Labor & Employment

U.S. DOL Provides Guidance on Employers’ Obligation to Compensate Remote Workers

Prompted by the many new telework or remote work arrangements that have arisen in response to COVID-19, on August 24, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 (“Bulletin”) to provide guidance regarding employers’ obligation “to exercise reasonable diligence in tracking teleworking employees’ hours of work.” The guidance, which includes citations to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the DOL’s interpretive regulations, and federal case law, does not break new ground; rather it offers reminders particularly applicable to teleworking and remote working employees and applies beyond COVID-19 telework arrangements.

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Video: Should Employers Mandate COVID-19 Liability Waivers? – Employment Law This Week

Featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  As employers plan for workers to return to work, utilizing COVID-19 liability waivers is one idea that businesses are thoroughly considering. Attorney Jimmy Oh discusses the risks and effectiveness of these waivers.

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As Schools Reopen, U.S. Department of Labor Issues FAQs on Childcare Leave Under the FFCRA

The beginning of the school year has added to a mire of uncertainty of how to manage work and family in our current COVID-19 world. Some schools have reopened to full-time in-person classes, while others have adopted full-time remote learning; still others have opted a hybrid model that mixes the two, and some give parent the choice of whether to send their children to school or have them login. Added to this, decisions once made are subject to reversal, if new COVID-19 cases enter the picture.  So now, on top of everything else that the COVID-19 crisis has affected, working parents must try to figure out how to manage their children’s education, while trying to maintain their financial security. And, as always, employers need to remain mindful of their compliance obligations.

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Rule 2: Keep Your Mask On – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 2 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19. 

Who would have believed that months into this global pandemic, after the innumerable and unspeakable loss to human life, to global economies, and to our own sense of selves and normalcy – that the relatively straightforward issue of whether to wear a mask to curb the spread of this virus would remain such a hot button topic.  And yet, here we are.

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FURLOUGH SCHEME: ERRORS AND PENALTIES

HMRC has published new guidance on what to do if you have made an error in a claim under the furlough scheme and claimed too much or too little. There is also new guidance on penalties which apply in cases of overpayment.

If an employer has claimed too little for an employee under the scheme, they can inform HMRC and amend the claim. However, since 31st July 2020 claims cannot be amended for the period up to 30th June 2020 where an employee should have been included in a claim before that date. However, the guidance indicates that other errors can still be rectified. The guidance also confirms that where too little has been claimed in error, the employer must pay the employee what they were due and make up any shortfall. Read more…

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CHANGES TO FURLOUGH SCHEME IN COMING MONTHS

In our previous newsletters we have discussed the furlough scheme (or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). We are now entering the last three months of the scheme, in which there will be further changes to how it operates. From the 1st July, employers have been able to place employees on ‘flexible furlough’ where they return to work part time and are furloughed on the remainder of their usual working days. Read more…

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Rule 1: Don’t Rush In Without a Plan – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 1 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19. 

As Labor Day approaches, with schools reopening (in some form or fashion), and as we approach the end of our collective bandwidth for Zoom meetings, much time and attention has been spent discussing how and when to finally “return to work.”

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U.S. DOL Issues Additional Guidance on COVID-19 and FLSA, FMLA and FFCRA Rules

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new FAQs addressing requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as employees return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The DOL has stated that work performed remotely is treated the same as work performed at the primary worksite for purposes of compensability. Employers must compensate nonexempt employees for all hours of telework actually performed, including overtime work, provided that the employer knew or had reason to believe the work was performed. This includes unauthorized hours worked and unreported hours by an employee when an employer knew or had reason to believe that the work was performed. Read more…

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UPDATE: CERB EXTENDED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NEW EI BENEFITS

The federal government announced on Thursday, August 20, 2020 new income support measures as individuals are transitioned off of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (the “CERB“). These income support measures include an extension to the CERB, adjusted eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits, and new benefit programs.

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Connecticut Governor Lamont Strengthens Workers’ Compensation Claims for Workers Affected by COVID-19

On July 24, 2020, Connecticut Governor Lamont issued Executive Order JJJ (“E.O. JJJ”), which creates a presumption that employees who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it at work and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Pursuant to E.O. JJJ, there shall be a “rebuttable presumption” that an employee, who makes a claim for benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and who missed one or more days of work between March 10, 2020 and May 20, 2020, inclusive, due to a diagnosis of COVID-19 or symptoms that were diagnosed as COVID-19, contracted COVID-19 as an occupational disease arising in the course of his or her employment. The following four conditions must be met for the rebuttable presumption to apply:

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