September 30, 2020
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.
September 25, 2020
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.
September 18, 2020
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.
September 11, 2020
On September 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updates to its What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers (“FAQs”), addressing questions largely focused on return-to-work questions and concerns such as permissible and impermissible inquiries, reasonable accommodation and confidentiality of employee health information.
September 3, 2020
New York attorneys could soon have to complete cybersecurity training courses to satisfy their continuing legal education (“CLE”) requirement. The House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) has approved a report proposing that NYSBA’s Executive Committee recommend to the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board that the biennial CLE requirement be amended to require one credit on cybersecurity. The Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession (the “Committee”), which submitted the report, recognized the mounting cybersecurity risks faced by law firms and in-house legal departments entrusted with their clients’ most sensitive data. Legal employers electronically holding their employees’ and clients’ private information, such as social security numbers, tax information, and financial account information, already are required to implement reasonable safeguards to protect such information, including workforce training, under the New York State Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (the “SHIELD”) Act. The vote to adopt the new training requirement could occur as soon as this month; and if it is adopted, the requirement will exemplify the move in New York State to protect the public against cybersecurity risks to sensitive data.
August 31, 2020
Featured in #WorkforceWednesday: As employers plan for workers to return to work, utilizing COVID-19 liability waivers is one idea that businesses are thoroughly considering. Attorney Jimmy Oh discusses the risks and effectiveness of these waivers.
August 24, 2020
On August 6, 2020, in Rose’s 1 LLC, et al. v. Erie Insurance Exchange, a District of Columbia trial court granted an insurer’s cross motion for summary judgment on the issue of whether COVID-19 closure orders constitute a “direct physical loss” under a commercial property policy. Plaintiff insureds (“Insureds”) own several restaurants in Washington D.C. that were forced to close and suffered serious revenue losses stemming from the Mayor’s orders to close non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay home. As a result, the Insureds made claims to Defendant Erie Insurance Exchange (the “Insurer”) under their policies that included coverage for “loss of ‘income’ and/or ‘rental income’” sustained “due to partial or total ‘interruption of business’ resulting directly from ‘loss’ or damage” to the property insured. The policy also stated that it “insures against direct physical ‘loss.’”
July 27, 2020
Employers that are fiduciaries of participant-directed individual account plans (such as 401(k) plans) subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (‘Plans” and “ERISA”, respectively) should be pleased with the position taken by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) in an information letter dated June 3, 2020 (the “Letter”) addressing the use of private equity investments in designated investment alternatives offered in Plans. The DOL states that, subject to the standards and considerations set forth in the Letter (and summarized below), a Plan fiduciary would not violate its duties under sections 403 (29 U.S.C. 1103) and 404 (29 U.S.C. 1104) of ERISA solely because the fiduciary offers a professionally managed asset allocation fund with a private equity component as a designated investment alternative in a Plan.
July 23, 2020
Tracking diversity and inclusion efforts on a global basis is often a challenging task for in-house legal, human resources, and diversity and inclusion teams. While employers may be interested in collecting applicants’ and/or employees’ diversity information for worthy reasons, such an effort is a fertile ground for potential litigation involving data privacy violations and discrimination claims.
July 15, 2020
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.