Tag Archives: EpsteinBeckerGreen

NYC Updates Face Covering FAQs for Indoor Activities

On July 13, 2020, the New York City Health Department released a COVID-19 Face Coverings Frequently Asked Questions document (“FAQs”), encouraging anyone in New York City to wear a face covering in any indoor setting that is not their home, even if proper social distancing, i.e., 6 feet of separation, can be maintained.  The recommendation comes as the City continues to reopen and more people are returning to the workplace.

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Opinion Letters on the Outside Sales, Administrative, and 7(i) Exemptions, as Well as the Status of Third-Party Payments as Wages

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a challenge to employers nationwide, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) continues to field non-COVID-related wage and hour questions.  On June 25, 2020, the WHD issued five new opinion letters addressing the outside sales, administrative, and retail or service establishment exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), as well as the relationship between third-party payments to workers and the FLSA’s minimum wage requirement.  Employers should take note of these useful explanations of key FLSA concepts.

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New York State Executive Order Requires Out-of-State Travelers to Quarantine and Amends Covid-19 Sick Leave Law

One June 15, 2020 and June 24, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued two Executive Orders (“EO”) numbers 202.45 and 205, which address COVID-19 travel-related restrictions. EO 202.45 temporarily modifies New York State’s pandemic-related Sick Leave Law to prohibit employees from receiving paid sick leave benefits if, as of June 25, 2020, they travel to a “restricted state” for non-work related reasons and contract COVID-19. EO 205 (the “Travel Advisory”) imposes a 14-day quarantine requirement on travelers from a “restricted state” entering New York. For the purposes of both orders, a “restricted state” is a state with a COVID-19 positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate, over a seven day rolling average, based on data provided by the states.

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FDA to Resume Domestic Inspections with New Safety Measures after Temporary Pause Due to COVID-19 Health and Safety Concerns

On March 18, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the suspension of all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections until further notice. FDA took this measure to protect the health and well-being of its staff and those who conduct the inspections for the agency under contract at the state level, and due to industry concerns regarding visitors. During this interim period, the FDA conducted only a limited number of mission critical inspections using a risk-based approach. On July 10, 2020, FDA announced its plans to resume on-site inspections during the week of July 20th with the assistance of a newly developed COVID-19 Advisory Rating System for assessing the risk of carrying out an inspection in a particular location.

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COVID-19 Accessibility Issues as ADA Turns 30

As summer kicks into high gear, and the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th anniversary looms large at the end of this month, businesses in many jurisdictions are in the process of gradually reopening to the public.

And if the long and difficult spring wasn’t trying enough, businesses now face yet another challenge — balancing maintaining the safety of employees and patrons against complying with Title III of the ADA, and applicable state and local laws, which can significantly vary depending on the jurisdiction.

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Federal Courts Say They Will Decide Cases Against CBD Product Manufacturers When the Smoke Clears

The cannabidiol (“CBD”) consumer product marketplace is booming.  And, while FDA has maintained its position that CBD, even hemp-derived CBD, may not be included as an ingredient in conventional foods or dietary supplements, FDA has signaled its intent to create a lawful marketing pathway for these products.  Also, while FDA has issued Warning Letters to companies who made egregious claims about their products curing serious diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, FDA has also signaled a willingness to exercise enforcement discretion over CBD products that pose less serious safety concerns.  What has resulted is CBD manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses living in FDA regulatory purgatory.  Fortunately, several courts have recently held that CBD companies will not face consumer product liability, at least while their FDA regulatory fate is being decided.

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New Jersey Governor Extends Public Health Emergency Until Early August 2020

On July 2, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 162 (“EO 162”) extending the state’s Public Health Emergency by thirty days, i.e., until approximately August 2, 2020. Pursuant to EO 162, all Executive Orders and actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies (including Administrative Orders) that were adopted in whole or in part based on the current Public Health Emergency will remain in full force and effect. A declared public health emergency gives Gov. Murphy and state department leaders expanded authority to respond to a crisis such as COVID-19.

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Connecticut’s Plan to Reopen Businesses – Rules for Phase 2 Businesses

On June 7, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Sector Rules that Connecticut businesses must follow in order to open during Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan.

Phase 2 (which began on June 17, 2020) includes the following sectors:

  • Amusement parks
  • Hotels/lodging
  • Restaurants (indoor)
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums
  • Indoor recreation (e.g. bowling, movie theaters etc.)
  • Libraries
  • Outdoor events
  • Personal services (e.g. nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
  • Sports and fitness facilities (e.g. gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.)
  • Film, television and digital media production
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Video: OSHA’s Three-Phase Plan, COVID-19 Workplace Training, Virginia’s Seismic Shift – Employment Law This Week

As featured on #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we finally have some guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and big employment law changes in Virginia go into effect.

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Seattle Mandates Temporary Premium Pay and Other Benefits for Certain Gig Economy Workers During Pandemic Continue Reading…

As we wrote about in more detail here, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought increased attention to the legal and practical distinctions between employees (who are entitled to various compensation and employment benefits under the law) and independent contractors (who generally are not).  The pandemic has also prompted lawmakers at the federal, state, and local level to explore further legislation designed to provide independent contractors with greater protections under the law.

The Seattle City Council has now passed two ordinances—the “Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance” and the “Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance”—that will temporarily impose heightened requirements on transportation network and food delivery network companies.

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