Tag Archives: financial services

Australia’s High Court Rules on How to Count Personal Leave Entitlement Under the Fair Work Act

On August 13, 2020, 11 years after the enactment of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “FW Act”), Australian employers received guidance from the High Court regarding how to count the entitlement to “10 days” of personal leave per year of employment, as required under Section 96 of the FW Act.

The High Court determined that employees’ leave entitlement is equivalent to the average of employees’ “ordinary hours” of work over the course of a two-week period (i.e., 1/26th of the ordinary hours of work in a year) and not 10 “working days” of paid leave per year. This decision likely will have far-reaching implications for all Australian employers, particularly those with a workforce that works outside the parameters of the ordinary 9-to-5 workday, five days per week.

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As Schools Reopen, U.S. Department of Labor Issues FAQs on Childcare Leave Under the FFCRA

The beginning of the school year has added to a mire of uncertainty of how to manage work and family in our current COVID-19 world. Some schools have reopened to full-time in-person classes, while others have adopted full-time remote learning; still others have opted a hybrid model that mixes the two, and some give parent the choice of whether to send their children to school or have them login. Added to this, decisions once made are subject to reversal, if new COVID-19 cases enter the picture.  So now, on top of everything else that the COVID-19 crisis has affected, working parents must try to figure out how to manage their children’s education, while trying to maintain their financial security. And, as always, employers need to remain mindful of their compliance obligations.

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Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Increases to $12.00 per Hour on September 1, 2020

On May 28, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act 19-4, An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage (the “Act”), which gradually increases the minimum wage in Connecticut over the next several years.  The first increase took place on October 1, 2019, when the minimum wage increased to $11.00 per hour. The next increase will take effect on September 1, 2020, when Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour.

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Rule 2: Keep Your Mask On – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 2 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19. 

Who would have believed that months into this global pandemic, after the innumerable and unspeakable loss to human life, to global economies, and to our own sense of selves and normalcy – that the relatively straightforward issue of whether to wear a mask to curb the spread of this virus would remain such a hot button topic.  And yet, here we are.

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Connecticut Governor Lamont Strengthens Workers’ Compensation Claims for Workers Affected by COVID-19

On July 24, 2020, Connecticut Governor Lamont issued Executive Order JJJ (“E.O. JJJ”), which creates a presumption that employees who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it at work and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Pursuant to E.O. JJJ, there shall be a “rebuttable presumption” that an employee, who makes a claim for benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and who missed one or more days of work between March 10, 2020 and May 20, 2020, inclusive, due to a diagnosis of COVID-19 or symptoms that were diagnosed as COVID-19, contracted COVID-19 as an occupational disease arising in the course of his or her employment. The following four conditions must be met for the rebuttable presumption to apply:

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Philadelphia Enacts Protections for COVID-19 Whistleblowers

Philadelphia is making sure employers err on the side of caution when it comes to COVID-19.  As of June 26, 2020, Philadelphia-based employees have additional protections from retaliation through the  unanimously passed the Essential Workers Protection Act (“EWPA” or “Act”), which prohibits retaliation against any employee who speaks out about, or refuses to work due to, the employer’s non-compliance with Pennsylvania and Philadelphia COVID-19 public health orders.  The EWPA applies to all Philadelphia employers, regardless of their size.

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San Francisco Ordinance Imposes New ‘Cleaning and Disease Prevention Standards’ and an Employee Training Mandate on Hotels and Large Office Buildings

Seeking to prevent San Francisco’s return-to-work program from reigniting a surge of COVID-19 cases, the city’s Board of Supervisors (“Board”) has passed the “Healthy Buildings Ordinance” (“Ordinance”). This temporary emergency measure, which Mayor London Breed signed on July 17, 2020, and which is effective immediately, (i) establishes cleaning and disease prevention standards in tourist hotels and large commercial office buildings; (ii) mandates employee training on these standards and various protections employers must provide for workers as they perform their duties, and (iii) prohibits retaliation against employees “for refusing to perform work under conditions they believe may be unsafe or for reporting such conditions or exercising rights protected by the ordinance.” The Ordinance will expire 61 days from its enactment unless reenacted.

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Virginia’s Workplace Safety and Health Standards for COVID-19

On July 27, 2020, Virginia became the first state in the nation to implement workplace safety and health standards for COVID-19.  The Safety and Health Codes Board adopted § 16VAC25-220, an Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (the “Temporary Standard”), which is designed to supplement and enhance existing Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”) laws, rules, and regulations that may apply to the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the workplace.  Virginia imposed these standards because the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), the federal agency responsible for workplace safety, has thus far refused to make its own extensive recommendations mandatory.  Not surprisingly, the Virginia standards borrow heavily from existing OSHA guidance in most areas.

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The U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Guidance on Leave and Wage & Hour Issues Confronting Employers as They Reopen for Business

On July 20, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published new guidance for businesses reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance is in the form of additions to the WHD’s existing Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs” or “Guidance”) and addresses issues arising under two leave laws—the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)—and wage and hour matters governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

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Video: COVID-19 Considerations for Employee Vacation Time – Employment Law This Week

Featured in #WorkforceWednesday: Employers are encouraging employees to use their vacation time this summer to avoid a crush of end-of-year vacations. But what happens when an employee vacations in a COVID-19 “hotspot”?  Attorney Nancy Gunzenhauser Popper explains.

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