Employment Law

San Francisco Issues Implementation Guidance on New Paid Leave Ordinance

As we reported in our previous blog post, the city of San Francisco recently enacted the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (“Ordinance”) which requires certain employers to provide employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  This week, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement issued Implementation Guidance (“Guidance”) regarding the new Ordinance.  The Guidance sheds light on important issues such as the scope of the Ordinance, the amount of leave available under the Ordinance, how to calculate rate of pay, and notice requirements under the Ordinance.

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D.C. Expands Paid Sick Leave and Unemployment Benefits in Response to COVID-19

On April 10, 2020, the District of Columbia enacted the COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Act”). Relevant to employers, the Act (1) creates a new category of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons, (2) expands eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits for District residents who lost work due to COVID-19, and (3) modifies the District’s work-share program. The Act is effective as of April 10, 2020 and will remain in effect for 90 days. The Act follows the District’s COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, enacted March 17, 2020, which amended the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act to grant unpaid leave to employees for reasons related to COVID-19. READ MORE

COVID-19 Workforce Decision Making: Don’t Forget Your Foreign National Population

Given the current pandemic, companies are tackling an array of business-critical decisions ranging from workplace safety measures to remote working parameters to pay cuts, furloughs and reductions in force. In this mass of competing priorities, employers of foreign national employees should be careful not to overlook any unique impact that their decision making can have on their nonimmigrant employee population and corresponding compliance requirements that may be triggered. The analysis and impact will be highly contingent upon what type of work authorization and nonimmigrant status the employees are working pursuant to (for example: H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN or F-1 OPT EAD holder), and what the corresponding parameters of their status are. READ MORE

In Letter to Senators, DOL Clarifies Scope of the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

On April 17, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Joe Wheeler responded by letter to Senator Ron Wyden and other Democratic lawmakers who had raised concerns about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (CARES Act) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Notably, the letter clarifies several eligibility criteria, including that self-employed gig economy workers and workers who cannot work because they have coronavirus symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis may receive federal unemployment assistance under the PUA program. READ MORE

COVID-19 Germany: How to Handle Short-Time Work Amid the Crisis – A Q&A for Employers

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies in Germany implemented short-time work (Kurzarbeit) in order to safeguard jobs and save on personnel. In our previous blog, we outlined the application process and provided an overview of the updated short-time work regulations introduced by the German government in the light of the coronavirus crisis.

Now that short-time work has been implemented, employers are facing questions arising from the handling of short-time work in practice in the day-to-day. We answer the most frequently asked by employers below.

  1. Secondary employment – Are employees allowed to have a secondary employment during short-time work? If so, how does this affect the short-time work allowance?

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New Jersey Delays Expansive Amendments to State’s WARN Act and Excludes COVID-19 Layoffs from Coverage

Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an amendment to the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (“NJ WARN Act”) that delays earlier amendments that would have taken effect in July of this year, and excludes COVID-19 related layoffs from the requirements of the act. READ MORE

A California Court of Appeal Tests the Limit Of “Unlimited” Vacation Policies

“Unlimited” vacation policies have become incredibly popular throughout California, particularly in the tech industry, as a means of offering greater flexibility to employees.  Under typical unlimited vacation policies, employees can take as much vacation as they like, subject to their manager’s approval.  Because employees do not accrue vacation under these policies, there is presumably no obligation for an employer to pay employees for any unused vacation upon their departure from the company, as required by Labor Code section 227.3. READ MORE

新型コロナウイルス:緊急事態宣言後に会社が取り得る選択肢

2020年4月7日に、安倍総理大臣は、7都道府県(東京都、神奈川県、埼玉県、千葉県、大阪府、兵庫県、福岡県)を対象に、効力を5月6日までとする新型インフルエンザ等対策特別措置法に基づく緊急事態宣言を行った。その後、対象地域の各知事は、独自の基準で、外出の自粛、休業や時間短縮、学校の閉鎖などの緊急事態措置を要請するとともに、休業に応じた事業主への補償を発表している。そして、4月16日には、緊急事態宣言の対象地域を日本全国に拡大することが発表された。 READ MORE

Employers’ Options after the Declaration of State of Emergency in Japan

On April 7, Japan declared a state of emergency covering the seven prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, effective immediately and lasting through May 6. Subsequently, the governors of such prefectures, based on their own criteria, each issued emergency measure requests such as refraining from going outside, reduction of work hours or suspension of operations, and closure of schools[1]. Such requests, however, do not constitute a lockdown and do not carry the force of enforceability, and are dependent on voluntary compliance. Further, for instance, with respect to compensation for businesses that do comply and suspend operations, the handling by the prefectures depend in part on their financial capacity, and is not uniform. READ MORE