Tag Archives: COVID-19

Mother of All Presumptions 2.0: Expanding Workers Compensation Benefits to Employees That Test Positive for COVID-19

Effective immediately, Senate Bill (SB) 1159 is a new California law that establishes presumptions about workers’ compensation benefits for employees who contract COVID-19.  This article explains in a series of questions and answers what employers need to know about workers’ compensation under this new law if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.… Continue Reading

Enactment of AB 685 Establishes COVID-19 Exposure Notice Requirements for California Employers and Cal/OSHA Enforcement Changes

On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 685 into law, establishing new requirements for employers to notify employees and their unions about a potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.  The new law, which will be in effect from January 1, 2021, until January 1, 2023, also requires employers to report a COVID-19 … Continue Reading

GC Finds Merit in COVID-19 Related ULP Cases in GC Memo 20-14

On September 18, the Board’s GC issued GC Memo 20-14, entitled Summaries of Advice Merit Determinations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Issues for the purpose of giving the public a better understanding of the GC’s approach to COVID-19 related issues.  What emerges is a clear message—while the pandemic can impact certain obligations under the National … Continue Reading

The Board Weighs In on the COVID Mail Ballot Controversy

Did an NLRB’s Regional Director abuse her discretion when she directed a mail ballot election instead of an in-person (manual) ballot election during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Though not getting the attention it deserves, this is an extremely important issue going to the very integrity of the Board’s representation process.  Manual balloting has long been the … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases More Employer-Friendly COVID Advice

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 … Continue Reading

Navigating Business Travel Through the Pandemic

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 … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Vacates Several Portions of DOL Regulations Regarding FFCRA Leave

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

With Immunity and Justice For All? Congress Weighs Unparalleled Tort Reform for Businesses in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

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

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

Overview of Recent Updates for Employers in the Commercial Trucking Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the central role local and long haul trucking companies and drivers play in the overall U.S. economy and specifically our public health infrastructure.  Now, as states and businesses around the country gradually reopen and truck deliveries begin to ramp up, employers in the commercial trucking industry should be aware of … 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
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