On September 19, 2020, California’s new law requiring large employers to provide employees with COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“CSPSL”) becomes effective.  The new CSPSL requirement will be codified as Labor Code section 248.1 and was enacted via Assembly Bill (AB) 1867, which Governor Newsom signed into law on September 9, 2020.  In addition to addressing other leave and COVID-19 related items, AB 1867 also codified the existing CSPSL requirements for certain food sector workers under Executive Order N-51-20 as new Labor Code section 248.  In an effort to get employers up to speed on both section 248 and 248.1, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) published its responses to frequently asked questions on the new requirement to provide CSPSL.  This article briefly summarizes the key requirements of the new CSPSL law for non-food sector workers and identifies specific issues that employers in California should attend to as they hastily roll out the leave to employees.
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know About California’s New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law

On August 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 (“FAB 2020-5” or the “Bulletin”) in an effort to guide an increasing number of employers faced with the challenge of tracking compensable hours worked by teleworking non-exempt employees.  Specifically, FAB 2020-5 offers clarity regarding how, and to what extent, employers must monitor the number of hours worked by non-exempt employees who work remotely.  As many workforces seem poised to continue partial or complete telework for the balance of the year, FAB 2020-5 provides useful insight to assist employers in properly monitoring remote hours and avoiding liability for unpaid wages.
Continue Reading Trust, but Verify: DOL Issues New Guidance for Tracking Teleworkers’ Time

The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or Board”) Division of Advice[1] recently released five memos dealing with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic—concluding in all five that dismissal of the pending unfair labor practice charge (“ULP” or “charge”) against the employer was warranted.  These advice memos come on the heels of a series of advice memos issued by the Division of Advice in July, which also recommended the dismissal of COVID-19-related charges filed against employers.  Although these advice memoranda do not carry the same weight as a Board decision, they shed light on how the regional offices may view these matters going forward and can be used as a roadmap for employers who are undoubtedly navigating similar issues in their businesses during the pandemic.
Continue Reading NLRB Releases More Employer-Friendly COVID Advice

With some employees returning to the office, and many states now permitting non-essential business travel, business managers are beginning to reassess the feasibility of a mobile workforce.  One barrier to business travel, however, is state by state travel restrictions which vary substantially and may be inconsistent.  In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that employers “minimize non-essential travel,” and offers guidelines for safer business travel during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Continue Reading Navigating Business Travel Through the Pandemic

On August 3, 2020, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken issued a decision in State of New York v. U.S. Department of Labor, et al., No. 1:20-cv-03020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020), which vacated several portions of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) regulations concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).
Continue Reading New York Federal Court Vacates Several Portions of DOL Regulations Regarding FFCRA Leave

As Congress grapples with the next tranche of COVID-19 legislation, one key issue that has remained at the forefront of the debate is whether, and to what extent, Congress will limit COVID-19 exposure lawsuits against businesses and non-profit organizations that remain operational during the pandemic.
Continue Reading With Immunity and Justice For All? Congress Weighs Unparalleled Tort Reform for Businesses in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

On July 24, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued guidance entitled “COVID-19 Employer Playbook For a Safe Reopening.”  The CDPH then revised the 32-page Employer Playbook a week later, on July 31st.  A link to the most up-to-date guidance is available here.
Continue Reading California Department of Public Health Issues COVID-19 “Employer Playbook”

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 previously agreed upon restrictive covenant agreements.
Continue Reading 1st Circ. Holds Non-Compete Agreement Unenforceable Against Fired and Rehired Employee

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 designed to “control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of” COVID-19.
Continue Reading Safety Protocols in the Face of COVID: What New Virginia Safety Standards Require of Employers

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 concern themselves with labor law compliance.  However, the NLRA protects almost all private sector employees regardless of whether they are union-represented or not.  Accordingly, except for those employing agricultural employees or workers covered by the Railway Labor Act, both unionized and union-free employers are subject to the NLRA and must conform their personnel policies, practices and decision-making to the Act.
Continue Reading NLRA “Advice” All Employers Should Consider in a COVID World