North America

Rule 4: No Touching – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 4 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.

We have said this before, but we will say it again: in the workplace, there should be no touching – ever. The COVID-19 pandemic just provides another reason to follow the advice we give in the anti-harassment context, that employees should maintain distance and not touch others.

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Rule 3: Wash Your Hands – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 3 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.

Whether physically in the office or not, regularly washing your hands should already be a routine practice. However, this innate rule is especially important, and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”), to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to maintain safe, healthy and respectful workplaces.

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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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False Claims Act Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Earlier this summer, Ethan P. Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) delivered remarks addressing DOJ’s top priorities for enforcement actions related to COVID-19 and indicating that DOJ plans to “vigorously pursue fraud and other illegal activity.”[1] As discussed below, Davis’s remarks not only highlighted principles that will guide enforcement efforts of the Civil Fraud Section under the False Claims Act (FCA) and of the Consumer Protection Branch (CPB) under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), they also provide an indication of how DOJ might approach enforcement over the next few years.

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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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COVID-19: Time to Go Over Your Estate Planning, According To Marilyn Piccini Roy

August 27, 2020 — The pandemic is both the reason and the occasion to re-examine one’s estate planning, as suggested by Marilyn Piccini Roy, Ad. E., in “Estate planning during a pandemic”. In this piece published by the Bequests and Planned Gifts Service of McGill University, Marilyn explains that the pandemic has alerted certain people to the necessity of having a look at their wills and given them the free time to review them.

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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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