Tag Archives: EpsteinBeckerGreen

What the DOL Giveth, the IRS (May) Taketh Away: Benefits Guidance in the Time of COVID-19

In EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, “Guidance and Relief for employee Benefit Plans Due to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Outbreak” ( “Notice”), the DOL provided sponsors of defined contribution plans subject to ERISA relief from DOL enforcement action for failure to timely forward participant contributions and loan repayments to the plan during the period from March 1, 2020, and to the 60th day following the announced end of the National Emergency.   This DOL relief, however, appears to be limited to ERISA violations and does not appear to provide protection from the excise taxes under the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”).

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Video: Telemental Health Benefits During COVID-19 – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: One way employers can support employee mental health in today’s environment is ensuring that their benefits offerings include telemental health services. Attorneys Cassandra Labbees and Amy Lerman tell us more about telemental health and evaluating your benefits plans.

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New Jersey Allows Re-Opening of Outdoor Tennis and Other Recreational Businesses, with Restrictions, and Loosens Some Prior Restrictions on Golf

On May 18, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued  Executive Order 147, which allows for the resumption of certain outdoor recreational businesses (subject to conditions and restrictions), and loosens some of the restrictions that had been placed on golf courses.   Some of the provisions of Executive Order 147 took effect on May 19, 2020, and others will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.

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Inoculating Against Wage and Hour Class Litigation Related to COVID-19

During the Covid-19 pandemic, companies should focus in the first instance on health and safety issues for workers, customers, and the public at large during a pandemic, but they cannot lose sight of the wage and hour risks that are lurking in these challenging times.

For a staggering number of U.S. businesses over the past several weeks, the early and middle part of 2020 will look something like this:

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U.S. Department of Labor Allows Employers to Give Bonuses and Other Extra Pay to Fluctuating Workweek Employees Continue Reading…

For the second time this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) has issued a Final Rule involving the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).  Following closely on the heels of the revisions to the section 7(i) exemption regulations discussed here, on May 20, 2020 WHD released its revisions to the regulations regarding the “fluctuating workweek” method of paying overtime to salaried non-exempt employees.  And, as with the 7(i) Final Rule, the fluctuating workweek Final Rule eliminates confusion caused by WHD’s previous rulemaking efforts.

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New Jersey Affidavit of Merit Statute Applied to Nursing Case Despite “Common Knowledge” Claim

The Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously held in Linda Cowley v. Virtua Health System (A-47-18) (081891) that the “common knowledge” exception of the Affidavit of Merit Statute applies only when a simple negligence standard is at issue, and does not apply when a specific standard of care must be evaluated.  In this case involving if and how to reinsert a removed nasogastric tube, the Court reversed the judgement of the Appellate Division and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice because she failed to submit an affidavit of merit within the time required by the Affidavit of Merit Statute.

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Time Is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on … California Overtime

California law has specific requirements regarding the payment of overtime to employees. An employer’s failure to pay overtime—or failure to pay the correct overtime rate—can result in a litany of unintended Labor Code violations, which, in turn, can lead to enormous liability. Therefore, it is critical that employers understand when overtime is due and how to calculate the overtime rate of pay.

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Required Safety Guidelines for Reopening Michigan Companies

As Michigan businesses begin the process of reopening, they must comply with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-91 (“Order”) regarding “Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19.”  The Order includes detailed safety standards, with which employers in construction, manufacturing, retail, research labs, offices and restaurants, must comply, for the stated goal of protecting workers and customers from the novel coronavirus.

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Supreme Court of California Holds That Claims Under the UCL and FAL for Civil Penalties Do Not Guarantee A Jury Trial

On April 30, 2020, the California Supreme Court (“Court”) ruled on April 30, 2020 that claims brought pursuant to California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and the False Advertising Law (“FAL”) are not entitled to a jury trial.

In Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. et al., v. The Superior Court of Alameda County, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) brought an action against Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. (“Nationwide”) and others, alleging that Nationwide and the other defendants falsely advertised their services and as a result operated unfairly relative to their competitors in violation of the UCL and the FAL. The CFPB sought both injunctive relief and civil penalties.

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California Court of Appeals Finds Uninvolved Joint Employers are Innocent Bystanders, Cannot Be Held Liable for Harassment and Discrimination Claims

On April 7, 2020, the California Court of Appeals (the “Court”) upheld summary judgment for two professional employer organizations (referred to in the decision as a “staffing agencies”) accused of harassment and discrimination by one of its “leased” employees. In Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, the Court found that joint employers—and more specifically staffing agencies—cannot be held liable for harassment and discrimination claims absent a showing that they participated in or were involved in the alleged wrongful conduct.

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