine-learning models to evaluate candidates”;
  • “[G]eneral intelligence or personality tests”; and
  • “[M]odern applicant tracking systems.”

Continue Reading Senators’ Letter to EEOC Signals Scrutiny of AI Bias

In the last weeks of the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The distinction between an employee and independent contractor is of critical importance because independent contractors are not entitled to the benefits of the FLSA, namely minimum wage and overtime.

Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractor Classification Test under the FLSA

With little forewarning to the regulated community, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) passed a sweeping new standard requiring employers in the state to implement prescribed COVID-19 protections. On November 19, Cal/OSHA voted unanimously to pass the “Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations” (the “Standard”) and on November 30, the Standard went into effect. As covered in our previous updates, the Standard obligates employers to, among other things, write and implement a COVID-19 Prevention Program, engage in contact tracing following any positive case that involved potential workplace exposure, require physical distancing and mask wearing and improve ventilation, and to report all “outbreaks” to the public health department.

Continue Reading Employers’ Groups Bring Fight Against Cal/OSHA COVID-19 ETS to Court

On December 21, 2020 the NLRB adopted an ALJ’s determination that a union’s request for information about non-bargaining unit employees was relevant. One of the issues present in the case was whether a union’s request for information about non-bargaining unit employees sought relevant information. As discussed below, the NLRB upheld the ALJ’s determination that the information was relevant solely because the employer should have known the information was relevant based on the circumstances surrounding the request.

Continue Reading Information on Non-Unit Employees May Become Relevant Once Grievance Filed

HuntonAK Labor and Employment partner Emily Burkhardt Vicente has been selected as part of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s inaugural “Thriving in Their 40s” award.

The award recognizes outstanding market leaders and professionals in Los Angeles in their 40s. Emily was selected based on her contributions to the firm and profession.

Emily’s profile can be seen online at LABJ.

Read the Firm press release for additional information.


Hunton labor and employment attorneys Ryan Bates, Ryan Glasgow and Sharon Goodwyn have been recognized by their peers as members of Virginia Business magazine’s 2020 Legal Elite.

The annual recognition of Virginia’s Legal Elite is a project of Virginia Business magazine, in cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association. Approximately 7,000 lawyers across the state were asked by the magazine to nominate colleagues they considered “elite” in 20 categories, including labor and employment.

Click here to view the full list of Virginia Business magazine’s 2020 Legal Elite.

Please read the firm press release for a complete list of HuntonAK honorees.


On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 guidance with a new section pertaining to vaccinations.

The updated release—“What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws”—discusses how employers who require vaccinations should respond to an employee who is unable or unwilling to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief.

Continue Reading EEOC Provides Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations

Earlier this month, the EEOC launched EEOC Explore, “an interactive data query and mapping tool” that gives users access to aggregate data on more than 73,000 employers and 56 million employees across the United States.  According to the agency, EEOC Explore “enables stakeholders to explore and compare data trends across a number of categories, including location, sex, race and ethnicity, and industry sector without the need for experience in computer programming or statistical analysis.”

Continue Reading “EEOC Explore” Tool Launched to Provide Greater Transparency and Access to Diversity Data – Employers Beware Overreaching and Generalizations