COVID-19 – European OSHA Gives Guidance on Returning to Work

When starting to take steps to return to a new normal where business continues, even as outbreaks may flare up, employee health and safety certainly are top of mind. Since many EU member states are loosening up COVID-19 lockdowns, employers need to know how to ensure a safe environment for their employees when they come back to the workplace. READ MORE

California Mandates Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers

Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-51-20, mandating that certain “hiring entities” provide supplemental paid sick leave for food sector workers. The executive order (EO) acknowledges that workers who help grow and provide food, work in food facilities and deliver food are essential critical infrastructure workers who continue to work outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to prevent food sector workers from having to go to work when they are sick, which increases health and safety risks, the EO mandates supplemental paid sick leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons. Here’s what hiring entities need to know about the EO.

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Are Your Retail Workers Ready to Return to Work? OSHA Releases New Guidance

Although COVID-19 continues to disrupt the daily lives of American workers, employers are beginning to plan for a possible return to work. This includes retailers, which have been particularly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic with a widespread shutdown of stores.  Now, OSHA has released specific guidelines for keeping retail workers safe. READ MORE

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