Human Resources

More 2022 Employment Law Updates

Hey Compliance Warriors!


Here are some good end-of-the-year/New Year 2022 updates!


Cal/OSHA Approves 2nd Readoption of ETS and Governor Issues Order Potentially Further Extending COVID Restrictions

On December 16, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (the “Standards Board”) adopted its second set of proposed revisions to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (the “2nd Revised ETS”). The 2nd Revised ETS will take effect on January 14, 2022. Until then, the current ETS, which was adopted on June 17, 2021, remains in effect. In addition, shortly after the Standards Board meeting, Governor Newsom issued a surprise executive order waiving usual regulatory limits to clear the way for a potential third readoption that could run through December 2022. Learn More

Washington Employers Allowed to Delay January 2022 Start Date for Collecting “Washington Cares Act” Premiums from Employees

In a statement on December 17, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that employers may wait to begin collecting premiums from employees for the new Washington Cares Act (WA Cares), while legislation is under consideration to formalize this collection pause. The governor does not have authority to formally relieve employers from the existing withholding obligation, but has directed that “employers will not be subject to penalties and interest for not withholding fees from employees during this transition.” Learn More

‘Tis the Season for Back-to-Back COVID-19 Related Executive Orders in Puerto Rico

In two days, Puerto Rico Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi issued back-to-back executive orders (EO) establishing greater restrictions on mass activities, food and drink establishments, and air passengers arriving on the Island. These restrictions attempt to stem the growing wave of COVID-19 cases caused, in part, by the arrival of the Omicron variant to Puerto Rico. In this article, we break down the restrictions and measures established in the new EOs that will apply to passengers and patrons alike during the upcoming holidays. Learn More

“B Together” – Boston’s New Vaccination Mandate

On December 20, 2021, the City of Boston announced a new vaccination mandate, the “Temporary Order Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for Indoor Entertainment, Recreation, Dining, and Fitness Settings in the City of Boston” (the “Order”), or, as City Hall calls it, “B Together.” Unlike the recent New York City mandate, Boston’s mandate does not apply to all employers. Instead, the Order applies to any entity that operates a “covered premises.” The Order covers not only patrons of those businesses, but also full- or part-time employees, interns, volunteers, and on-site contractors. Learn More

Puerto Rico Supreme Court Rules on Damages Calculations Involving Double Penalties and Alternate Income Streams

In Torres Rivera v. Econo, 2021 TSPR 150, 208 D.P.R. __ (Nov. 18, 2021), the Puerto Rico Supreme Court determined that when a plaintiff prevails in a discrimination lawsuit, any award of back pay (lost wages) to be granted must be reduced by any income earned from other means before applying the double penalty provided by local anti-discrimination laws. Learn More

Portland, Maine: Broadly-Applicable Hourly Hazard Pay Takes Effect on January 1, 2022

At their final meeting of the year, on December 20, 2021, city councilors in Portland, Maine left the city’s existing COVID-19 emergency order in place, thereby triggering implementation of a significant hazard pay requirement. As a result, covered employers in Portland must pay hourly employees at least $19.50 per hour starting January 1, 2022. Learn More


Be Audit-Secure




Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Certified EEO Investigator (EEOC)

Lead Support and Content Chief – HelpDeskforHR.com

“You cannot be audit-proof, but you can Be Audit-Secure.”


Are you struggling with potential EEOC claims or violations?


How about when Big Boss is pushing back on what you KNOW needs to be done, but they just cannot seem to wrap their brains around the suggestions you are making?


Sometimes you need an internal investigation conducted by an UNBIASED 3rd PARTY before a claim, charge, or lawsuit is filed against the company and/or the responsible parties within.


I am an EEOC Certified Investigator


As an EEOC Certified Investigator, I have seen a lot of tough issues that employers really should have researched before making the decision to “do it the way we’ve always done it” OR “not let some employee handbook boss me around”.


How about the time when the accused is your friend or you have some sort of relationship with the person that could cause others to view you as biased during an investigation. Recusing yourself may be the indicated course of action in some cases.


Remember, sometimes even decisions resulting from only the best intentions still pave the road to… well… court! (gotcha!)


I am ready, willing, and able to provide these services at the same rate as my regular telephone or Zoom consultations.




And, don’t forget – I am a credentialed EEO INVESTIGATOR.


So, when you come across issues related to discrimination or harassment and need an unbiased 3rd-party to conduct the investigation please also think of me.


I have been fully trained by EEOC Administrative Judges and other Investigators.


There is no need to dig the hole deeper by trying to do these things on your own when conflicting interests may be in play.


So, next time you want to pass the investigation on to a professional investigator who has no skin in the game, think of me!



Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Certified EEO Investigator (EEOC)

Lead Support and Content Chief – HelpDeskforHR.com

“You cannot be audit-proof, but you can Be Audit-Secure.”

Email support@helpdeskforHR.com to schedule a consultation.

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