On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced it is officially withdrawing, effective May 6, 2021, the rule promulgated under the Trump administration addressing the standard to determine whether an individual is properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The rule, which was rolled out two weeks before the end of President Trump’s term, was initially scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2021 but was delayed by President Biden until May 7, 2021.
Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Announces Withdrawal of Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rule

The Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) continues to investigate hiring practices in a number of industries for potential antitrust violations as part of its effort to scrutinize, and in some instances, criminally prosecute, companies and individuals who enter into agreements with their competitors regarding hiring, wages, and solicitation of employees.
Continue Reading Taboola the Latest Target of DOJ’s Aggressive Antitrust Scrutiny of Hiring Practices

On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the “MRTA”) into law, making New York the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana.  The MRTA allows adults aged 21 and older to possess, purchase, display, obtain, and transport marijuana in limited quantities.  The MRTA takes effect immediately, although the sale of recreational-use marijuana is not expected to become legal for at least another year.  The legalization of marijuana will have significant effects on many aspects of society in New York, including in the workplace.
Continue Reading New York State Legalizes Recreational Marijuana: What Employers Need to Know

In effect since July 1, 2020, the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).  Although the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic largely overshadowed the effective date of this
Continue Reading New Labor Obligations Contained In USMCA Present Risks for Covered Employers

As travel begins to resume in California, the Legislature has imposed additional stringent requirements on employers in the travel and hospitality industries.  Beginning April 16, 2021, Senate Bill 93 will
Continue Reading California Enacts Law Requiring Certain Employers to Offer Open Positions to Laid Off Employees in the Travel and Hospitality Industries

On April 23, 2021, the New York state legislature delivered a copy of the Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act” or the “Act”) to Governor Andrew Cuomo for
Continue Reading Governor to Consider Significant New Health and Safety Obligations as NY HERO Act Passes State Legislature

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued key guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) about COBRA Premium Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).  In addition to issuing the FAQs, the DOL issued model notices and announced a new website dedicated to the COBRA premium subsidy under ARPA, which can be found at the following link: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy.
Continue Reading COBRA Premium Assistance Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – What Employers Should Know

In a prior article, we explained Senate Bill 95, which requires employers with more than 25 employees in California to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave.  You can read it here.  SB 95 creates California Labor Code Sections 248.2 and 248.3.  It goes into effect on March 29, 2021, and applies retroactively to January 1, 2021.  This new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law allows covered employees to take up to an additional 80 hours of paid COVID-19 related sick leave.
Continue Reading Labor Commissioner Issues FAQs for Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

Beginning on March 29, 2021, Senate Bill 95 will place additional requirements on employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19.  The bill, which was approved by the legislature on March 18, 2021, and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 19, 2021, creates California Labor Code Sections 248.2 and 248.3.  SB 95 dramatically expands the number of employees eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave, expands the reasons an employee may take paid sick leave, and applies retroactively to January 1, 2021, which will require some employers who previously granted employees unpaid leave for COVID-19 related reasons to retroactively compensate those employees.  Therefore, every employer in California should review SB 95 carefully.
Continue Reading California Enacts Expansive, Retroactive Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) launched its new COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (“NEP”).  The new OSHA directive outlines policies and procedures for minimizing worker exposures to COVID-19 by targeting certain “high-hazard” industries and worksites where employees may have a high frequency of close contact exposures.  The NEP and related updates to OSHA’s Interim Enforcement Response Plan (“IERP”) are in response to President Biden’s January 21, 2021 Executive Order, which also gave OSHA until March 15 to determine whether a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) is necessary.  Although March 15 has come and gone, OSHA may nevertheless still consider and implement a national ETS.  In the meantime, employers should review the information below and familiarize themselves with the NEP to determine whether they may be targeted for a COVID-19-related federal OSHA inspection this spring and summer.
Continue Reading OSHA Adopts New COVID-19 National Emphasis Program to Increase Its Enforcement Efforts