The House amended its Coronavirus Response Bill late on March 16, 2020 and sent it on to the Senate.

Paid Sick Leave Changes

 The sick leave provisions of the bill remained largely intact, and would entitle employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees to take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for coronavirus-related reasons, including required quarantining, caring for family members with the illness, or for emergency school closings.  To review our initial summary of the bill, which includes discussion of portions of the bill that were unaffected by the technical amendments, click here.  The amendments include a $511 daily cap for leave benefits for employees with their own personal coronavirus-related medical conditions, and a $200 cap for employees caring for others with such symptoms or for school closings.

Importantly, the sick leave amendments also allow the Secretary of Labor to grant exemptions to employers where the secretary determines that imposition of the paid sick leave requirements would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”  It also allows healthcare and emergency response employers to apply for exemptions from the Secretary of Labor so that the law would not apply to their employees.


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In the early morning hours of March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to address concerns related to the spread of COVID-19.  The Senate is expected to consider the Bill shortly, and according to media reports, the Bill has the Trump Administration’s support.  Our summary highlights provisions of the Bill related to leave. 
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Virginia’s 2020 legislative session is not scheduled to wrap-up until March. But Virginia employers need to pay attention now to several game-changing bills moving through the legislative process and expected to be signed into law this spring.  The Hunton government relations team, working with several lobbying clients, has already helped defeat several of these measures including a proposed repeal of Virginia’s right to work statute.  But others are expected to become law, and could dramatically increase the volume of employment litigation in Virginia.  Employers are therefore well advised to begin planning for these changes now.
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Paid Family and Medical Leave, or PFML, is fast approaching and Massachusetts employers need to begin preparing for the upcoming July 1, 2019 effective date. Not only do employers need to understand their obligations, but there are affirmative actions they must take now – which is well in advance of the January 1, 2021 commencement of the benefits taking effect.
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New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act will go into effect on October 29, 2018, making it the tenth state plus Washington DC and dozens of localities to mandate paid sick leave. New Jersey’s Act requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per 12-month period. 
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The United States Department of Labor has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires federal government contractors to provide employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually. As a result, the DOL estimates that employers will be compelled to provide additional paid leave to 828,000 employees, including 437,000 employees who do not currently receive any paid sick leave.
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