In cities such as Chicago, employees have a public health mandate to refuse to come to work if they display any symptoms of COVID-19. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this guidance, legal experts at Sidley address frequently asked questions from employers across industries in light of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Please see our Sidley Update on the Northern California Shelter in Place orders, and contact a member of the Sidley team for additional guidance. Nationwide, eligible employees will be able to take paid job-protected leave under the Families First Act to care for a child if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the child’s care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19. Given the border closings, travel restrictions and immigration agency closures, what are the special considerations for employers with foreign national employees? Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. .usa-footer .grid-container {padding-left: 30px!important;} Statewide measures are coming as well: the State of California recently announced a “stay at home” order and identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors that will continue to operate during this crisis and the State of Pennsylvania has ordered the physical closure of all “non-life sustaining businesses.” The impact of orders to close a business or for citizens to shelter in place/stay at home will be unique to every business. New Employment Laws To Look Out For In 2021. Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Frequently asked questions about the employment law implications of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in relation to absence and pay, homeworking, annual leave, pregnancy and maternity leave, employer strategies for dealing with the economic impact, the implications for work-related travel and the effect on employment tribunal, EAT and court proceedings. It was updated on March 19, 2020 to address examples and information regarding COVID-19; the new information appears in bold. Exclusive discounts on BenefitsPRO.com and ALM events. Marketa also leads Sidley’s I-9 compliance practice. The employee need not self-report for the employer to send an employee exhibiting symptoms home. Inform employees that CDC guidance notes that age and underlying health conditions can put some people at higher risk of serious illness. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released updated guidance on Sept. 8 clarifying that employers can screen workers for … .agency-blurb-container .agency_blurb.background--light { padding: 0; } ALERT UPDATE: This federal Act, mandating employer-paid leave related to COVID-19, was signed into law on March 18, 2020. Kate Roberts is the co-chair of Sidley’s Labor, Employment and Immigration group and a partner in Sidley’s Los Angeles office. service. We keep track of the latest employment law changes so you don't have to. The latest COVID-19 related news & insights on issues impacting Canadian employers in Canada. Under the I-9 rules, employers must review original identity and work authorization documents for every new hire in the physical presence of the employee within 3 days of the start of work. The website cannot function properly without these necessary cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences. COVID-19 employment litigation update. OSHA guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19, COVID-19 accentuates the need for employee financial wellness, As Supreme Court takes up ACA, Democrats point to COVID-19 impact, Self-funded employers don’t have to cut health coverage due to coronavirus. The U.S. Quick Tip: How much paid leave can employees take? Employers must continue to tell employees that if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to work or go home (if at work already), and should self-quarantine and call a health care practitioner for additional guidance. Allowing flexibility may engender goodwill with your employees. @media (max-width: 992px){.usa-js-mobile-nav--active, .usa-mobile_nav-active {overflow: auto!important;}} Yes, and federal, state, and local laws may guarantee leave taken for certain COVID-19 reasons for certain employees. At a minimum, it is important to be transparent with employees about plans for addressing COVID-19 risks. The CDC has also put a Level 3 Warning on all cruise travel. div > div.guidance-search > div.csv-feed.views-data-export-feed {display:none;} For I-9s executed during this time, employers will be required to conduct physical inspection of the original documents after normal operations resume. COVID-19 Employment Law Updates and Legal Resources (Updated 11/1/2020) Posted on December 21, 2020 December 21, 2020 by Blanchard & Walker. Generally, employers may ask for a doctor’s note if it is the employer’s practice to require certification after an employee’s absence due to illness. They have attempted to provide advice for employers in all different stages of the COVID-19 crisis and recognize that some advice will not apply to all employers, particularly depending on what state and local orders are (or are not) in place. As well as dealing with the ongoing impact of coronavirus (Covid-19), important issues for HR in April 2020 include changes to written statements of terms and conditions, the introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay, […] It is important to keep informed. Many companies have already clarified in privacy policies or other statements that they may disclose personal information to governmental authorities or other third parties where required by law or otherwise to protect rights, property, interests or safety. COVID-19 Employment Litigation Update By Jeffrey M. Schlossberg on November 18, 2020. When the … Because of these frequent developments, and the need to adapt the general guidance below to specific circumstances, employers should consult counsel regarding specific circumstances. Because state laws vary, employers seeking to report to public health authorities should consider state law on how to do so. Generally, employers can ask employees if they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 as exposure is not a medical condition. DEC 22. .h1 {font-family:'Merriweather';font-weight:700;} CA and NY Employment Law Updates: Family Rights, Pay Data Reporting, COVID-19 Workplace Exposure, and More. Use this resource to keep up to date on recent COVID employment law. Employees continue to file COVID-19-related lawsuits against their employers at a rapid clip. Employers who use staffing through agencies should advise their vendors that their employees who are ill or have these symptoms should not come to the office either. Join our online community; Stay in touch and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Should an employer become aware that an employee has been exposed to COVID-19, as discussed above, the employer may need to take other steps, including sending the employee home and notifying those who were in close contact with the employee of potential exposures without disclosing the employee’s identity. Ohio COVID-19 Updates. She also serves on the firm’s COVID-19 task force. These options may or may not be feasible for employers depending on the nature of their business. As additional developments occur, please be sure to check Sidley’s COVID-19 Resource Center page. Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey. Share advice from public health authorities such as the CDC about handwashing, reporting of illness and reporting travel. At a general level, the legal rules and guidance we summarize below at a high and general level should not be applied in a manner that would prevent employers from taking reasonable, common-sense steps to protect the health and safety of employees, customers, vendors and their communities. A wrap of some of the main workplace responsibilities for HR arising out of the pandemic and a look forward to the issues that may shape Hong Kong employment law in 2021. Employers should seek up to the minute guidance on this issue. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers have new legal considerations to make over paid leave, unemployment, vaccines, OSHA regulations, and more. The program will provide an update on the latest federal and Rhode Island laws, such as the future of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (or any new similar law), which is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020. As discussed above, employers should send the employee home and take all appropriate steps to inform other employees of potential exposure without disclosing the identity of the affected employee. There are many nuances and fact-specific elements that make individualized legal counsel on these questions of critical importance. The Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020. Employers may also wish to send some or all of those employees home for 14 days, which could include the entire workforce. Employers should take privacy considerations into account in any reporting to ensure they are meeting privacy or data protection law internal compliance requirements and appropriately protecting employees’ sensitive personal information. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). We shall be monitoring the situation closely and we shall keep our clients updated via email. .cd-main-content p, blockquote {margin-bottom:1em;} #views-exposed-form-manual-cloud-search-manual-cloud-search-results .form-actions{display:block;flex:1;} #tfa-entry-form .form-actions {justify-content:flex-start;} #node-agency-pages-layout-builder-form .form-actions {display:block;} #tfa-entry-form input {height:55px;} Find additional information about business obligations under the Act here. 1-866-487-9243, Administrator Interpretations, Opinion and Ruling Letters, Resources for State and Local Governments, U.S. Department of Labor Revises Regulations to Clarify Paid Leave Requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Press Release (4/1/2020): U.S. Department Of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Implementation, Revised Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Licencia Laboral Pagada bajo Ley Familias Primero de Respuesta al Coronavirus, Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights, Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements, Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers, COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act: Questions and Answers, COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions and Answers, COVID-19 and the Service Contract Act: Questions and Answers. In New York City, employers must allow employees to use earned sick time to care for children if schools are closed due to an emergency declaration. The revisions allow WHD to enforce critical legal protections for millions of workers fully and fairly. Depending on the employee’s visa classification, there may be special compliance implications to the employer related to work from home policies, workplace office closures, work stoppages and other consequences of disrupted business activity. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has now issued guidance addressing that very issue. Tribunals have the power to impose a £5,000 ‘aggravated breach’ penalty on employers losing cases, and from 6 April 2019, the maximum limit on these penalties will rise to £20,000. Employment law is constantly on the move. Employers forced to lay off employees should consult counsel to ensure compliance with WARN and continue to monitor this area for change. As discussed below, places including New York and San Francisco have passed COVID-19 specific paid leave bills, and states including California and cities including Chicago already required employers to provide paid sick leave. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers have new legal considerations to make over paid leave, unemployment, vaccines, OSHA regulations, and more. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has now issued guidance addressing that very issue. The website cannot function properly without these necessary cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences. While the answer to this question clearly would have been “no” a few weeks ago, the answer to this question now varies with state and local laws and the continuing guidance of the CDC. Further, Family and Medical Leave Act-eligible employees will be able to take unpaid leave, and several states (and cities) offer paid or unpaid leave through their own pre-existing programs that certain employees may be eligible to use if they have (or a family member has) COVID-19. WASHINGTON – The U.S. Categories: Laws & Regulations. The information below is up-to-date as of March 20. The government’s ‘Good work plan’, published in December 2018, made a commitment to increase the penalties for employers that repeatedly breach their employment law obligations. Contact information for the Sidley COVID-19 Task Force can be found here. Employers may not terminate employees for taking job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the newly-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In all states and the District of Columbia, an employer may inquire if an employee has traveled to any locations identified by the CDC as a Level 3 risk area. Paid Sick Leave Amanda Carrozza. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) issued guidance for employers on handling requests for accommodations related to the novel coronavirus, such as in cases where employees are reluctant to return to work because they are at higher risk for severe illness caused by COVID … Where COVID-19-related rumors directed at ethnicities arise, employers should consult their company anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and address conduct that violates such policies. For further information about Coronavirus, please visit the HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interesting claims have started to emerge nearly 10 months into the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of COVID-19-related employment complaints filed approaches 1,000. However, an employer should not require employees to report personal travel to any non-affected areas or other forms of travel. Generally, employees who are not working are not entitled to wages under federal law. Check the CDC website before taking any such action. The Department of State has suspended all routine visa services at U.S. consulates abroad. The outbreak of COVID-19 emergency in Italy and subsequent measures taken by the Italian Government and public authorities raise several challenging issues for employers. We use cookies on our website. Employees of covered employers who are taking leave due to a child’s school closing or lack of childcare are also entitled to partially paid leave for up to 10 weeks. The Labor and Employment Law Update is provided for information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter, nor should it be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. According to the guidance, employers may ask employees if they have had the COVID-19 vaccine and require the vaccine pursuant to U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other … Employers have a duty to protect their employees from discriminatory or retaliatory behavior by other employees if they are suspected to have COVID-19 or have self-reported. Additionally, employers may ask employees if they have traveled to any areas where state or local public health officials recommend that visitors self-quarantine after visiting. The CDC is changing its recommendations in various locations frequently. Do not send confidential information or facts about a legal matter. As of March 20, the CDC has recommended regular health screenings of temperature and respiratory symptom screening upon arrival each day in Seattle, New Rochelle, and Santa Clara. 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