The Ninth Circuit and the California legislature recently updated employer leave requirements, impacting California employers.  The Ninth Circuit recently handed down two decisions regarding leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), including a decision concerning what constitutes a “workweek” for FMLA purposes.  Additionally, as of January 1, 2021, smaller employers in California will have to grant 12 weeks of leave under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”).  Employers should consider these changes as they update their leave policies, especially as employees may take more extended leaves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading California Employers Should Be Aware of Updates to Leave Requirements

The New York State Paid Sick Leave law (“NYSPSL”) and the amendments to the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave law (“ESSTA”) expanding employees’ paid sick leave entitlements
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules: New York Employees May Begin Taking Paid Sick Leave January 1, 2021

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) is a federal law that applies to nearly all employers in the United States.  In the wake of COVID-19, there are numerous issues implicating the NLRA, including but not limited to employees engaging in protected concerted activities including work stoppages, the potential duty to bargain with unions concerning COVID-19 programs/policies, layoffs and plant closures in response to government directives and orders, union information requests, and union inspections.  The COVID-19 outbreak presents a virtually unprecedented situation for employers.  The appropriate responses to these issues depend on a variety of different factors, including the timing, specific employer, the particular industry involved, the employer’s collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”), and the status of guidance and orders from federal, state and local governments and agencies concerning COVID-19 (with guidance and recommendations not necessarily having the same weight as orders and laws).  Whereas a particular response may be appropriate for healthcare employers, airlines, employers in the supply chain, or employers impacted by “stay at home” orders (like in California), that same response may not be appropriate for other industries and employers.
Continue Reading Labor Issues Concerning COVID-19 and Government “Stay at Home” Orders

On March 16, 2020, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the Workers and Families First Program, which will provide paid sick leave to private sector workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The plan includes $10 million in public funding that will provide businesses and nonprofits with financial assistance to provide an additional five days of sick leave pay to workers beyond their existing policies.
Continue Reading City of San Francisco to Provide Paid Sick Leave for Private Sector Workers Impacted by COVID-19

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

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