Labor & Employment

Employment Law Update

The Government have published an updated Return to Work Safely Protocol, extended the triggered redundancy protection period, and issued a Remote Working Checklist to assist employers in their health and safety obligations to employees working from home. We also outline the benefits of digitising HR records.

The ‘Work Safely Protocol’

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NEW CA LAW EXPANDS REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDING FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

In the latest expansion of California’s family and medical leave law, effective January 1, 2021, employers with five or more employees will be required to provide unpaid family and medical leave to qualifying employees. The new law, SB 1383, also allows employees to take protected leave to care for an expanded set of family members under circumstances beyond what the earlier version of the law provided.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the country, this new law will be particularly impactful as California employees may increasingly seek leave to care for themselves and their family members. Read more…

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Video: NY Travel Advisory Changes, CA’s COVID-19 Exposure Notice, Executive Order Reversals – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This episode looks at how workplace guidance is changing as COVID-19 surges and the executive orders most likely to be reversed by the new administration.

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Maryland Update: Governor Hogan Announces Additional COVID-19 Restrictions

Just one week after ordering new business restrictions to combat the recent surge of COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan announced further mitigation measures in Maryland that will dial back business operations.

On November 17, 2020, Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-11-17-01, which amends and restates Executive Order 20-11-10-01 (which we previously summarized here).  The amended order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020.

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Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Updates: Three Week “Pause” and Office-Based Enforcement

Michigan recently announced two COVID-19 developments that will impact employers and their workplaces.  Most recently, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued new restrictions for business operations in the state that are set to take effect on November 18 and last through December 8, 2020 (the “Three Week Pause Order”).  The Three Week Pause Order followed an announcement late last week by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) of a State Emphasis Program (SEP) focused on in-door activities and venues, including office settings.  The Three Week Pause Order and SEP announcements also include an important reminder to employers of the potential liabilities and penalties if they violate the State’s COVID-19 safety requirements.

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Furlough Extended: What are the rules?

As you may be aware, on Saturday 31st October 2020 the UK government announced that, in light of the new lockdown being introduced in England, the furlough scheme is being extended for a further month and will now end in December 2020. This means that the Job Support Scheme previously announced will be postponed and come into effect once the extended furlough ends.

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Video: Pandemic’s Impact on Women and Caregivers: A Wake-Up Call for Employers – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayEmployers fear that the COVID-19 pandemic could undo recent progress towards workforce equity, with women and caregivers leaving the workforce in droves. Flexible time off, remote work policies, and employee benefits, like on-site child care, are just a few options employers can deploy to retain female talent. Learn more about the legal issues.

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Evolving Considerations for Multinational Employers: COVID-19 Contact Tracing Applications

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect workplaces throughout the world, employers are considering new ways to ensure a safe workplace when employees return to the office. Outside the US, employers must balance their duty of care to protect the health and safety of all their employees with safeguarding employees’ privacy and complying with data protection regulations. Many employers already have analyzed whether they may require or request employees to (i) submit to COVID-19 testing at the workplace, (ii) certify certain health information regarding exposure to COVID-19 and (iii) wear a face covering in the workplace. Another relatively recent development employers outside the US may wish to consider is whether they may require or request employees to download a COVID-19 contact tracing application to their smartphones to track employees’ movements and contacts to enable employers to alert employees if they have been exposed to a co-worker with COVID-19.

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Don’t Be Spooked: D.C. COVID-19 Leave Law Is in Effect and Will Be Enforced

As COVID-19 cases once again surge across the country, Washington, D.C. employers must remember to provide both paid and unpaid leave under the new District of Columbia Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-130) (the “Act”).  Although passed in July 2020, the Act formally became effective on October 9, 2020 and will remain in effect through the end of the declared COVID-19 public health emergency—currently December 31, 2021.  The law repeals the emergency laws that we previously blogged about, but carries over the additional obligations to provide employees with paid and unpaid leave for COVID-19-related reasons.  We have summarized both provisions below.

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JOB SUPPORT SCHEME IN DETAIL

The government recently announced a new Job Support Scheme to take effect on 1st November 2020. Originally announced at the end of September, it was extended to support businesses required to close and, as of last week, has been updated to reduce the costs to employers.

The new scheme will have two strands. The first is a general scheme, known as the Job Support Scheme Open (JSS Open) which will provide support to pay the wages of employees who are working reduced hours.

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