The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the central role local and long haul trucking companies and drivers play in the overall U.S. economy and specifically our public health infrastructure. Now, as states and businesses around the country gradually reopen and truck deliveries begin to ramp up, employers in the commercial trucking industry should be aware of recent changes to Hours of Service regulations as well as COVID-19-related guidance on keeping employees and the general public healthy and safe. By updating their policies and procedures and enacting responsible safety measures, motor carriers will be in the best position to weather the storm of this pandemic and avoid the risks associated with employment litigation and compliance pitfalls. Continue Reading
On March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Stay At Home Order mandating that all California residents stay home, except as needed to support California’s essential critical infrastructure sectors. This Order has no set end date.
However, as many states across the country begin to slowly reopen their economies, California Governor Gavin Newsom has now published a “Resilience Roadmap” that serves as the overarching plan for California’s incremental reopening. The Resilience Roadmap is comprised of four stages with each stage gradually permitting the reopening of various businesses depending on the exposure risk that they pose. Continue Reading
As California businesses begin to reopen and return employees to physical workplaces, there are numerous safety measures for employers to consider implementing to minimize the spread of COVID-19. On May 14, 2020, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) issued its “Interim General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19.” The new guidelines replace the previous, limited directives by Cal/OSHA, which forced employers to rely heavily on federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Fed/OSHA”) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) for advice instead. The new guidance identifies specific infection control measures that are mandatory for California employers to implement and include in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (“IIPP”). This article breaks down the extensive list of measures and training in the new guidance in an effort to help employers learn how to update their current IIPP and remain in compliance. Continue Reading
On May 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would begin the process of allowing various businesses to reopen physical locations as part of a four-phase plan that seeks to gradually re-establish business operations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While a welcome sign for many businesses and employees, the phased re-opening of California brings about a flurry of return-to-work issues, one of which is how businesses can reduce the number of physical touch points in the workplace. Continue Reading
On April 29, 2020, the City of Los Angeles passed the COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance to protect workers amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring certain businesses within the City to adhere to worker retention provisions whenever a change in control occurs within two years following the declaration of emergency due to COVID-19. The ordinance takes effect on June 14, 2020.
The ordinance defines a “change in control” as any sale, assignment, transfer, contribution, or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets used in the operation of a business, or a discrete portion of a business that continues to operate as the same type of business of the incumbent business employer.
On May 6, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20 (the “Order”), which states employees that test positive for COVID-19 are presumed to have contracted the virus in the course of employment for purposes of awarding workers’ compensation benefits, if certain requirements are met. Continue Reading
On April 29, 2020, the City of Los Angeles issued a new ordinance, entitled “COVID-19 Right of Recall,” that requires covered employers in Los Angeles to offer priority hiring for laid off rank and file workers, and to allow those workers 5 business days to accept or deny the offer of employment. Specifically, covered employers must send written offer letters – via mail, email, and written text message – to laid off workers for positions the person is qualified for that become available after June 14, 2020. A laid off worker is qualified for a position if he or she held the same or similar position at the same site of employment prior to his or her separation, or can be qualified with the same training offered to a new worker hired into that position.
The ordinance takes effect on June 14, 2020. Continue Reading
Los Angeles County enacted an ordinance requiring employers with 500 or more employees nationally and that are not otherwise covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-51-20 to provide employees with supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. The City of Los Angeles previously passed a similar ordinance, but the County ordinance expands the coverage for supplemental paid sick leave to employees outside the City’s geographic boundaries. Continue Reading
As we wrote earlier this year, every employer with employees working in Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”). The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) recently released a model sexual harassment prevention training program that meets the IHRA’s requirements. Continue Reading
As every employer grappling with the global pandemic can attest, preventing and combatting occurrences of COVID-19 are paramount considerations. This concern has become all the more pronounced, and visible to the nation, with the increasing reports of COVID-19 outbreaks at food processing facilities throughout the country. In response to this potential threat to the nation’s food supply, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) recently issued joint guidance for meat and poultry processing facilities proposing precautionary measures these employers can take to protect their workers and, in turn, the food supply.