North America

Modified CDC guidance offers employers options for quarantining

Under revised guidance issued on Dec. 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided new options for shorter quarantine periods due to COVID-19 exposure. These new quarantine alternatives will provide some relief to employers dealing with staffing shortages due to quarantining employees.  Read more…

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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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New CDC guidance states that masks also protect the wearer

In the ever changing world of virus control, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has once again pivoted from its previous guidance indicating that mask wearing protected others from infection. Now recent CDC guidance provides that mask wearing also protects the wearer from COVID-19 infection. The guidance provides in pertinent part: Read more…

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Stay at Home Tonight Order and House Bill 404 aimed at combating virus

During the week of Nov. 16, 2020, the state of Ohio has seen an average of 7,618 COVID-19 cases per day, a 71 percent increase from two weeks earlier. Both Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have introduced new orders and bills to combat the increased and ongoing effects of the pandemic. 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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Overview of the DOJ 2020 Health Care Fraud Takedown

Our colleague Melissa L. Jampol of Epstein Becker Green has a new post on the Commercial Litigation Update blog that will be interest to our readers: “Opioids, Sober Homes and ‘Telefraud’: An Overview of the DOJ 2020 Healthcare Fraud Takedown.”

The following is an excerpt:

As we have previously reported, opioids have been a large focus of DOJ in the past few years in an attempt to stem the opioid epidemic through increased enforcement and this takedown is a continuation of those efforts. DOJ stated that the charges involved in the opioid-related takedown involved the submission of $800 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and private insurance companies for treatments that were allegedly medically unnecessary and often never provided. DOJ also continued the trend of charging medical professionals with the illegal distribution of opioids (or operating pill mills). Providers need to be mindful of safe opioid prescribing guidelines, develop and implement rigorous compliance programs, and keep up to date on ever shifting federal and state laws in this area.

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The Ransomware Pandemic Rages On: Tips and Tools to Mitigate Risk

Ransomware basics

Ransomware is a serious form of cyber extortion that employs malware to prevent users from accessing their systems or data, either by locking the system or encrypting critical files until a ransom is paid. The hacker holds the key to unlock the system and usually demands payment in cryptocurrency.

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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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