As the number of confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”) in the U.S. continues to rise, employers must prepare for issues that will inevitably arise as the virus spreads.  While the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) currently advises that “most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure,” it is prudent for employers to evaluate their organizations’ current policies and practices in the event a major outbreak occurs.  Some issues to consider include the following:
Continue Reading What Employers Need To Know To Prepare For Coronavirus

California lawmakers passed over a dozen employment-related bills last year that imposed new or different obligations on California employers. Just as employers may be finally settling into the new world order and getting into compliance with the litany of new laws, there are two new legislative updates that employers must be aware of. These new pieces of legislation serve as an important reminder that employment laws are constantly changing, and employers caught flat footed may be left to suffer the consequences.

In a welcome change from Sacramento, on February 26, 2019, the California Senate introduced Senate Bill 778, which is designed to clarify when employers are required to provide sexual harassment training and education to employees under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and when retraining is required.
Continue Reading No Rest For The Weary – California Employment Legislation Update

Last October, we wrote about a Chicago ordinance requiring hotel employers to, among other things, equip hotel employees assigned to work in guestrooms or restrooms with portable emergency contact devices. The ordinance took effect July 1, 2018. Hotel employers in Chicago should ensure compliance with the mandates of the ordinance as penalties may reach $500 for each offense. Each day a violation continues is deemed a new offense.
Continue Reading Hands Off-Pants On Ordinance In Effect in Chicago; California May Be Next

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the “Earned Safe and Sick Time Act” into law. The new law, which will take effect on May 5, 2018, expands the purposes for which employees may use sick leave, broadens the definition of covered family members, and imposes new notice and recordkeeping requirements on employers. The law does not increase the total amount of leave employees are entitled to under the city’s existing sick leave ordinance.
Continue Reading New York Mayor Expands Paid Sick Leave Law: Employers Required to Provide Paid ‘Safe Leave’ for Abuse Victims

The 2017 California Legislature adjourned on September 15, 2017, and resulted in more than 700 bills being sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. Although the deadline for the Governor to sign new bills into law does not officially expire until October 15, the Governor has already given his stamp of approval to a handful of new employment laws that will take effect on January 1, 2018, including one from the California Chamber of Commerce’s annual list of “Job Killers.” Below is a summary of the major bills recently signed into law.
Continue Reading 5 New Laws: California Governor Approves Employee-Friendly Laws

Just days after Cook County passed its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on October 5, 2016, several Cook County suburbs began the process of opting out of the law.  So far, four have successfully done so.  On November 15, 2016, Barrington was the first to pass its own municipal ordinance opting out of Cook County’s Ordinance, which requires all employers in Cook County to allow eligible employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year.  Oak Forest, Rosemont, and Bedford Park passed their own opt-out ordinances on December 13, December 15, 2016, and January 12, 2017, respectively.
Continue Reading The Continued Uncertainty of Paid Sick Leave Laws

On December 20, 2016, in a 9-4 vote, the Washington, D.C. Council passed bill B21-0415, The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015.  The bill establishes a universal paid leave system for individuals who work in the District of Columbia (“the District” or “D.C.”) and businesses operating in D.C.  It will be effective after Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature, inaction, or, if vetoed, a Council override, and a 30-day Congressional review.
Continue Reading D.C. Council Passes Expansive Family and Medical Leave Bill

Last month, Cook County passed an ordinance requiring employers in the County to provide eligible employees with certain paid sick leave benefits.  The ordinance largely mirrors a recent amendment to the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance, which was passed in July 2016.  Both are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017, and a new Illinois law pertaining to sick pay benefits is set to take effect on January 1, 2017.

Cook County’s ordinance applies to employees throughout the county except where a home rule municipality has passed its own sick leave law. So far, Chicago is the only home rule municipality in the County to have done so, although some other cities in Cook County have expressed an intent to potentially opt out of the ordinance. In addition to these two new ordinances, the state of Illinois has also passed a new law that extends sick pay benefits to family members of employees.


Continue Reading Dissecting New Sick Leave Laws in Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago

In Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, the California Court of Appeal held that California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) – which requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities – now requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees who are associated with a disabled person.  This is an unprecedented decision and will likely to be appealed.  Until that time, employers should train supervisors to seek assistance from human resources when making accommodations decisions, and to treat any such decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Continue Reading Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express: The Reasonable Accommodation of an Employee’s Family

April 2016 has proven fruitful for California employees.  Last month, Governor Brown approved a series of gradual increases raising the statewide minimum wage rate in California to at least $15.00 by 2022.  A week later the Governor approved Assembly Bill No. 908, which revises the income-based formula to calculate benefits for a leave of absence covered by either California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) or State Disability Income (SDI) programs for leave periods commencing on or after January 1, 2018. 
Continue Reading Onward and Upward – California’s Minimum Wage And Paid Family Leave Benefits Set To Increase Substantially Over The Next Few Years