As we reported, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new healthcare worker minimum wage ordinance, increasing the minimum wage for healthcare workers at private healthcare facilities in Los Angeles to $25.00 per hour. Similarly, the Downey City Council approved its own citywide healthcare worker minimum wage ordinance. For the moment, however, both ordinances are on pause. The Los Angeles ordinance would have gone into effect on August 13, 2022, and the Downey ordinance would have become effective on August 11, 2022.
Healthcare Worker Minimum Wage Increase Put on Hold in Los Angeles and Downey but May Soon Take Effect in Two Other California Cities
CDC Eliminates Quarantine Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure
After two and a half years of promoting protocols aimed at reducing transmission of coronavirus, on August 11, 2022, the CDC eliminated its recommendation that people quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and updated other recommendations. In recognition of how vaccination, boosters, and improved treatments have the reduced risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, the CDC has “streamlined” its guidance regarding what actions people should take to protect themselves and others if they are exposed to COVID-19, become sick, or test positive for the virus. The CDC now recommends that instead of needing to quarantine, someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 only needs to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days. During the 10-day masking period, individuals (regardless of vaccination status) should monitor their symptoms and get tested after five days, regardless of symptoms.
Michigan Court Stays Minimum Wage Increase and Sick Pay Change until February 2023
Pursuant to two voter initiatives, Michigan has a new minimum wage of $12 per hour, as well as a requirement that employees be provided up to 72 hours of paid sick leave – but those changes will not go into effect until February 19, 2023.
In 2018, two initiatives – the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (2018 PA 368) and the Earned Sick Time Act (2018 PA 369) – were presented to the Michigan legislature. The wage initiative raised the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022. The paid sick time initiative required most employers to provide up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year.
Biden Administration Seeks to Clarify Patient Privacy Protections Post-Dobbs, Though Questions Remain
On July 8, two weeks following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson that invalidated the constitutional right to abortion, President Biden signed Executive Order 14076 (E.O.). The E.O. directed federal agencies to take various actions to protect access to reproductive health care services, including directing the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “consider actions” to strengthen the protection of sensitive healthcare information, including data on reproductive healthcare services like abortion, by issuing new guidance under the Health Insurance and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Reminder: Amendments to Colorado Noncompete Law Take Effect Today
As we have previously reported, the Colorado Assembly passed sweeping changes to the state’s noncompete law that, among other things, (1) set compensation floors for enforcement of both noncompetes ($101,250) and customer non-solicitation agreements ($60,750), which will be adjusted annually based on inflation; (2) require a separate, standalone notice to employees before a new or prospective worker accepts an offer of employment, or at least 14 days before the earlier of: (a) the effective date of the restrictions, or (b) the effective date of any additional compensation or changes in the terms or conditions of employment that provide consideration for the restriction, for existing workers; and (3) prohibit the inclusion of out-of-state choice-of-law and venue provisions. Those amendments take effect today, August 10, 2022.
Compliance with these amendments is even more important due to a prior amendment, effective earlier this year, which provides that violations of Colorado’s noncompete law can subject employers to criminal liability (a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries possible punishment of 120 days in prison, a $750 fine per violation, or both), as well as hefty fines and possible injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees to aggrieved workers.
NJDCR Adopts New and Amended Regulations Regarding Required Workplace Posters
On August 1, 2022, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) adopted new and amended regulations concerning the “Display of Official Posters of the Division on Civil Rights,” which require employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodation to prominently display “in places easily visible” to those who would be affected by violations of these laws, posters created by DCR to inform individuals and covered entities of their rights and obligations under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA).
New York State Tacks on an Extra Year to Its Paid Vaccination Leave Law
Back in March 2021, when it wasn’t easy for many people to get an appointment for an inoculation against COVID-19, New York State created an incentive for employees to get vaccinated. A new provision was added to the Labor Law, requiring employers to provide paid leave time to employees to obtain each dose. As we previously noted, this statute was intended to sunset on December 31, 2022. However, as this year’s busy legislative session wound down, a bill extending the provision was delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed off on a 12-month extension of the law’s effective date, through December 31, 2023. Thus, New York employers will be required to provide their employees up to four hours of paid time off for each COVID-19 shot through (at least) the end of next year.
Unpacking Averages: Assessing Whether FDA’s Breakthrough Device Designation Is Helpful
You might be thinking, that’s an odd title: obviously FDA’s breakthrough device designation is helpful. However, after looking at the data, my conclusion is that I would avoid the breakthrough device designation for any product that qualifies for the 510(k) process. The process is likely not helpful for such devices.
Healthcare Noncompete Laws Get a Checkup in Four States and the District of Columbia
As readers of this blog likely know, many states have entirely different statutory schemes for noncompetes in the healthcare industry. Indeed, while 47 states generally permit noncompetes, more than a dozen expressly prohibit or limit them in certain sectors of the healthcare industry – typically for patient-facing clinicians.
For example, in Massachusetts, noncompetes are not permissible in “[a]ny contract or agreement which creates or establishes the terms of a partnership, employment, or any other form of professional relationship with a physician registered to practice medicine . . . , which includes any restriction of the right of such physician to practice medicine in any geographic area for any period of time after the termination of such partnership, employment or professional relationship.” The same restriction applies to Massachusetts nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
Video: New COVID-19 Testing Guidance, NLRB Increases Use of Injunctive Relief, D.C. Amends Near-Universal Ban on Non-Competes – Employment Law This Week
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we update you on new COVID-19 guidance and union organizing and non-compete trends at the federal and local levels.
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