Tag Archives: Epstein Becker & Green

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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Update: Business Interruption Insurance in the Time of COVID-19

On March 23, 2020, shortly after the Governors of California, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey issued orders closing non-essential businesses, we recommended that businesses review their insurance policies to determine if they had either business interruption coverage or civil authority coverage that might be available to lessen the economic blow of COVID-19.  As explained here, business interruption coverage generally allows a business to recover certain losses in the event that the business suffers physical damage or loss that prevents it from operating its business, whereas civil authority coverage, generally allows a business to recover losses when it a civil authority issues an order that closes a business or prevents it from normal operations.  We also recommended that businesses submit any claims expeditiously because virtually all policies require policy holders to submit claims “promptly,” and the failure to do so provides a basis to deny a claim.

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NJ Gov. Murphy Issues Further COVID-19-Related Orders Applicable to Essential Businesses and New Jersey Transit/Transportation Carriers to Protect Customers and Employees

On April 8, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 122 (“Order 122”) requiring certain businesses that are permitted to remain open (as set forth in his prior Executive Order 107, about which we wrote about here, and other prior Orders) take specific steps to protect employees and customers from COVID-19, and directing the cessation of all non-essential construction projects.  Three days later, on April 11, 2020, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 125 (“Order 125”) requiring NJ Transit and private bus and rail companies to limit rider capacity and to take other protective steps, and requiring face masks and other protections where customers enter bars and restaurants for take-out service.

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$100 Billion Emergency Fund for Providers Under the CARES Act: New Guidance and Terms & Conditions of Acceptance

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) provided additional details regarding its plan to provide billions in relief to providers in an effort to off-set healthcare-related expenses resulting from the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak.

Passed into law on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also called the “CARES Act”, provided $100 billion in funding for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (the “Fund”). The Fund is a pre-existing resource overseen by the Office of Financial Planning & Analysis within HHS. The $100 billion added via the CARES Act was made available to qualifying healthcare providers to reimburse them for “health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to [COVID-19]”. The CARES Act stipulated that the $100 billion would be made available to public entities, Medicare or Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers and other entities as may be further specified in regulations or guidance, provided that any such provider must “provide diagnoses, testing or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19”. Monies received from the Fund may not be used to cover expenses that have already been reimbursed through other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse. Little other detail regarding the funding or mechanism for disbursal was provided in the CARES Act itself.

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Brazil and India Act to Protect Employers and Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the global workplace and international employer-employee relations in profound ways. As COVID-19 continues to spread, countries are enacting legislation and issuing guidance to support employers and employees as they confront the global crisis. In particular, Brazil, with a population of over 211 million, and India, with a population of approximately 1.3 billion, each has enacted measures to combat the ongoing economic and financial troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Video: Cybersecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Employment Law This Week®

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: With all the challenges businesses are facing, it is hard to stay focused on data security. Hackers see the newly remote workforce as an opportunity, and phishing attacks are on the rise. Employers can fight back in a few ways:

  • Educate employees.
  • Update training materials and work-from-home policies.
  • Get security patches to employee devices quickly.
  • Update your data breach response plan and communicate it.
  • Remind your employees to help keep data secure by password-protecting devices with strong passwords and protecting sensitive information from others near their remote working location.
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