Tag Archives: EpsteinBeckerGreen

Rule 7: Be Prepared to Improvise – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 7 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.

What can jazz teach us about COVID-19? What lessons can we learn from the great masters like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington at this very moment?

As it turns out—a lot.

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Justice Ginsberg’s Multi-Generational Impact

I knew Justice Ginsburg had been seriously ill, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I heard the news of her passing. But it was still a big shock, and tears started falling. I thought to myself, “I don’t even personally know her—why am I crying?” It was because of all that she represented. She was truly inspirational. She had a tough life—losing her mother at a young age and trying to get her foot in the door and succeed in a male-dominated profession, not to mention numerous serious health issues. Yet she persevered, and she became a “first” in so many ways, even in death—being the first woman and first Jewish American to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

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Time Is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on … Ensuring You Don’t Inadvertently Convert Mandatory Charges into Gratuities for Staff

Many employers may—understandably—view gratuities as discretionary payments that customers leave in exchange for superior service.  After all, federal wage and hour regulations define “tips” as “sum[s] presented by a customer as a gift or gratuity in recognition of some service performed.”  29 C.F.R. § 531.52 (emphasis supplied).  The regulations also state that “compulsory charge[s] for service” are not tips.  29 C.F.R. § 531.55 (emphasis supplied).

But in some cases, a mandatory charge may qualify as a tip that employers must distribute to staff under state or local law.

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Connecticut Extends Deadline to Conduct Sexual Harassment Training Until January 1, 2021

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”) recently extended the deadline for employers to provide sexual harassment training for their employees, from October 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CHRO announcement is available here.

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Video: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Leaves Behind a Legacy – Employment Law This Week

As featured on #WorkforceWednesday:  Like many of you, this week, we are honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and reflecting on her employment law legacy. See the video below.

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International Challenges to Dismissing Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Outside of the United States, terminating employees can be difficult even in “normal” times.  The concept of “at-will” employment is uniquely American, and generally, employers in non-US jurisdictions only may terminate employment for “cause” or for other statutorily permitted reasons.  Moreover, terminated employees in many countries are entitled to statutory notice, severance and other benefits, which is far more the exception than the rule for US employees.

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California Governor Signs Law Expanding Job-Protected Family Leave

On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1383 (“SB 1383“), expanding job-protected family leave for employees of companies with five or more employees. Previously, only employees of companies with 20 or more employees were entitled to these protections. According to the Governor’s office, this law, which becomes effective January 1, 2021, will expand job-protected family leave to nearly six million additional Californians.

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California Governor Signs Law Mandating Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Companies with 500 or More Employees

On September 9, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867 (“AB 1867”), mandating supplemental paid sick leave for employees of companies with 500 or more employees. AB 1867 fills gaps left open by the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) (previously discussed here) and the Executive Order signed by Newson on April 22, 2020, which only applied to essential food workers (previously discussed here).

The sick leave portions of the law are effective immediately and covered employers must make the leave available no later than September 19, 2020.

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New York Paid Family Leave Benefits and Employee Contributions Set to Increase January 1, 2021

As we approach the last quarter of 2020 and the business community begins to plan ahead for 2021, New York employers should be aware of the changes coming to the New York Paid Family Leave (“NYPFL”) program. On January 1, 2021, the amount of employee contributions, the number of weeks of leave and benefits, and the amount of weekly benefits granted under the program are scheduled to increase. This will be the last of three annual increases in weekly benefits.

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Rule 6: If You’re Sick, Stay Home – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 6 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.

Simple in theory. Challenging in practice.

While we all intuitively know that we should stay home when we are feeling unwell, a fall 2019 survey suggests just the opposite—that approximately 90% of workers generally “push through” and come to work anyway. The reality is that employees come to work when they are sick for a myriad of reasons: to stay atop long to-do lists, meet production goals, because they think the business would crumble without them, or that somehow taking a sick day and staying home might be a sign of weakness. Given the current environment, there is also the very real financial reality and concern of missing a day’s worth of pay, particularly for those in economically vulnerable positions.

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