In recent weeks, the states have begun to announce strategies for reopening public life and business activities. Just as the shutdown orders took varying forms on a state-by-state basis, it appears the reopening orders will follow a similarly varied and state-by-state approach, creating new challenges for multi-state employers.  However, there are some trends starting to emerge that may help employers piece together a cohesive strategy for bringing their employees safely back to work.
Continue Reading Employers Grapple With Reopening As States Begin To Loosen COVID-19 Shutdown Orders

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

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

On April 23, 2020, the EEOC updated its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” to address questions that many employers are struggling with related to employee COVID-19 testing.  The EEOC’s new guidance confirms that employers are authorized to administer COVID-19 tests before allowing employees to enter the workplace, and that doing so does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Continue Reading EEOC Confirms Employer-Mandated COVID-19 Testing Does Not Violate the ADA

On April 17, 2020 the EEOC updated its’ Technical Assistance Questions and Answers to provide employers with additional guidance interpreting the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO Laws in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The EEOC first reminds employers that while these laws continue to apply, employers should still adhere to the ever-changing guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local health authorities.  With that in mind, the new guidance addresses several topics.
Continue Reading EEOC Updates Guidance Regarding the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, Other EEO Laws and COVID-19

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently committed to begin the gradual process of reopening businesses in Texas. On April 17, 2020, Governor Abbott issued two Executive Orders that relate to the strategic reopening of select services as the first step to open Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Texas Governor Issues Executive Orders to Reopen Business for Retail and Healthcare Employers

On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20, which requires California employers in the food sector industry to provide certain workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.
Continue Reading California Employers In The Food Sector Industry Ordered To Provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

As state unemployment agencies are inundated with new claims, the US DOL recently provided instructions to states for implementing the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program of the CARES Act in its April 10, 2020 guidance.  PEUC allows states to enter into agreements with the Secretary of Labor to pay up to 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to eligible individuals, through December 31, 2020.  We highlight the important takeaways.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Implementation Guidance for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program of CARES Act

On April 10, the Department of Labor published corrections to its regulation on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and fixed an internal inconsistency regarding concurrent use of employer-provided paid time off and paid expanded family medical leave under the Act.
Continue Reading Department of Labor’s Families First Corrections Fix Contradiction on Concurrent Leave