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August 2020

New Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Charging Process Requires Immediate Employer Action

In mid-April, the Wisconsin legislature enacted Act 185, making a host of changes to the state unemployment insurance (UI) program. One particularly helpful change for Wisconsin employers ensured that the cost of initial UI benefit claims filed for weeks after March 12, 2020 and before December 31, 2020 would be not be charged to employer UI accounts. The purpose of this provision was to relieve employers of the burden of new benefit charges that would have increased their unemployment taxes. The Department of Workforce Development recently announced that it was interpreting Act 185 to now require an employer to take action to continue to take advantage of this non-charging benefit. Learn More

U.S. Agencies Agree to Share Information in New Enforcement Initiative Targeting H-1B and Immigrant Workers

The U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) have jointly announced a new initiative to share data and records on immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and workers. The purpose of the initiative is to facilitate investigations of an employer’s suspected fraud or misuse of the H-1B specialty occupation visa program, among others (specifically, the EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant programs). Learn More

Michigan Governor Directs Robust Enforcement of COVID-19 Executive Orders

Governor Whitmer continues to issue social distancing-related executive orders to combat the rise of COVID-19 cases in Michigan. Most recently, the governor issued Executive Order 2020-153 requiring face coverings in many places outside the home, and Orders 2020-160 and 2020-161 limiting social gatherings and events, and enhancing workplace safety, respectively. A willful violation of these orders is a misdemeanor under state law. Learn More

Massachusetts Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave Releases Final Regulations

Following a truncated period of public comment and hearings, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) released the final regulations under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (PFML), effective July 24, 2020. Beginning on January 1, 2021, all private Massachusetts employers must provide covered individuals with paid family and medical leave, funded through a payroll tax. Learn More

Executive Order Limits Federal Contractors’ Use of Foreign Labor

On August 3, 2020, the White House issued an Executive Order on Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices with the Interests of American Workers, directing federal agencies to contract with those who prioritize the hiring of U.S. citizens and green card holders over foreign workers for contract positions. Learn More

NY Federal Court Strikes Down Key Provisions of DOL Rule Regarding FFCRA Paid Sick and Expanded Leave

On August 3, 2020, in response to a legal challenge by the state of New York, a New York federal district judge struck down portions of a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) final rule providing guidance on interpretations of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Specifically, the court struck down the rule’s “work availability” requirement, the “health care provider” definition, the employer consent requirement for intermittent leave, and the documentation requirement prior to taking FFCRA leave. This decision potentially impacts health care employers, as well as every employer covered by the FFCRA, in significant ways. Learn More

 

July 2020

Georgia Department of Labor Revises Employers’ Obligations for Filing Partial Unemployment Claims

On July 17, 2020, the Georgia Department of Labor issued updated emergency Rules concerning unemployment benefits in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new Rules went into effect on July 19 and continue through November 16, 2020, or until the Department proposes and enacts subsequent rules or guidance. Learn More

Senate Republicans Unveil Latest COVID-19 Response Legislation

On July 27, 2020, Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate unveiled its latest legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act. The bill represents the most recent effort to target relief to workers, employers, and others as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak public health and economic havoc. Learn More

Oakland, California Releases Emergency Paid Sick Leave FAQs

Nearly two and a half months after its emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) ordinance took effect on May 12, 2020, Oakland, California released frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the new law. The FAQs do offer some clarification, but more often merely mirror the ordinance’s text, leaving employers with ambiguity on some critical ordinance provisions. Learn More

Massachusetts Designates Juneteenth as a State Holiday, Creating a New Obligation for Many Retail Employers

On Friday, July 24, 2020, Governor Baker signed a bill designating Juneteenth (June 19th) as an annual state holiday in Massachusetts. In doing so, Governor Baker stated that this designation would help “recognize the continued need to ensure racial freedom and equality.” This designation also creates new obligations for many retail employers in Massachusetts by adding Juneteenth to the list of holidays covered by the Blue Laws. Learn More

EEOC Expands Voluntary Resolution Efforts with Temporary Mediation and Conciliation Pilot Programs

Parties involved with EEOC charges of employment discrimination filed in the past month may notice some new language on the EEOC portal: “For charges filed after July 6, 2020, you may request mediation at any time during the charge process.” Parties typically elect mediation at the very beginning of the charge process or else proceed to the investigation phase. But for charges filed after July 6, 2020, the EEOC is offering an alternative: to mediate at any time during the charge process. Learn More

NLRB Proposed Rule Signals a Return to the Excelsior Requirement and the Advent of Absentee Ballots for Military Personnel

In another effort to amend the 2014 final rule on “quickie elections,” on July 29, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that, if implemented, would further relieve pre-election burdens on employers and protect voter privacy. Specifically, the NLRB is proposing to limit the amount of personal information employers are obligated to provide to unions in advance of elections. The NPRM also proposes amending longstanding Board policy to allow employees on military leave to vote by mail ballot. Learn More

NLRB’s Final Election Protection Rule Takes Effect July 31

As the National Labor Relations Board moves toward resuming manual elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board’s Final Election Protection Rule will take effect on July 31, 2020. The Board’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposed three amendments to the Board’s representation regulations with the goal of better protecting employees’ statutory right of free choice on questions concerning representation. Specifically, the Board’s Final Rule amends the Board’s Rules and Regulations on blocking charges, the voluntary recognition bar, and the proof of majority support specific to the construction industry. Learn More

California Department of Public Health Issues COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening

On July 24, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued its most recent guidance for employers. According to the Department, the COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening provides businesses with “the tools to open safely and mitigate risks associated with COVID-19.” This article discusses 10 takeaways from the new guidance. Learn More

COVID-19 Steps Up, Michigan Steps Back: New Executive Order Reestablishes Previous Stay-at-Home Restrictions

As Michigan’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-160 rescinding previous orders that had relaxed Michigan’s stay-at-home requirements. The new order closes or restricts operations of several indoor establishments, restricts social gatherings and events, and reiterates individual and workplace operation guidelines. In addition, the governor issued Executive Order 2020-161, which revises workplace safeguards. Learn More

DOL Issues Return-to-Work Guidance Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance on return-to-work issues under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Enacted at the end of March, the FFCRA provides emergency paid sick leave, and paid family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for certain workers affected by COVID-19. Learn More

A Return to Workplace Civility: The NLRB Adopts the Wright Line Burden-Shifting Approach to Section 7 Speech

During a pandemic, protests, and a polarized election season, employers have walked an ever-increasingly fine line between protecting employee speech in the workplace and enforcing rules on workplace conduct. That conflict is no more evident than the line of cases under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protects the rights of all employees—unionized or not—to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” Learn More

Status of Delaware’s Return-to-Work Reopening Plan

Last month, Delaware Governor John Carney announced that the state would move to Phase 2 of its reopening plan. Since entering Phase 2, Delaware has announced there would be a delay in progressing to Phase 3, but moved to an expanded rolling Phase 2 reopening. Delaware also paused certain aspects of Phase 2 and has required partial re-closure in specified counties, such as additional closures for certain Delaware beach operations. Additionally, Delaware has issued both general and industry-specific reopening guidance. Learn More

“Who Was that (Un)masked Man?”: Does the Law Protect Employees and Guests Against Wearing Face Coverings?

“Behind the Mask” is more than just a Fleetwood Mac album. It’s a science-based recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and even a requirement under a patchwork of state and local laws designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus. But what is an employer to do when an employee refuses to wear a face covering? What can an operator of a place of public accommodation do when a guest ignores the sign mandating face coverings? In some instances, the cultural clash leads to visceral exchanges. Learn More

June 2020

DOL Provides Guidance on FFCRA Leave Relating to Summer Camp and Program Closures

On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided guidance for its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Investigators relating to when employees may be eligible to take paid family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when they are unable to work because they are caring for a child whose summer camp or other summertime place of care is closed. Learn More

Canada: New Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations for Federally-Regulated Work Places Come into Force January 1, 2021

On June 24, 2020, the federal government published Work Place Harassment and Violence Regulations (Regulations), which set out the requirements that federally-regulated employers will be required to meet in order to satisfy their obligations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) to investigate, record, report, prevent and provide training with respect to work place harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Learn More

Washington, D.C. and Maryland Expand Their Reopening Efforts

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District would move into Phase Two of its reopening plan on June 22, 2020. Maryland has also expanded Stage Two of its reopening plan. These moves, coupled with announcements from Montgomery County and Baltimore City mean that every jurisdiction in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (known collectively as the “DMV” area) have expanded their respective reopening plans. Learn More

Canadian Border Closure Extended to July 31, 2020 for International Travel & Quarantine Requirements for All People Entering Canada Extended to August 31, 2020

As anticipated, the Government of Canada has extended the restriction on all foreign nationals entering Canada from destinations other than the United States until at least July 31, 2020. The restriction on travel from the United States is until at least July 21, 2020. Learn More

States Enact Laws Limiting COVID-19 Liability

Previously, we discussed the increasing number of lawsuits filed against employers relating to COVID-19, and how these numbers are expected to swell. Perhaps recognizing the economic ruin that could befall employers facing COVID-19 liability, a number of states have enacted or are considering legislation that would hold employers acting in good faith harmless in such lawsuits. Learn More

New York Agencies Issue Guidance on COVID-19 Sick Leave for Health Care Workers

On June 25, 2020, the New York Department of Health (NY DOH) and the New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) issued new guidance, titled New York State Department of Health and New York State Department of Labor Guidance on Use of COVID-19 Sick Leave for Health Care Employers. The Guidance is intended to supplement earlier guidance the NY DOH and NY DOL issued governing when health care employees are automatically deemed to be subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation, thereby qualifying for paid sick leave under the New York State COVID-19 Sick Leave Law. Learn More

Texas Governor Mandates Face Coverings Statewide

On July 2, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29 mandating that Texans wear face coverings beginning July 3 and continuing until further notice. Under GA-29, Texans living in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. Learn More

Puerto Rico State Insurance Corporation Issues 2020-2021 Risk Classification Manual with Important Modifications

On July 1, 2020, the Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation (“SIF”) announced the automatic extension of the deadline for employers to file the Payroll Statement for fiscal year 2020-2021, from July 20 to August 4, 2020. The SIF is the government agency that provides workers’ compensation benefits in Puerto Rico. The SIF also published the Risk Classification Manual applicable for this payroll year, which includes significant modifications that are of particular interest to those employers that plan to have employees telework during this policy year. Learn More

OFCCP Issues Final Rule on TRICARE Participation and Covered Health Care Providers

On July 2, 2020, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a final rule amending its regulations to confirm the agency lacks jurisdiction over health care providers whose sole government contract is based on the providers’ participation in TRICARE, ending 13 years of controversy and uncertainty over this issue. Learn More

New Virginia Wage and Hour and Pregnancy Discrimination/Accommodation Laws Effective July 1, 2020 Significantly Expand Employees’ Rights

Businesses of all sizes have, understandably, been consumed by how to address the numerous pressing issues that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought. As a result, it can be easy to lose sight of the dramatic changes to Virginia employment law, which have created a significantly more employee-friendly venue as of July 1, 2020. While Littler has written a number of recent articles about certain of these laws, and discussed them in a recent webinar, this article addresses several additional pieces of legislation enacted by the Commonwealth’s Democratic “trifecta” that employers should have on their near-term radar screen. Learn More

New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the required notice pertaining to misclassification of employees, which must be conspicuously posted by New Jersey employers. The law went into effect on April 1, however, the poster did not become available until recently and should be posted immediately to ensure compliance with this new requirement.As part of a package of six laws pertaining to independent contractor misclassification, New Jersey passed Assembly Bill 5843, requiring employers “to conspicuously post notification, in a place or places accessible to all employees in each of the employer’s workplaces,” which is now available here


On June 5, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed into law HB 2455, which creates a rebuttable presumption of workers’ compensation coverage for first responders and front-line workers who are exposed to and contract COVID-19. This recent legislative enactment follows the withdrawal of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s emergency rule which included similar language.In enacting this legislation, Illinois becomes the latest state to create a presumption of workers’ compensation coverage specific to COVID-19 and joins Alaska, Arkansas California, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, all of which have created a presumption of coverage extending to varying sectors of employment.


D.C. Amends Emergency Paid Leave Amendments

On May 27, 2020, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill that amends D.C. emergency paid leave requirements. Although many changes are stylistic and do not affect the substance of the law, one change clarifies an issue concerning when the new obligation began, and others detail when employees can use leave and how employers can comply via existing paid leave policies. Learn More

Seattle Passes Ordinance Providing COVID-19 Paid Sick and Safe Time for Gig Workers

On June 1, 2020, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance temporarily requiring certain companies that rely on “gig economy” workers to provide paid sick and safe time to those workers for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The ordinance, which now heads to Mayor Jenny Durkan for her consideration, is intended to “reduce the risk of gig workers working while sick and spreading illness” during the pandemic. The ordinance’s effective date will be 30 days after the mayor approves it, or, if the mayor does not approve and return it within 10 days of presentation, the effective date will be 45 days after the city council’s passage. Learn More

Illinois Returns to Work with Certain Conditions and Employer Requirements

On May 28, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker, in conjunction with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), issued industry-specific Return to Work toolkits and training requirements covering proper social distancing, cleaning, provision and proper use of face coverings, as well as other training and safety procedures. The following day, the governor issued Executive Order 2020-38 enforcing the Return to Work toolkit and training requirements. Learn More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Employers

Useful resource for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions are addressing the outbreak. Learn More

Stay on Top of “Stay At Home” – A List of Statewide Orders

Governors and public health officials across the country are implementing stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Learn More

Bouncing Back: A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols

Government officials across the country are easing up, or preparing to ease up, on stringent business closures related to COVID-19. Learn More

Puerto Rico Enacts Law Designating COVID-19 as a Work-Related Condition for Workers’ Compensation Purposes

On June 1, 2020, Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Wanda Vázquez-Garced signed into law Act No. 56-2020, amending the Puerto Rico Workers’ Accident Compensation Act (Act No. 45-1935) to extend workers’ compensation insurance coverage to certain employees who get infected with COVID-19 while performing their duties. Learn More

Congress Approves Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed by voice vote the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010). The House of Representatives had approved this bill with near unanimity on May 28. Generally, the PPP provides low-interest, forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new bill responds to complaints that the strict requirements on how employers spend the PPP funds disqualify them from obtaining the promised loan forgiveness, given the ongoing inability for many businesses to reopen. The bill is expected to be signed into law. Learn More

Ontario, Canada: COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool Recently Updated

On May 27, 2020, Ontario updated its COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool (Tool), which was originally launched in March 2020. The interactive Tool requires users to respond to a series of questions and, based on their responses, recommends what actions the user should take next. Employers with operations in Ontario are encouraged to become familiar with how the Tool operates as it can support them in their efforts to keep their workplaces safe during the pandemic. Learn More

The COVID-19 pandemic and statewide closures have brought significant disruptions to government functions and the private sector. Cal/OSHA has likewise been impacted by the closures.

Puerto Rico Enacts Law Designating COVID-19 as a Work-Related Condition for Workers’ Compensation Purposes

On June 1, 2020, Puerto Rico amended its Workers’ Accident Compensation Act to extend workers’ compensation insurance coverage to certain employees who get infected with COVID-19 while performing their duties.

On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed by voice vote the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010).

The COVID-19 pandemic and statewide closures have brought significant disruptions to government functions and the private sector. Cal/OSHA has likewise been impacted by the closures.

On May 27, 2020, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, issued the guidance for employers regarding recording and reporting requirements pertaining to COVID-19 cases.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on May 27, 2020 that the Northern Virginia Region, the City of Richmond, and Accomack County will move into Phase One of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on May 29, 2020.

On May 18, 2020, Governor Abbott expanded phase 2 of his reopening plan and issued Executive Order GA-23 (GA-23).

On May 24, 2020, the president signed a new proclamation that enacts travel restrictions for any foreign nationals who have been present in the Federative Republic of Brazil within 14 days of arrival in the United States.

As part of the ongoing plan to restart Puerto Rico’s economy, on May 21, 2020, Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Wanda Vazquez-Garced issued Executive Order 2020-041.

On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued guidance temporarily suspending long-standing federal regulations that limit when an employee can make mid-year changes to employer-sponsored health coverage.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new enforcement guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record cases of COVID-19 on the OSHA injury and illness logs.

A new executive order directs federal agencies to focus their efforts on regulatory barriers to economic recovery.

On May 19, 2020, Long Beach, California enacted a law requiring supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 purposes.

Michigan Sets Forth Additional Requirements for Businesses that Reopen as the State Restarts Select Operations in Northern Michigan

On May 19, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued two Executive Orders. The first Executive Order establishes requirements for previously idled businesses as they reopen in the state.

On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6800, the “Heath and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions” or “HEROES” Act.

With little notice or fanfare, San Diego County updated its emergency health order effective May 10, 2020 to provide additional protections for employees of essential and reopened businesses.

The IRS and DOL issued guidance on May 4, 2020 that adds a new level complexity to COBRA administration for employer-sponsored plans.

In addition to numerous provisions expanding paid leave and unemployment benefits, the newly introduced HEROES Act would create a program enabling employers to provide premium pay to essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Effective May 15, 2020, 13 additional counties will move from the “red” to “yellow” phase under Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania.
On May 12, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 62, delaying the implementation of Phase One of the Commonwealth’s three-phase reopening plan for the Northern Virginia Region until May 29, 2020.

April 2020

Stay on Top of “Stay At Home” – A List of Statewide Orders

Governors and public health officials across the country are implementing stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Learn More

Key Takeaways from Puerto Rico’s Latest COVID-19-Related Executive Order

Balancing the recommendations of the Medical and Economic Task Forces convened to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor of Puerto Rico Hon. Wanda Vazquez-Garced on April 12, 2020 issued Executive Order 2020-033. While the priority continues to be curbing the spread of COVID-19, this Order attempts to slowly restart the economic sector. Generally, the Order extends the lockdown and curfew measures, but also adds exceptions to the application of the Order and expands certain business hours of operation, thus allowing certain services and industries to operate. Failure to comply with the EO may result in penalties. Learn More

OSHA Issues Guidance for Employers in Package Delivery Industry

On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance to employers in the package delivery industry intended to assist them in reducing the risk of their workers being exposed to COVID-19. The recommendations are broadly applicable to all companies using workers to deliver items to customers. Learn More

Coronavirus Paid Leave Law StatesCaliforniaCalifornia made a tweak to its paid sick leave statute to include a public health quarantine as “preventative care.” The law is now in effect.ColoradoColorado passed emergency paid sick leave related to COVID-19. But it only applies to certain industries. See the blog referenced above for further specifics about Colorado’s measure. It will be effective as long as Colorado is under an emergency state.New JerseyAlready with one of the nation’s most comprehensive paid sick , New Jersey expanded its statute to cover closures of workplaces and schools due to a public health emergency or quarantine. Similarly, its family leave insurance and disability programs were also expanded to include reasons related to COVID-19.Both were made permanent under the legislation.New YorkLike Colorado, New York passed an emergency paid sick leave law in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Its law differs from Colorado’s, however, and guarantees job protection and pay for New York State employees subject to quarantine from state agencies. Also, there are different levels of requirements by employer size. Again, refer the previous Employment Law News blog for specifics.Meanwhile, the state also expanded its paid family and medical leave statute to allow use due to coronavirus-related reasons.OregonOregon has enacted an emergency paid family and medical leave regulation, which runs through Sept. 13.

Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws: Cities

Like the states that have acted in the face of the coronavirus, many cities have expanded laws to cover COVID-19.

Emeryville, Calif.

Long a pacesetter when it comes to employment law, Emeryville, Calif., added guidance to its paid sick leave law to cover closures and quarantines due to a public health emergency such as the coronavirus.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, its supplemental emergency paid sick leave ordinance is in effect now until Dec. 31, 2020.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia also opted for a supplemental emergency paid sick leave ordinance, which expands the definition of preventative medical care to include COVID-19. It is a temporary provision.

San Francisco

San Francisco added a public health emergency leave ordinance and updated the guidance for its paid sick leave ordinance. Some of the changes to its paid sick leave ordinance include eligibility, use and verification, with some portions of the law temporary and others permanent.

San Jose

San hose has plans to make changes to its paid sick leave policy, but final approval isn’t expected until April 21.

Seattle

Seattle amended its paid sick and safe time ordinance with permanent changes, including expanded use due to business, school and place of care closures (or a reduction in hours).

Washington, D.C.

Finally, the nation’s capital permanently expanded its paid family and medical leave law to cover a declaration of emergency.

Private construction projects in New York will become subject to new prevailing wage requirements pursuant to legislation signed by Governor Andrew…

Connecticut Issues Mandatory Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Businesses and Nonprofits Still in Operation Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 7, 2020, the governor of Connecticut issued Executive Order No. 7V (“EO 7V”) which, among other things, requires every workplace in the state to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among employees, customers, and other people authorized to enter the workplace. Governor Lamont directed the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development (in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health) to issue “legally binding statewide rules” prescribing additional protective measures, which are mandatory to all essential businesses and nonprofits and any other business or nonprofit permitted to operate across the state under EOs 7H and 7J. Learn More

Massachusetts CARES: The Commonwealth Implements the CARES Act’s Unemployment Benefits

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration announced the partial implementation of unemployment benefits in accordance with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has issued guidance on the Commonwealth’s implementation of the CARES Act and is rolling out three new public benefit programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation; Pandemic Unemployment Assistance; and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The goals of the three programs are to expand unemployment eligibility, to increase weekly benefits for claimants temporarily, and to allow additional categories of people to claim unemployment benefits. Learn More

Massachusetts Court Provides Guidance on Joint Employer Liability and the Scope of the Outside Salesperson Exemption

In Jinks v. Credico (USA) LLC (March 31, 2020), Judge Kenneth Salinger in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court provided guidance on two important wage and hour issues. First, the court concluded that the “right-to-control” test was the appropriate method for determining whether two companies were “joint employers” for purposes of the Massachusetts wage and hour laws. Second, the court held that the Massachusetts Overtime Law and Minimum Wage Law had two separate tests for determining whether an employee was exempt as an outside salesperson, with the Minimum Wage Law requiring that the employee not make daily reports or visits to the employer’s office or plant in order to be exempt. Learn More

San Francisco Expected to Require Employers with 500 or More Employees to Provide Paid Public Health Emergency Leave

On April 7, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted an emergency ordinance (the “PHELO”) that requires private employers with 500 or more employees to provide paid public health emergency leave during the COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”). This ordinance is one of a number of situations where local jurisdictions have enacted laws to require companies that are not otherwise covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to provide additional sick time to its employees. Learn More

Los Angeles Joins the Trend, as States and Localities Adopt Face Covering Requirements

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, and in light of changing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), numerous jurisdictions across the country have issued new guidelines for employers and the general public concerning the use of face masks or other face coverings while outside the home. Learn More

Government of Alberta, Canada Mandates Closure of “Non-essential” Businesses

On March 17, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Province of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health declared a public health emergency. On March 27, 2020, the Government of Alberta ordered the closure of all “non-essential” businesses. The government did not specify a date on which the closures would commence; it is assumed they took immediate effect. The date on which the closures are to end was also not specified. Learn More

Knowing the Way to San Jose’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On April 7, 2020, the San Jose, California City Council adopted two essentially identical ordinances that require covered employers to provide emergency paid sick leave. The first item is an emergency ordinance that takes effect immediately, whereas the second item is a regular ordinance for which a second reading must occur. Learn More

The L.A. Story of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Things have been pretty chaotic and confusing for employers and employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Unfortunately, in an effort to help, the City of Los Angeles has unintentionally increased both. This is the story of how mandatory supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) came to exist in Los Angeles. Learn More

Cal/OSHA Issues Guidance for Agricultural Employers on COVID-19 Infection Prevention

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, recently issued safety and health guidance for agricultural employers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. California employers are required to establish and implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to protect employees from all worksite hazards, including infectious diseases. Since COVID-19 is widespread in the community, most California employers must consider the disease a workplace hazard. Learn More

Michigan Extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order with Additional Restrictions on Retail Businesses

On April 9, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order extending her April 3, 2020 Stay Home, Stay Safe Order through April 30, 2020, and including additional restrictions on retail businesses that remain open through the duration of the Order. The Order takes effect on April 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Learn More

CDC Updates Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers Exposed to COVID-19

In yet another significant move, on April 8, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published additional guidance for employers regarding safety practices for “critical infrastructure workers” who may have been exposed to a person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Learn More


March 2020
DOL Releases COVID-19 Guide for Employers
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2dxGdEr8pmTz65UBD9Of4-rdLIfiPIFnA9X6CHf_hy2Gkv8OuQlV-wQqs


**This page will be updated regularly at noon Mondays through Fridays. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.**CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other locations internationally, including the United States.


Last month, pending official guidance for employers from the Centers for Disease Control on how to address Coronavirus (which has now been named COVID-19), we provided recommendations to employers in our January Top Tip – Coronavirus in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers, which extrapolated from CDC guidance on past outbreaks. Now, the CDC has issued guidance specific to COVID-19 that offers suggestions for employers to take now to address illness generally in the workplace, to plan for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and to consider in developing an outbreak response plan.


The Vermont Legislature on Feb. 25 passed a plan to increase the state’s minimum wage rate, narrowly overriding a veto from the governor.

Minimum wage in Vermont currently sits at $10.96 an hour. The bill calls for phased increases on Jan. 1 the next two years:

  • $11.75 in 2021
  • $12.55 in 2022

Increases after that point will be tied to the Consumer Price Index.


February 2020
Maryland Enacts a Statewide “Ban-the-Box” LawDuring the 2019 legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the Criminal Records Screening (or “Ban-the-Box”) Act. On January 30, 2020, however, the Maryland General Assembly overrode the governor’s veto, making it unlawful for any employer in the State of Maryland with 15 or more employees to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history before the employer conducts its first in-person interview. The law takes effect on February 29, 2020. Importantly, the law does not preempt the more restrictive ban-the-box ordinances enacted in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Baltimore City. Learn More


January 2020
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, D, signed a law (S-3170/A-5145) Jan. 21 that requires increased notice time, as well as severance pay, for certain plant closures, transfers and mass layoffs.The law, which takes effect July 19, requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide at least 90 days’ notice of any move or closure that will result in a layoff of 50 or more employees over a period of 30 days or less. The previous notice period was 60 days and part-time employees now count toward the 100-employee threshold.Terminated employees must receive one week’s worth of severance pay for each full year of employment, and employers who fail to provide the required notice must provide affected employees with an additional four weeks of pay.

Connecticut’s New Restaurant Wage Law Codifies “80/20 Rule” for Tipped Employees

Following months of political maneuvering, including a gubernatorial veto, Connecticut has enacted compromise legislation that attempts to clarify how restaurants and other hospitality industry employers must pay workers who receive tips in customer service jobs that also require untipped work. The new law, Public Act 19-1, directs the state’s Labor Commissioner to adopt regulations codifying the so-called “80/20 rule” and to conduct random wage and hour audits of restaurants to ensure wage and hour compliance. It also restricts the right of employees to bring future class actions against restaurants for alleged violation of wage rules. Learn More


New Jersey Department of Labor Releases Final Regulations for Earned Sick Leave Law

On January 6, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued long-awaited regulations regarding enforcement of New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL) as well as its responses to comments about the initially proposed regulations. The final regulations contain minimal non-substantive changes, and therefore do not require additional public notice or comment. The Department’s responses to the public’s comments and concerns about the proposed regulations provide helpful insight into how the Department interprets the ESLL and the intent behind various provisions. Learn More

Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Seyfarth Synopsis: A Massachusetts trial court judge ruled that employees were entitled to premium pay for work on Sundays at a call center, under a…
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
UPDATE: The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has filed a lawsuit against the City of Waterloo and the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights…
Effective January 1, 2020, the protections in the New York City Administrative Code, Section 8-107 (Section 8-102 et seq. of the Code is referred to as the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL)) for employees now extends to freelancers and independent contractors.  Moreover, the definition of an “employer” for purposes of prohibiting gender-based harassment now includes all employers regardless of the number of individuals it employs.  Finally, included in the definition of employer is the employer’s parent, spouse, domestic partner or child employed by the employer.


The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) recently released a Paid Family Leave Employee Notice (“PFL Notice”) that D.C. employers must provide to employees by February 1, 2020. The PFL Notice, which is available here, contains information about the paid leave benefits that will be available under D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (“ULPA”) starting July 1, 2020

Fisher Phillips
This blog is littered with posts talking about the various states that are intent on creating a California-like legal test that would make it…
Littler Mendelson PC
Getting the New Year off to a quick start, the United States Department of Labor issued three Opinion Letters on January 7, 2020. These letters…
Thompson Coburn LLP
In Missouri, the hourly minimum wage will increase to $9.45 per hour, effective January 1, 2020. Employers of tipped employees will need to pay at…
Thompson Hine LLP
In late December, Congress included in the National Defense Authorization Act 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal workers, which must…

December 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Final Rule that will allow employers to more easily offer perks and benefits to their employees. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime/2019-regular-rate
Akerman LLP
Last month, New York City joined an emerging national trend toward increased protections for independent contractors and freelance workers, adopting…
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
On Nov. 8, 2019, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an amendment to the New York Labor Law, which is effective immediately and…
Jackson Lewis PC
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud has offered 11 recommendations in its report…
Fisher Phillips
Colorado employers will soon face two big changes that will impact your workplaces. In a matter of weeks, the state will adopt a new rule on…
Ius Laboris
A new legal provision in California will make concluding a labour ‘peace agreement’ with unions a mandatory requirement to obtain a licence to…
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
January 1, 2020, organizations that employ individuals based in Illinois will need to keep in mind the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act…
Squire Patton Boggs
With federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25, state and local governments continue to raise minimum wages. Our current state and local minimum wage chart…
Greenberg Traurig LLP
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) final rule raising the annual minimum salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime…
Fox Rothschild LLP
Originally set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the City of Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Law implementation has been postponed from Jan. 1, 2020 until…

September 24, 2019
DOL ISSUES OVERTIME EXEMPTION FINAL RULE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020
Goldberg Segalla LLP
Victims of domestic violence will now be further protected in New York State. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law amending the New York Human Rights Law…
Epstein Becker Green
The EEOC has announced it will not renew the pay data collection requirement moving forward. The agency underestimated the compliance cost of yearly…
Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP
As of January 1, 2020, many employers in California will find it almost impossible to make use of independent contractors…

August 8, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it issued three new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Blank Rome LLP
Effective January 1, 2020, private employers in New Jersey are prohibited from asking job applicants about their salary, wage, and benefit history…
Ogletree Deakins
On March 1, 2019, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill No. 1567 (S1567) into law, making New Jersey the first state to require certain…

July 31, 2019
Littler Mendelson PC
Effective August 2, 2019, Colorado employers using tip pools must comply with new customer notice requirements. Under H.B. 1254, which passed both…
Epstein Becker Green
On July 25, 2019, New Jersey became the latest state to join the movement banning salary history inquiries when Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed…
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
As we have previously discussed, there is an ongoing trend of states prohibiting the use of non-compete agreements in certain situations, including…
Ogletree Deakins
On July 24, 2019, the Chicago City Council passed the most sweeping predictive scheduling ordinance in the country to date. Effective July 1, 2020…
Jackson Lewis PC
On July 24, 2019, South Carolina joined the ranks of Alabama, Pennsylvania, and others in abolishing future recognition of common law marriages in…

July 23, 2019
Fisher Phillips
Trucking companies will no longer need to pay their drivers for certain off-duty time, potentially including time spent sleeping in their sleeper…
Stinson LLP
A new Minnesota law will soon restrict drivers from using or holding their cell phones with their hands while operating a motor vehicle. Effective…
Blank Rome LLP
If you’re an employer in Maryland, beginning October 1, 2019, you are prohibited from requiring a low wage worker (defined as someone earning less…
Duane Morris LLP

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (CUMCA), amending the New…


July 11, 2019
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
As we previously detailed, the Virginia General Assembly enacted an employment records disclosure law requiring employers to furnish Virginia…
Quarles & Brady LLP
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Act”) is set to take effect statewide on January 1, 2020. With it will come a host of changes for Illinois…
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
In September 2018, California passed SB 1343, which expanded the sexual harassment training requirements for California employers. Previously…
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Earlier this year, Dallas passed an ordinance requiring all private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. The Dallas ordinance follows…
Epstein Becker Green
On June 18, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” (“Act”), which includes a…
July 2, 2019
Littler Mendelson PC
On June 27, 2019, Governor Gavin Newson (D) signed Senate Bill (SB) 83, which, beginning on July 1, 2020, will extend from six to eight weeks the…
July 1, 2019
McDermott Will & Emery
Connecticut enacted a paid family and medical leave law, which provides paid leave to eligible employees and expand allowable reasons for such leave…
June 28, 2019
Mintz
Just days before concluding its legislative session, the New York Legislature enacted a law focusing on an employer’s acquisition and use of applicant…
Jackson Lewis PC
Earlier this month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 796 into law—after it passed 28-1 in the state Senate, and unanimously in the…
Holland & Knight LLP
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed Senate Bill (SB) 726, which significantly changes Oregon employers’ obligations with respect to handling…
June 27, 2019
Jackson Lewis PC
On June 13, 2019, the New York City Council passed Intro 799 to prohibit retaliation against individuals who make a request for a reasonable…
Proskauer Rose LLP
Illinois will soon become the eleventh state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into effect…
Jackson Lewis PC
State and local leave laws are changing weekly and sometimes even daily! For the second time this month, Maine is adjusting its leave laws. Employers…
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
On June 2, 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB75, a legislative response to the #MeToo movement. Governor J. B. Pritzker is expected to…
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Kentucky recently enacted the Pregnant Workers Act, which amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to provide accommodations to pregnant and lactating…


June 25, 2019
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter that provides employers with further guidance on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves…
Clichés like “seismic shift” and “paradigm change” do not begin to describe just how profoundly the New York Legislature changed the standards for…
Stinson LLP
On June 13, 2019 the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Department of the Treasury released final regulations that…
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that extreme obesity is not an actionable “impairment” under the Americans with…
June 20, 2019
As of July 1st, the following cities in Southern California have scheduled increases to $14.25 (for businesses with 26 or more employees) and $13.25 (for employers with 25 or less employees):

  • City of Los Angeles
  • County of Los Angeles (unincorporated areas)
  • Malibu
  • Pasadena
  • Santa Monica

As of July 1st, the following cities in Northern California also have increases:

  • Alameda — $13.50
  • Berkeley — $15.59
  • Emeryville — $16.30 or $15.00 (for small independent restaurants with 20 or fewer locations)
  • Milpitas — $15.00
  • San Francisco — $15.59
  • San Leandro — $14.00

Alabama Enacts Pay Equity Law

On June 10, 2019, Alabama enacted the state’s first wage equity law. The Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act (CFEPA) mimics, in large portion, the federal Equal Pay Act, but includes race as a protected classification in addition to sex. The CFEPA also prohibits retaliation based on an applicants’ failure or refusal to provide their wage history and sets forth employer recordkeeping requirements. Employers of any size are subject to the act, which takes effect September 1, 2019.

Quarles & Brady LLP
The same state that brought us the Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/1 et al., and its resulting flood of litigation is once again…
Arent Fox LLP
Virginia has traditionally been an employer-friendly state. Indeed, unlike many other states, private sector employees did not have the legal right…
Littler Mendelson PC
On June 18, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Substitute Senate Bill 3, publicly known as the “Time’s Up” bill and identified as Public…
Mintz
The wait is over. Earlier today (and earlier than the July 1, 2019 due date), the Department of Family and Medical Leave (the Department) issued…
Goldberg Segalla LLP
The 2019 Maryland legislative session only produced one substantive law change that impacts the Maryland Workers’ Compensation framework. Additionally…
Fox Rothschild LLP
July may seem like a sleepy summer month, but don’t forget — for many cities in California it is the time for minimum wage increases. Your payroll…
Hogan Lovells
Effective July 1, 2019, the District of Columbia minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour, from the current $13.25 per hour. The new rate will…

June 12, 2019

On April 24, 2019, Dallas became the latest and third Texas city to pass an Ordinance (“Law”) requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave…

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Washington State will have new restrictions on what employers can ask applicants regarding their wage and salary history starting July 28, 2019. The…
Seyfarth Synopsis: Following closely on the heels of a similar law in New York City, effective January 1, 2020, it will be unlawful for Nevada…

June 10, 2019
Fisher Phillips
Maryland has become the latest state to revise its noncompetition law to clamp down on the practice and further restrict the types of workers…
Ogletree Deakins
Despite broad-based support, the Texas Legislature failed to pass a law preempting the type of paid sick leave ordinances enacted in Austin, San…

May 30, 2019

Tennessee Expands Anti-Bullying Law to Private Employers

Tennessee recently amended its Healthy Workplace Act (Act), which seeks to prevent abusive conduct at work, to cover private employers. Enacted in 2014, the Act previously applied only to public employers. The amendment, which extends the Act’s provisions to the private sector, took effect immediately when Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law on April 23, 2019.

Jackson Lewis PC
Although there is no Texas state-wide law that requires paid sick leave in Texas, the cities of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio have adopted paid…
Goldberg Segalla LLP
New York City is not shy about enacting laws governing the workplace. One of NYC’s newest employment related laws will prohibit employers from…
Stinson LLP

Kansas City employers soon will be prohibited from asking job applicants about their salary history information, including prior compensation and…


May 20, 2019
Epstein Becker Green
As we previously reported, on April 9, 2019, the New York City Council passed Int. 1445-A, which prohibits employers from pre-employment drug testing…
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
On May 9, 2019, Governor Inslee signed the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA), which prohibits Washington employers from inquiring…
Squire Patton Boggs

New York City has enacted a first-of-its kind law (Intro. No. 1445-A) prohibiting pre-employment drug testing for the presence of…


May 13, 2019

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage, Tip, and Overtime Developments (April Edition)

We’ll spare you the taxing introduction and jump straight to itemizing developments concerning the minimum wage, tips, and overtime. Highlights include new opinion letters from the U.S. Department of Labor and a variety of state and local measures.

Massachusetts Extends Critical Compliance Deadlines under the Paid Family Medical Leave Law

On May 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave offered Massachusetts businesses a temporary reprieve by extending two key deadlines critical to the implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave law (PFML). First, employers will now have until June 30, 2019 to provide written notice to covered individuals of their rights and obligations under the PFML. Second, businesses will now have until September 20, 2019 to file an application for a private plan exemption.


May 3, 2019
Jackson Lewis PC
On April 23, 2019, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) issued a Best Practices Bluepaper as guidance for employers with…
Jackson Lewis PC
In June of 2018 we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for review of a data breach lawsuit addressing the issue of whether…
Shawe Rosenthal LLP
In addition to the significant opinion letter on independent contractor status discussed elsewhere in this E-Update, the Wage and Hour Division of…

 

April 12, 2019

In Step with National Trend, Maine Passes Salary History Ban

On April 12, 2019, Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills (D), signed L.D. 278, a pay equity bill titled “An Act Regarding Pay Equality.” The law amends existing pay equity legislation and generally prohibits employer inquiries into the salary history of prospective employees until after an offer of employment has been made. Maine is the latest state in New England to pass legislation imposing this prohibition, following Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont.

April 9, 2019

Updated Massachusetts Paid Family and Leave Act Regulations Offer Additional Guidance as July 1 Effective Date Draws Near

On March 29, 2019, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) released an updated version of the proposed Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) regulations, offering further clarification to one of the most generous paid family and medical leave programs in the nation.


New Jersey Passes Law Making NDAs in Settlements of Discrimination, Retaliation and Harassment Claims Unenforceable

On March 18, 2019, New Jersey passed a law rendering unenforceable certain provisions in employment contracts and settlement agreements that are…


Oklahoma employers received a much-needed boost from the recent passage of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, more commonly…


March 20, 2019

On March 15, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the “agricultural” exemption to the Massachusetts Overtime Law, M.G.L. C. 151…


US Employers Prepare For Reinstated EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting

Employers may be required to disclose aggregate pay data in their annual EEO-1 filings as early as May 31, 2019. On March 4, 2019, a federal court in…
On March 7, 2019, the IRS issued Notice 2019-18, which walked back its prohibition on offering retirees receiving annuity payments a time-limited…

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has released model policies for the City’s lactation room law, effective March 18, 2019…


March 19, 2019

Cincinnati Bans Salary History Inquiries

On March 12, 2019, Cincinnati, Ohio passed an ordinance prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their salary history or current earnings. It is the latest large jurisdiction to pass such a measure, following several localities in New York that have recently passed similar ordinances.


March 15, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced today that it has issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) reiterating employers’ responsibilities to U.S. workers under the H-1B visa program.The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers seeking to hire H-1B workers to notify affected U.S. workers of their intent to do so. As the use of electronic notification becomes more common, WHD is providing employers with additional guidance on how to notify American workers of their intention to hire nonimmigrant workers under the H-1B visa program.FAB 2019-3 reminds H-1B employers that choose to use electronic notification that they must ensure that affected American workers, including those employed by a third-party, have access to, and are aware of, the electronic notification.  This guidance describes the conditions under which electronic notice satisfies these requirements and provides examples of different methods of posting.More information about the Department’s commitment to protect American workers is available at https://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/protecting-american-workers.htm. You can contact WHD by calling our toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).  Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/WHD.

March 7, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime.

Under currently enforced law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.  Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties.  This salary level was set in 2004.This new proposal would update the salary threshold using current wage data, projected to January 1, 2020.  The result would boost the standard salary level from $455 to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year). The Department is also asking for public comment on the NPRM’s language for periodic review to update the salary threshold. An update would continue to require notice-and-comment rulemaking.In developing the proposal, the Department received extensive public input from six in-person listening sessions held around the nation and more than 200,000 comments as part of a 2017 Request for Information (RFI).The NPRM maintains overtime protections for police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and laborers including: non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and construction workers. The proposal does not call for automatic adjustments to the salary threshold.


Dickinson Wright

On February 19, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an employer does not violate Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”)…


Ius Laboris

New Jersey has amended its rules relating to family-related leave, including extending protections to employees of smaller employers, widening the…



Seyfarth Shaw LLP,

Seyfarth Synopsis: A number of changes have been made (and proposed amendments are being considered) to the Illinois Human Rights Act since the…


February 28, 2019
Jackson Lewis PC

Protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming employees in New York have been given a boost. Significant changes to the New York…


February 4, 2019

Indiana House Bill May Result in DAILY Overtime and Weekly DOUBLE TIME!

“Daily & Weekly Overtime: Few states have a daily overtime law. Indiana HB 1608 proposes to, beginning in 2020, require employers to pay employees a premium rate of one-and-a-half times their regular rate if they work longer than their scheduled shift. It would also require “double time” if employees work more than 52 hours in a week.”


February 4, 2019
Epstein Becker Green

Effective March 4, 2019, Westchester County will become the fourth local jurisdiction in New York State to “ban the box”—i.e., prohibit employers…


February 4, 2019
Porzio Bromberg & Newman PC

The first step toward the minimum wage increasing to $15 an hour took place last Thursday. A new bill that was introduced and approved by the…


February 4, 2019
Littler Mendelson PC

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule rescinding major portions of its electronic reporting rule…


January 16, 2019

Although the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has yet to finalize the new annual salary required for exempt status, it…


January 16, 2019

Effective March 18, 2019, New York City employers will be required to ensure their lactation rooms meet additional minimum standards and implement a…


January 14, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: USDOL Sends New Proposed Overtime Rule to the White House


January 4, 2019
Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP

Due to the well-publicized impasse between President Trump and Congress, a partial government shutdown is currently in effect. Approximately 25…


December 12, 2018

Suffolk County, New York has passed a law making it unlawful for employers and employment agencies with four or more employees to inquire about a job…


November 29, 2018

NY Employers: Salary Thresholds are Increasing December 31st!


November 27, 2018
On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-issued an opinion letter abandoning the “80/20 Rule,” which prohibited employers from…

November 27, 2018
ATTENTION ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS:

Recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) broaden employee rights and impose new, immediate notice requirements on employers…


November 27, 2018
On November 17, 2018, Sections 8-102 and 8-107(22) of the New York City Administrative Code were amended to require employers in New York City with…

November 26, 2018

The Department of Labor (DOL) will publish a new version of Form ETA-9035 on November 19, 2018. This form is the required Labor Condition Application…


November 26, 2018

New York City employers were given some clarity this week regarding their obligations under the City’s Stop Sexual Harassment Act, as the New York…


November 21, 2018

A bitterly divided state Supreme Court upheld Kentucky’s right-to-work law by a 4-3 vote yesterday, cementing Kentucky’s status as one of 27 states…


November 12, 2018

DOL Issues Opinion Letter Clarifying When Employees Paid on Hourly, Daily, or Shift Basis Can Satisfy “Salary Basis” Requirement

On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued a new opinion letter addressing the circumstances under which an employee who is paid on an hourly, daily, or shift basis (subject to a weekly guarantee) may qualify as an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee under section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While not establishing a bright-line rule, the opinion letter confirms that: (a) a ratio of 1.5-to-1 between an employee’s usual weekly earnings and the weekly guarantee is acceptable; (b) a ratio that exceeds 1.5-to-1 is vulnerable to challenge; and (c) a ratio of 1.8-to-1 or more is probably not acceptable.


November 10, 2018

Chicago City Council Creates Office of Labor Standards to Enforce Chicago’s Employment Ordinances

On October 31, 2018, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved the formation of the Office for Labor Standards (OLS). The new OLS was created to facilitate more rigorous enforcement of the city’s employment ordinances and to promote investigation into alleged violations. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2019.


November 9, 2018

IRS Publishes Pension Plan Limitations for 2019

On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for the 2019 tax year. These limits include both employee and employer contribution limits.


November 8. 2018

Supreme Court: Small Public Employers Now Subject To ADEA
Fisher Phillips

In a unanimous 8-0 decision, the United States Supreme Court issued its first ruling of the new term today and delivered a blow to small public-sector…


November 8, 2018
Baker McKenzie

Illinois employers will have a new headache this new year, because as of January 1, 2019, they must reimburse employees for all “necessary…


November 7, 2018

New Workplace Obligations for D.C. Employers – Generally and Those of Tipped Workers 

Shawe Rosenthal LLP | On October 23, 2018, the District of Columbia Mayor signed the “Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018,” which includes a new posting…


November 7, 2018

New York City Releases Amended Rules and FAQs Regarding the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

Cole Schotz PC | Earlier this year, New York City amended the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (the “ESSTA”) to provide eligible New York City employees with “safe time”…


November 7, 2018

Eleventh Circuit Rejects OSHA Effort to Expand Inspection Based on Injury Records

Beveridge & Diamond PC | In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) effort to…


November 7, 2018
Missouri voters just hiked the minimum wage by 53 percent

More than 600,000 workers in Missouri are getting a raise.  Voters in Missouri approved Proposition B, a ballot measure that will gradually hike the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. That’s a 53 percent raise over five years.


October 18, 2018

Trump’s Fall Regulatory Agenda Pegs March 2019 For Proposed New Overtime Rule

In its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published today, the Trump Administration formally announced its intention to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in March 2019 “to determine the appropriate salary level for exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees.”  See our earlier post for what to expect in the proposed new rule.


October 18, 2018
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California has had the highest number of reported cases of human trafficking in the country over…

October 18, 2018

OSHA has just issued a Standard Interpretation clarifying the Obama-era guidance that prohibited incentive programs and…


October 18, 2018
Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmatively ruled that an employee’s violation of his or her employer’s written absenteeism policy…


October 17, 2018
While this month brought significant changes to all New York State employers in addressing workplace harassment, NYC employers will need to change…

October 16, 2018

PODCAST: New York State Anti-Sexual Harassment Law

Earlier this year, New York State adopted anti-sexual harassment legislation that the Governor described as the “strongest and most comprehensive” in the country, and that is now fully effective. As of October 9, 2018, employers must distribute to all New York-based employees an updated anti-sexual harassment policy that covers a number of key areas. Over the next 365 days, employers also must train all New York-based employees regarding sexual harassment and retaliation, and repeat such training annually thereafter. New York City has a similar sexual harassment training requirement that goes into effect on April 1, 2019. In this podcast, Littler attorneys Devjani Mishra and Emily Haigh help employers operating in New York State and City navigate these new requirements.
Listen on SoundCloud|All Littler Podcasts


October 8, 2018
NY Pushes Back Sex Harassment Training Deadline to October 9, 2019

On Monday, October 1, 2018, the State of New York released final versions of a sexual harassment policy, complaint form, and employee training relating to sexual harassment, among other guidance, pursuant to legislation enacted in April 2018 targeting workplace sex discrimination and sexual harassment.


October 3, 2018
New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law Update: Required Poster Released

On October 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) released on its website the required notice that must be posted and distributed to all New Jersey


September 13, 2018
United States: 2018 DOL Opinion Letter Under The FMLA
The law is clear that employers cannot consider time off under the FMLA as an occurrence under its no-fault attendance control policy. But does the time that the employee is on FMLA leave count toward the period of time after which a point “falls off?”

September 12, 2018
DOL Issues Updated FMLA Forms
On September 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released the long-awaited new Family Medical Leave Act notices and certification forms. The new forms are now available for download from the DOL website.


September 10, 2018

Department of Labor Issues Additional FLSA Opinion Letters, Acknowledges New “Fair Reading” Standard for Overtime Exemptions

In furtherance of a practice reinstituted earlier this year, on August 28, 2018 the DOL’s Wage Hour Division (WHD) issued four new opinion letters covering FLSA topics.

September 07, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Creation of New Wage and Hour Compliance Outreach Office

Focusing on education to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, on August 28, 2018 Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the creation of the DOL’s new Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). That office has launched two new websites, one to provide employers with resources to assess wage and hour compliance, and the other to provide employees with information regarding their rights and responsibilities under federal wage and hour law. Those websites are named, aptly, employer.gov and worker.gov, respectively.

August 28, 2018

State Supreme Court Ruling Protects Employers, Preserves Workers’ Comp Exclusivity
The California State Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of employers finding that an employee’s tort claims against a doctor who reviewed workers’ compensation cases is preempted by the workers’ compensation law.


August 28, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced today that it has issued six new opinion letters.

This release demonstrates the agency’s continued commitment to providing meaningful compliance assistance to help employees understand their rights and ensure that employers have the information they need to comply with federal labor laws. The letters released today address compliance under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The opinion letters issued today address the following issues:

  • Organ donors’ qualification for FMLA leave
  • Compensability of time spent voluntarily attending benefit fairs and certain wellness activities
  • Application of the movie theater overtime exemption to a movie theater that also offers dining services
  • Application of the commissioned sales employee overtime exemption to a company that sells an internet payment software platform
  • Volunteer status of nonprofit members serving as credentialing examination graders
  • “No-fault” attendance policies and roll-off of attendance points under the FMLA

The Department now offers a search function allowing users to search opinion letters by keyword, year, topic, and a variety of other filters.

An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by WHD on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter. The public is encouraged to submit requests for opinion letters to WHD and can visit this webpage to learn how to request an opinion letter or determine whether existing agency guidance already addresses their questions.


August 16, 2018

NJ Labor Department, USDOL Ink Agreement to Work Together to Protect Businesses and End Exploitation of Workers through Misclassification

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the U.S Department of Labor pledged a historic new level of cooperation to protect New Jersey’s economy by signing an agreement Friday to work together to end illegal employee misclassification.


August 14, 2018

New Rule Bans Retaliatory Drug Testing of Employees Who Report Injury

Our company has a mandatory drug testing policy in the event of an accident/injury. Does the new federal regulation incorporated into the record-keeping requirements now prohibit blanket drug testing policies?


August 14, 2018

New Cal/OSHA Housekeeper Injury Prevention Rules Now In Effect

On July 1, 2018, the newly implemented Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) regulation took effect. This program requires all California hotel/motel employers to institute and maintain written policies and training practices regarding housekeeping-related workplace hazards.


August 13, 2018

South Carolina Human Affairs Commission Releases Pregnancy Accommodations Poster

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission has released its new workplace poster, revised to reflect certain changes required by the recently enacted South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act.


August 8, 2018

Wait A Minute…California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay For De Minimis Off-The-Clock Work

On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court found that employers must compensate workers for the time they spend on certain menial tasks after clocking out of their shifts.

August 6, 2018

Puerto Rico Governor Signs Executive Order Increasing Minimum Wage for Construction Workers in Government-Funded Construction Projects

On July 30, 2018, the governor of Puerto Rico signed Executive Order No. 2018-033, increasing the minimum wage for construction workers, enforcing laws requiring use of locally produced cement, and requiring the use of project labor agreements in government-funded construction projects. More specifically, the Executive Order requires that if any construction project is financed in whole or in part with funds from the Puerto Rico Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or public corporations, the contractor or subcontractor must pay employees hired to work on that project at least $15.00 per hour.


August 1, 2018

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Comprehensive Noncompete Reform

After years of negotiation, on July 31, 2018, the Massachusetts legislature finally was able to pass legislation that, if signed by Governor Charlie Baker, would significantly limit the enforceability of noncompetition agreements in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act would apply to all noncompetition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018.


July 17, 2018

Reminder – NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law Becomes Effective on July 18, 2018

Enacted this past January, New York City’s “Temporary Schedule Change” law becomes effective on July 18, 2018. The law provides employees with the right to request two temporary schedule changes per calendar year for “personal events,” and employers must ensure that they are prepared to respond to their employees’ requests for changes in work schedules and understand what types of personal events qualify for leave.


July 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has today released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-4: Determining Whether Nurse or Caregiver Registries are Employers of the Caregiver.

This Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) provides guidance to Wage and Hour Division (WHD) field staff to help them determine whether home care, nurse, or caregiver registries (registries) are employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A registry is an entity that typically matches people who need caregiving services with caregivers who provide the services, usually nurses, home health aides, personal care attendants, or home care workers with other titles (collectively, caregivers). 

June 28,  2018

Supreme Court Bars Mandatory Union Dues For Public Employees

By Tony Oncidi and Arielle E. Kobetz on Jun 27, 2018 08:25 pm

In a highly anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court today held that it is a violation of the First Amendment to require public sector employees who are not members of a union to pay any union dues, even when a portion of those dues is attributable to the costs of collective bargaining on behalf…… Continue Reading


June 26, 2018

The District of Columbia Eliminates the “Tip Credit”

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, residents of the District Columbia voted to approve Initiative 77, which will incrementally phase out the “tip credit” that many employers use as an offset towards their minimum wage obligations to employees who also earn tips in connection with their work.


June 19, 2018

New Arizona Laws Address Data Breaches and Hiring Ex-Offenders

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed HB 2154 and HB 2311 into law, both taking effect on July 21, 2018. HB 2154 provides employers with additional guidance and updated notice procedures in the event of a data security system breach, and HB 2311 bolsters limited liability protections for employers when hiring employees or contracting with independent contractors previously convicted of criminal offenses.


June 19, 2018

NLRB General Counsel Issues Guidance Regarding Handbook Rules

On June 6, 2018, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb issued a lengthy 20-page Memorandum (GC 18-04) providing detailed guidance regarding enforcement of “Handbook Rules Post-Boeing.” The General Counsel’s recent Memorandum increases confidence that many workplace policies previously ruled invalid will not be challenged under the Board’s new legal standard.


June 14, 2018

If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XLVIII: Rhode Island Releases Final Sick Leave Regulations; Effective Date Is Near

Seyfarth Synopsis: Last month, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training released the state’s final paid sick and safe leave regulations.


June 8, 2018

Vermont’s New Marijuana Law Won’t Require Employment Policy Changes

Portions of Vermont’s new law allowing people 21 or older to possess limited quantities of marijuana will take effect July 1, but the new law won’t require emp.. Read More →


June 4, 2018

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates

Employers with minimum wage, tip, and overtime allergies might dread spring, but given the few developments this month, they should only experience a mild case of May fever. On the other hand, many should expect June gloom because, although the days are becoming longer, there is limited daylight between now and when states and cities across the county begin raising their minimum wage rates on July 1.


June 1, 2018

South Carolina Passes New Pregnancy Accommodations Act

On Thursday, May 17, 2018, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed one of the most significant new pieces of state legislation impacting employers in recent years. The South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act (HB 3865) will, among other things, require employers to notify employees of their right to be free from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Critically, this new notice requirement goes into effect immediately as to all new employees, and must be satisfied no later than September 14, 2018, for all existing employees.


May 30, 2018

Connecticut’s New Pay Equity Bill Prohibits Questions Regarding Prospective Employees’ Wage And Salary History

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity,” into law on May 22, 2018, making Connecticut the sixth state to prohibit employers from asking applicants …


May 30, 2018

Vacation Days Still Go Unused in U.S.


 May 30, 2018

You Can’t Fight City Hall and Their Local Ordinances


May 29, 2018

Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements


May 24, 2018

New National Origin Regulations Coming July 1  –  California


May 17, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have partnered to establish a framework to efficiently manage and maintain information sharing to better detect and eliminate fraud, abuse, and discrimination.

On May 7, 2018, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) published revised rules concerning the city’s generous Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO).


May 15, 2018

On May 11, 2018, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation restricting employers from making salary history inquiries.


May 5, 2018

NYC Expands Earned Sick Time Act To Cover “Safe Time”

Effective May 5, 2018, employees in New York City are eligible to take paid “safe time” leave when the employee or a member of the employee’s family has been the victim of a family offense matter…

May 1, 2018

Impending Necessary Ban-the-Box Updates for Criminal Record Inquiries in Massachusetts and San Francisco

In 2010, Massachusetts enacted the Criminal Offender Record Information Reform Act, which includes a “ban-the-box” component. On April 13, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed amendments to that law, effective October 13, 2018, placing additional restrictions on employers that inquire about prior criminal records. Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, San Francisco also amended its “ban-the-box” law or Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO). The FCO amendments, effective October 1, 2018, add to the list of offenses that employers cannot inquire into or consider.


April 30, 2018

Washington State Enacts Fair Chance Act

Washington State has joined a number of other jurisdictions, including the Washington cities of Seattle and Spokane, by passing a “ban-the-box” law, known as the Washington Fair Chance Act (HB 1298).


April 30, 2018

New Washington State Law Restricts Permissible Discovery of Plaintiff’s Medical Records in Discrimination Lawsuits

A new Washington law (SB 6027) impacts the scope of discovery of a plaintiff’s medical records in litigation brought under Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”). The law will become effective on June 7, 2018.


April 30, 2018

Washington State Legislature Responds to the #MeToo Movement

Washington has adopted four new laws addressing workplace harassment and discrimination. Three prohibit limitations on an employee’s disclosure or public pursuit of discrimination or harassment claims, while the fourth requires the Washington State Human Rights Commission to develop model sexual harassment policies and “best practices” for employers.


April 28, 2018

Employment Law Reform in Puerto Rico: Take Two

On April 26, 2018, the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board sent, for the first time since its creation, a proposed employment law reform bill to the Puerto Rico Legislature. The proposed bill contains similar changes to those proposed and then withdrawn by the Governor last montApril


April 27, 2018

IRS Resolves 2018 HSA Contribution Limit Confusion

Acknowledging “numerous unanticipated administrative and financial burdens,” the IRS officially revoked its earlier attempt to lower the 2018 health savings account (HSA) contribution limits. In guidance issued on April 26, the IRS announced that the 2018 HSA contribution limit for taxpayers with family coverage will be $6,900 as originally announced in 2017 — not the reduced $6,850 limit that was unexpectedly revealed earlier this year.


April 20, 2018

New Pay Equity Law In Washington State

Washington State has joined the ranks of jurisdictions that have adopted expanded equal pay legislation.1 The Equal Pay Opportunity Act (EPOA) was signed into law on March 21, 2018, and will take effect on June 7, 2018.2 The EPOA significantly expands Washington’s existing gender pay law for the first time since its enactment in 1943.3


April 20, 2018

New Jersey Legislature Passes Paid Sick Time Law

The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill requiring employers in the state to provide paid sick time at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. While employees would be permitted to carry over 40 hours of sick time per year, employers would not be required to provide more than 40 hours of sick time in any given year. The proposed law would also preempt all municipal paid sick time ordinances in the state.


April 19, 2018

IRS Issues FAQs On Paid Family And Medical Leave Tax Credit

The IRS has issued FAQs to provide guidance to employers relating to portions of the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that created the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit. The tax credit, provided in Internal Revenue Code section 45S, allows eligible employers to claim a general business tax credit up to 25 percent of the wages paid to qualifying employees when such employees take family and medical leave.


April 18, 2018

DOL Opinion Letter Answers APA Query Regarding Garnishment of Lump-sum Payments

Nearly every type of lump-sum payment APA members could envision is covered by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), according to an opinion letter released by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on April 12.


April 16, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced today that it has issued three new opinion letters.


April 11, 2018

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Now that the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) went into effect April 1, 2018, it is time for employers to confirm that they are taking steps to ensure compliance with the PWFA.


April 10, 2018

Westchester County, New York, Joins Albany County And New York City In Prohibiting Salary History Inquiries

On April 10, 2018, Westchester Country Executive George Latimer signed into law the Wage History Anti-Discrimination Law, which was adopted by a unanimous vote of the Westchester County Board of Legislators a day earlier. The new law will take effect 90 days following its adoption.


April 9, 2018

DOL Launches PAID Program


April 3, 2018

Minimum Wage and Overtime Update (March)

Never mind the Ides of March, for employers with tipped employees: beware the federal budget process. Presumably no one’s March Madness bracket had federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) amendments going to, let alone winning, D.C.’s “big dance.” How this Cinderella story plays out remains to be seen, so, during federal legislative half-time, we’ll take a quick look at the scores from other minimum wage, tips, and overtime games around the country.


April 3, 2018

Judge rules California coffee shops must display cancer warnings

A California judge ruled that Starbucks and other coffee sellers in the state will be required to warn customers that their coffees carry a cancer risk, according to The Associated Press.


April 2, 2018

Supreme Court rules auto service advisers are exempt from overtime pay

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that service advisers at car dealerships are exempt from federal overtime pay requirements.

In a 5-4 decision, the court held that service advisers are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions because they are salesmen primarily engaged in servicing automobiles.


March 28, 2018

New Jersey Passes Equal Pay Legislation Aimed At Closing The Wage Gap For All Protected Classes

The law enhances damages that are available to a prevailing employee in a lawsuit filed under the LAD.


March 28, 2018

Still “Open For Business” – New Wisconsin Legislation To Preempt Most Local Employment Ordinances

In recent years, cities, counties, and other local government bodies across the country have enacted ordinances increasing the minimum wage, granting paid and unpaid sick leave, placing restrictions on how employees are scheduled, and requiring employers to enter into “labor peace agreements” with unions. As this activity has intensified, employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions within a state or across multiple states have been confronted with the onerous task of complying with a patchwork of conflicting employment rules. Wisconsin is about to join the list of over a dozen states that have taken action to preempt local governments from passing such ordinances.


March 23, 2018

Equal Pay For Equal Work: Washington Updates Equal Pay Act For The First Time In Over 70 Years

With heightened attention on gender-based workplace discrimination, Washington recently passed new legislation that creates additional pay equity requirements for Washington employers. Signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on March 21, 2018, HB 1506 will update and expand the state’s Equal Pay Act (EPA) for the first time since it was enacted in 1943.


March 6, 2018

Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (February)

February may be the shortest month of the year, but what it lacked in days it made up with minimum wage and overtime developments at the federal, state, and local levels. Read on to see if your state laws have changed.


March 1, 2018

IRS Releases 2018 W-4 and Withholding Calculator

The moment we have been waiting for is here. The new W-4 for 2018 is here! We have updated our HelpDesk Payroll Compliance Tool-Kit and you can also find the new W-4 @ irs.gov.


Feb 19, 2018

February Forecast Calls For Persistent ICE Immigration Raids Across The Country

Employers Need To Prepare Now To Avoid Federal Enforcement Action
Federal enforcement officials are amplifying their efforts to crack down on undocumented workers and the businesses that employ them, as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have raided over 120 businesses in just the past five days. While most of these latest efforts have been concentrated in California, no business in the country is immune from this show of strength from the federal government. Moreover, President Trump’s 2019 budget proposal includes a 35 percent increase in penalties for employers that hire undocumented workers, so the stakes could soon be much higher for employers. What can you do today to minimize the risk of your business being a target, and what should you do if you are visited by federal officials?

Feb 19, 2018

States Ask Congress To Prohibit Arbitration In Sex Harassment Claims

A unanimous block of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, not to mention several U.S. territories, sent a letter to Congress yesterday asking federal lawmakers to prohibit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements when it comes to claims of sexual harassment. If Congress responds by passing legislation as requested, employers would need to adjust to a new reality that would have significant implications on human resources practices and employment litigation.

Feb 19, 2018

Victory For Grubhub In First-Ever Gig Economy Trial

Three Things All Gig Economy Companies Need To Know About Decision
What do all gig economy companies (and other businesses using a freelance or independent contractor model) need to know about today’s historic ruling in the Lawson v. Grubhub trial? Here are the three key takeaways from the ruling.

Feb 16, 2018

NYC Updates “Sexual Orientation” And “Gender” Definitions Under Human Rights Law

New York City employers will soon be required to expand existing protections against sexual orientation and gender discrimination due to an amendment to the definitions of these terms under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The broadened definitions take effect on May 10, 2018.

Feb 16, 2018

New York City Employers Will Soon Be Obligated To Talk Out Reasonable Accommodations With Employees

The New York City legislature just enacted an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) which codifies an employer’s obligation to engage in a cooperative dialogue with any employee who may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Although the amendments do not take effect until October 15, 2018, you should start the process of adjusting to this new reality right away.

Feb 13, 2018

Reminder: Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Goes into Effect April 1, 2018

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act goes into effect on April 1, 2018.  This new law requires employers with six or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees.  As the effective date of the Act draws near, employers should take steps to ensure compliance with its requirements. Read on…


Feb 11, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri, Enacts “Ban-the-Box-Plus” Ordinance

On February 1, 2018, the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council passed restrictions on employers’ inquiries into, and use of, criminal record information.  The ordinance becomes effective on June 9, 2018.  The City had already removed the criminal history question from employment applications for government positions in 2014.  Similar to the Missouri Human Rights Act, the ordinance applies to private employers with six or more employees.  Read on…


Feb 6,  2018

Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use, Cease Testing Applicants

On February 1, 2018, Maine became the first jurisdiction in the nation to protect workers from adverse employment action based on their use of marijuana and marijuana products, provided the use occurs away from the workplace.  In preparation for this change, the Maine Department of Labor removed marijuana from the list of drugs for which an employer may test in its “model” applicant drug-testing policy.  Although wrangling between the state legislature and Governor Paul LePage has delayed the retail sale of marijuana, the remaining provisions of Maine’s “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”), are slated to move forward despite fears doing so will hurt business in the state. Read on…


Jan 30, 2018

6th Circuit Court’s Decision Provides Guidance On “Draw-On-Commission” Policies

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit—which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—held that an employer’s week-to-week, commission-only pay system was generally valid. However, it was illegal for the company’s policy to state that employees had to repay immediately upon termination draws that had been given during employment. Read on…


Jan 30, 2018

An Introduction To Cafeteria Plans: Permitted Tax-Exempt And Taxable Benefits

By definition, cafeteria plans allow employees to choose between cash and a variety of employer-provided benefits without having to include the value of their chosen benefits as taxable income. Cafeteria plans are popular because they allow employees to design individualized benefits programs that suit their own special needs. Read on…


Jan 30, 2018

Massachusetts High Court Rules That Unused Accrued Sick Time Is Not “Wages

This week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that unused accrued sick time does not constitute “wages” that must be paid upon termination under the Massachusetts Wage Act.  This decision, Mui v. Massachusetts Port Authority, resolves a previously unsettled question in Massachusetts wage and hour law.   Read on…


Jan 23, 2018

Employment Laws for Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri to Change

Senate Bill 43’s Sweeping Changes to the Employment and Labor Legal Landscape

Perhaps the most significant change of the legislative session resulted from the passage of Senate Bill 43, which amended or enacted ten statutory provisions that led to sweeping changes to the Missouri Human Rights Act and the employment and labor litigation landscape. Read on…


Jan 17, 2018

Massachusetts To Require Health Care Reporting By Employers

Massachusetts employers with 6 or more employees will soon be required to file a new health care reporting form – the “healthcare coverage form.” This may remind you of the repealed “Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure” or “HIRD” form requirement.  However, the new form is very different. This post explains the new reporting rule.  Read on…


Jan 16, 2018

Maryland Becomes Ninth State To Enact Paid Sick Leave Law

The Maryland paid sick leave law, a.k.a. Healthy Working Families Act (“HWFA” or the “Act”) is scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018 -30 days from the January 12th state Senate vote.  Here are the highlights of the HWFA:   Read On…


Jan 12, 2018

Legislation Affecting California’s Employment Regulations

Check out these 5 employment regulations that all employers with workers in California MUST know about! Read on…


Jan 11, 2018

Louisiana: Updates Impacting Employers In 2018

Each year, activity in the Louisiana Legislature and courts bring about changes to employers in the state. Below is a brief summary of recent changes and items for employers to consider as they look forward to 2018. Read on…


Jan 11, 2018

Washington’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Starting on January 1, 2018, all Washington employers, regardless of size, are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The definition of “employee” is broad and covers most Washington-based employees. Employers are required to provide paid sick leave, give notice to their employees, maintain and distribute records documenting paid sick leave, and enact policies (in order to apply certain procedures). Here’s what you need to know.


Jan 11, 2018

Are Unpaid Interns Back?

The DOL has issued an updated Fact Sheet regarding the factors which must be considered when classifying a worker as an unpaid intern.

Click here to learn more.


Jan 10, 2018

Worksite enforcement targets employment law violators

Ensuring each of its employees is legally authorized to work in the United States is one of many responsibilities facing every American business, from small start-up operations to our country’s largest and most prosperous corporations. Read on…


Jan 1, 2018

California New Parent Leave Act 

Beginning in January 2018, working parents will now be able to take twelve weeks of unpaid job-protected leave to bond with their newborns.  This includes mothers and fathers and biological, adopted, and fostered children. The law does allow an employee to use vacation time, sick leave, or other paid or unpaid time off benefit programs. While an employee is out on leave, the employer must maintain their benefit coverage. Upon return from leave, the employer must have a guaranteed job that is comparable or the same position the employee held prior to the leave.  This new law covers employers with 20 to 49 employees.

Employee Eligibility:

 More than 12 months of service with employer;‌

 Worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 month period; and

 Works at a worksite where the employer has at least 20 employees within a 75-mile radius

Note: An employee is not eligible for this leave if they are eligible for state family and medical leave and FMLA.

San Francisco Lactation Accommodation

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance on June 20, 2017, and the legislation was signed by Mayor Lee on June 30, 2017.

The Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance requires employers to provide employees breaks and a location for lactation and to have a policy regarding lactation in the workplace that specifies a process by which an employee will make a request for accommodation. The ordinance also defines minimum standards for lactation accommodation spaces, requires that tenant improvements in buildings designated for certain uses include lactation rooms, and outlines lactation accommodation best practices. Finally, the ordinance amends the Building Code to specify the technical specifications of lactation rooms for tenant improvements in buildings designated for certain uses.  Text of the Legislation

Lactation Accommodation Sample Policy. 

Lactation Accommodation Request Form.

For additional resources, please visit the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s resources page here.


Dec. 1, 2017

New York State Paid Family Leave Act

Businesses play an important role in implementing Paid Family Leave. Starting January 1, 2018, nearly all private employees in New York State will be eligible for Paid Family Leave.

Insurance coverage for Paid Family Leave benefits generally will be added to an employer’s existing disability benefits policy. Paid Family Leave coverage is funded by employee payroll contributions. Use the ny.gov/pflcalculator to get an estimate of an employee’s weekly deduction.

WEEKLY DEDUCTION CALCULATOR

Through Paid Family Leave, employers may increase recruitment and retention as eligible employees are guaranteed:

  • paid time off for 8 weeks in 2018, increasing to 12 weeks by 2021;
  • job protection upon return from Paid Family Leave; and
  • continuation of health insurance while out on Paid Family Leave.

Job protection is defined as returning an employee to the same or a comparable job they held prior to taking leave. Employers may require that employees continue to pay their health insurance premium contributions.   For more information see the FMLA By State Section of the HelpDesk for Human Resources Tool-Kit.


 

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