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.  
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COVID-19 has disrupted the global economy and employers may soon face the need to reduce expenses associated with exempt employees. Employers can place exempt employees on furlough, or, in some cases, reduce salaries and hours, without jeopardizing the FLSA exemption, but exceptions may need to be made for certain employees on work-authorized visas.
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In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, many employers are permitting, and in some cases requiring, employees to work from home. One unforeseen consequence of requiring employees to work from home is some jurisdictions mandate that employers reimburse their employees for certain expenses incurred as a result of their employment. Accordingly, employers may be required to reimburse employees for reasonable expenses they incur for equipment and services necessary to work from home, such as cell phone, internet, and computer usage expenses.
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Earlier today, the United States Department of Labor announced a long-awaited final rule to take effect on January 1, 2020 updating the earnings threshold to $35,568 necessary for employees to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemptions.   The DOL estimates that 1.2 million additional workers will be entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay as a result of this increase in the salary basis.
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Massachusetts’ highest court, The Supreme Judicial Court, recently issued its long awaited decision in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542, in which the SJC responded to certified questions of first impression from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The case is particularly important for businesses which pay employees through commissions or draws (i.e., advances on commissions), particularly in the retail context where the ruling departs considerably from federal law.
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