Tag Archives: Epstein Becker & Green

Benefits Guidance in the Time of COVID-19: Return-to-Work

Many U.S. businesses are starting to prepare for phased returns to the workplace. Employers’ planning should consider the impact that various return-to-work approaches may have on their employee benefits and compensation programs and, in addition, how some innovative employee benefits and compensation programs may enhance workplace morale and productivity by assisting employees transitioning back to the workplace. The following summarizes some of the important benefits and compensation issues to keep in mind as employees return-to-work.

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Los Angeles City Council Passes Ordinances Regarding Right to Recall and Worker Retention

On April 29, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council simultaneously passed two ordinances in response to COVID-19 that could potentially have long lasting and far reaching impacts on applicable businesses: the Right of Recall Ordinance and the Worker Retention Ordinance. The Mayor has until May 11, 2020, to act on both of the ordinances. These ordinances, pending approval of the Mayor, will be effective 31 days from their publication date.

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The U.S. DOL Issues COVID-19 Related WARN Act FAQs

The COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to limit its spread caused a sudden and dramatic shutdown of large sections of the U.S. economy.  Governmental shelter in place orders requiring non-essential businesses to temporarily close forced untold numbers of businesses to furlough or terminate most, and in many cases all, of their employees with little or no warning. For larger employers, mass layoffs and terminations of operations such as these, would normally trigger notification requirements under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act (as well as state WARN-type laws, where applicable).

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Texas Governor Issues Executive Order to Begin Phase One of Reopening Texas: What Employers Need to Know

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Gregory Abbott announced Phase One of his much anticipated plan to reopen Texas, while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.  Governor Abbott accompanied his announcement by issuing Texas Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas (“Report”), and Executive Order No. GA-18 (“EO GA-18” or “Order”), pursuant to which all retail stores, restaurants[1], movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries are allowed to reopen on Friday, May 1, 2020, with a 25% occupancy limitation.  Within shopping malls and museums, all interactive areas must remain closed, as well as food-court dining and play areas.  EO GA-18 allows for increased occupancy limits of up to 50% in rural areas and counties with five or fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19, as verified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”).

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EEOC Adds COVID-19 Testing Guidance to Its Technical Assistance on COVID-19 and Anti-Discrimination Laws

On the heels of adding Return to Work guidance to its technical assistance for employers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Law” (discussed  here),  on April 23, 2020 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued an update addressing COVID-19 testing by employers. This latest guidance acknowledges that COVID-19 presents a direct threat to the health of others sufficient to justify testing.  It cautions, however, that employers should only use tests that are “accurate and reliable.” Specifically the FAQ states:

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Video: The COVID-19 Labor Market Imbalance – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sudden imbalance in the labor market. While many employers are implementing layoffs or furloughs, other “essential” businesses are searching for additional employees to meet demand. Attorneys Nathaniel Glasser and Ian Carleton Schaefer discuss how employers can use creative approaches to address this imbalance. Read more about the strategies for employers (subscription required).

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Special Immigration Alert: President Trump Temporarily Suspends Immigration; Canada Extends Non-Essential Travel Ban

President Trump Signs Executive Order to “Temporarily Suspend Immigration into the United States”

On April 20, 2020, President Trump tweeted, “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” The vague tweet triggered many questions and concerns as to the scope of the immigration suspension and the impact it would have on many foreign nationals and their respective U.S. employers.

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California Governor Mandates Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers at Companies with 500 or More Employees

On April 16, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-51-20  (“Executive Order”), mandating supplemental paid sick leave for food sector workers at companies (i.e., “Hiring Entities”) with 500 or more employees. The Executive Order should help fill a gap for essential food sector workers left open under the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) (previously discussed here).

The Executive Order is effective immediately and remains effective during any statewide stay-at-home order. Like the recently enacted Supplemental paid sick leave under the Executive Order ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council larger employers in the food sector must quickly become familiar with this order.

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FDA Authorizes the First Home Collection of Specimens to be Tested for COVID-19

As an update to our prior blog post, on April 20, 2020 FDA announced the authorization of the first COVID-19 test for home collection of specimens. This announcement, made via the Agency’s FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 webpage, comes after weeks of FDA reporting that it has been working closely with manufacturers on such a test during the weekly Virtual Town Hall Meetings hosted by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. FDA clarifies that the test is only authorized for home collection of specimens to be sent back to a laboratory for processing. FDA still has not authorized a COVID-19 test “to be completely used and processed at home.”

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Governor Murphy Signs Various Bills into Law Seeking to Help Business Operations and Health Care Providers

Governor Murphy signed a number of bills into law on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 to help mitigate various negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The selection below illustrates new laws that specifically seek to facilitate the running of certain business operations as well as help licensed professionals, which may be of interest to a wide array of health care providers.

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