Category Archives: Coronavirus

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1st Circ. Holds Non-Compete Agreement Unenforceable Against Fired and Rehired Employee

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have been forced to conduct staff layoffs as businesses were closed in compliance with shelter-in-place orders and subsequently rehire employees as lockdown restrictions have been lifted. One concern employers should bear in mind is how the layoffs and later rehiring of employees impact the enforceability of any … Continue Reading

Safety Protocols in the Face of COVID: What New Virginia Safety Standards Require of Employers

Beginning July 27, 2020, Virginia will become one of the first states to implement comprehensive, mandatory safety regulations for employees returning to work during and post-COVID.  In a press release last week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board had voted to adopt an emergency temporary standard, §16VAC25-220, which is … Continue Reading

NLRA “Advice” All Employers Should Consider in a COVID World

Most employers wrestling with COVID-19 related employment law issues aren’t paying much attention to the labor law issues arising out of the pandemic.  Indeed, because most U.S. employers are non-union, many operate under the mistaken belief that they fall outside the reach of the National Labor Relations Act (Act or NLRA) and don’t have to … Continue Reading

San Francisco Enacts a Temporary Ordinance Granting Workers Laid Off Due to COVID-19 a Right to Reinstatement

On July 3, 2020, San Francisco enacted a temporary emergency ordinance requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to offer reemployment to employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Known as the “Back to Work” emergency ordinance and aimed at mitigating the severe economic harm to individuals who have been unable to work due … Continue Reading

OSHA Publishes Responses to Frequently Asked Questions on Worker Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic

On July 2, 2020, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published an FAQ web page based on COVID-19 related inquiries that the agency received from the public.  The FAQ page provides a central location for information and links on a variety of topics related to best practices to ensure worker safety and protect … Continue Reading

California Places More COVID-19 Related Restrictions on Businesses and Employers

On July 1, 2020, as a result of rapid increases in the number of COVID-19 cases throughout California, and on the heels of the Fourth of July long weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom instructed businesses in 19 counties across the state to roll back their reopenings for at least the next three weeks.  The Governor’s instructions … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Guidance on FFCRA and Summer School/Camp Closures

The summer season is normally a time the children are off to summer camps, enrichment programs, or summer school sessions.  This year, however, employees are finding themselves without available childcare in the wake of continued widespread COVID-19-related closures.  As state and local governments vacillate between easing and increasing restrictions, normal summer programs may be unavailable, … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Guidance Answering Practical Questions on Returning to Work

On June 17, 2020, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued its “Guidance on Returning to Work.”  This new guidance is intended to supplement the previous “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” that OSHA published in March.  Most non-essential businesses throughout the country have already reopened and returned at least some portion of … Continue Reading

Not Today Corona: EEOC Bans Employer Antibody Screenings

On June 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) issued new guidance to employers forbidding the administration of COVID-19 antibody tests under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). EEOC COVID-19 Technical Assistance A.7. Though the ADA mainly protects disabled individuals from workplace and public discrimination, some parts of the Act apply universally. One … Continue Reading

Up Close & Personal: Contact-Tracing Apps & Employee Privacy

Our proximity and “close contact” with other humans is on the front lines in the war against coronavirus.  Yet tracking 6 feet of distance from every human we encounter for a 14 day period is nearly impossible without the help of technology like contact-tracing apps.  Although many privacy and employment laws designed to protect employee … Continue Reading

Drastic Changes Coming to U.S. Offices as the CDC Recommends An Office Makeover

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued new guidance (available here) detailing how employers can safely reopen offices following months of closure amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC guidance provides a step-by-step checklist for employers to follow to ensure that their office spaces are physically prepared for … Continue Reading

A Roadmap to Resilience: Debriefing California’s Reopening Plan

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 … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA Issues New COVID-19 General Industry Guidance for All California Employers

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 … Continue Reading

The California Data Privacy Implications of Using Facial Recognition in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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 … Continue Reading

The City of Los Angeles Passes Worker Retention Ordinance for Certain Employers

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 … Continue Reading

Mother of Presumptions: Employees With COVID-19 Presumed to Have Contracted Virus From Exposure at Work

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

Priority Hiring Required for Laid Off Workers of Covered Employers in Los Angeles

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 … Continue Reading

Los Angeles County Enacts Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective Immediately

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 … Continue Reading

Where’s the Meat? Interim Federal Guidance for Meat Plant Worker Safety

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 … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York Workers’ Compensation Law: Is COVID-19 Compensable?

As previously noted in our blog, workers’ compensation is an emerging area of concern for employers during the COVID-19 crisis.  For New York employers in the heart of the pandemic, the question of whether one of their employees will contract COVID-19 in the workplace is less a matter of “if” than “when.”  Infected employees may … Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation Claims During the Pandemic and Mitigating the Risk

While essential workers continue to make their way into the office amid the pandemic, many other Californians have been ordered to shelter in place.  At first blush, non-essential businesses may view this as leading to a decrease in workers’ compensation claims because they no longer have employees physically reporting to the office.  There could be … Continue Reading

As America Prepares to Return to Work, EEOC Approves Testing Employees for COVID-19

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19, affirming an employer’s ability to medically test its employees for COVID-19 before allowing employees to enter the workplace.  The new guidance expands employers’ options to include medical tests that detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus – not just temperature checks.  The EEOC … Continue Reading
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