Photo of Kelly Hensley

Kelly L. Hensley is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. She is Practice Group Leader of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. Kelly specializes in labor and employment counseling and wage and hour matters.

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.

 Coronavirus, Worker Retention
Continue Reading The City of Los Angeles Passes Worker Retention Ordinance for Certain Employers

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

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 Los Angeles County Enacts Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective Immediately

California and Los Angeles currently require covered employers to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave benefits.  Effective immediately, the City of Los Angeles now requires employers that have either 500 or more employees in the City or 2,000 or more employees nationally to provide supplemental paid sick leave of up to two weeks (80 hours) for reasons related to COVID-19.
Continue Reading The City of Los Angeles Mandates Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Effective Immediately

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, millions of United States workers are under government orders to stay at home.  However, many businesses considered “essential critical infrastructure” continue to operate and their employees are needed to work.  Many of those businesses are administering health tests like temperature checks to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and the public.  When quarantine restrictions eventually lift, businesses will reopen and employers may choose to screen employees before returning to work.  In a question and answer format, this article discusses the intersection of laws that require employers to maintain a safe work environment with an employee’s right to privacy.

According to the World Health Organization, the primary symptoms of coronavirus include fever, tiredness and dry cough.  Other reported symptoms may include shortness of breath, aches and pains, sore throat, nausea, runny nose and loss of smell or taste.  Temperature checks are currently the most common form of workplace testing.  As we learn more about the virus, other forms of inquiries or testing may arise.
Continue Reading Employee Privacy Forecast: Temperature Checks

The California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (Labor Code Section 1400 et seq.) sets forth procedural requirements that a covered employer must follow prior to a mass layoff, relocation, or termination.  On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-20, concerning COVID-19 and the conditional suspension of certain requirements under California WARN.  The Order can be found here, and you can read our prior analysis about the Order’s effect on commercial drivers here.  Governor Newsom ordered the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to provide guidance about the suspension of the WARN requirements.
Continue Reading California Issues Guidance on Conditional Suspension of California WARN Act Notice Requirements

Massachusetts issued a revised Essential Services and Revised Gatherings Order that goes into effect at noon on March 24, 2020.  The Order is set forth here.  The Order requires that all businesses and organizations that do NOT provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” are to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public from Tuesday March 24, 2020 at noon until Tuesday April 7, 2020 at noon.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Statewide Essential Services and Revised Gathering Order: What Employers Need to Know

Ohio issued a Stay at Home Order that goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020.  It will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless rescinded or modified.  The Order is set forth here.  Like many other states, the Order generally includes the following directives:
Continue Reading Ohio’s Statewide Stay At Home Order: What Employers Need to Know

Sheppard Mullin is committed to providing employers with updated information regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace.  In light of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration this week that COVID-19 qualifies as a pandemic, it is more important than ever for employers to prepare and understand the various laws at issue.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Guidelines in 2009 (“2009 Guidelines”) that were designed to help employers deal with H1N1.  These Guidelines address how employers can deal with the realities of a pandemic while complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Significantly, the EEOC recently indicated that its 2009 Guidelines remain relevant today in connection with the current pandemic.
Continue Reading Employers Must Consider the ADA and Other Disability Laws When Confronted With a Pandemic

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