On Monday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID guidance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” to address religious objections to employer vaccine mandates. The updated guidance provides employers with much-needed advice on navigating the religious accommodation process for employees claiming religious objections to the vaccine, including how to establish the accommodation process, how to assess an employee’s religious objections, and how to determine which accommodations, if any, are required to comply with Title VII. This update is useful for all employers with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and particularly so for those covered by the Biden Administration’s recently announced large employer and federal contractor vaccination rules.
Continue Reading EEOC Updates COVID Guidance to Help Employers Address Religious Accommodations for Vaccine Requirements

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a California provision requiring agricultural employers to allow unionizers onto their property violated the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments – a clear win for employers. The named plaintiff in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid is a strawberry grower that employs more than 400 seasonal and 100 full-time workers. In October 2015, the United Farm Workers entered Cedar Point’s property and, using bullhorns, encouraged workers to join the organizers in a protest.
Continue Reading And Stay Out! Supreme Court Rules Golden State Regulation Giving Unions Access to Private Farmland Is Unconstitutional Taking

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act) requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Late last week, the agency responsible for administering the Act, the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), issued a long-awaited emergency temporary standard (the Emergency Rule) effective for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. In what is being regarded as a victory for the business community, the Emergency Rule is limited in its scope and applies only to employers of workers who provide direct healthcare services or healthcare support services. In addition, retail pharmacies and non-hospital ambulatory care providers are excluded from coverage.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues COVID-Related Emergency Rule and Recommendations

On May 5, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew a Trump-era final rule that would have made it easier for employers to designate workers as independent contractors rather than employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The rule, titled “Independent Contractor Status under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” was published on January 7, 2021, at the tail end of the Trump administration, and was scheduled to take effect on March 8.

Continue Reading What’s Old is New (For Now): DOL Rescinds Trump-Era Worker Classification Rulemaking, Eyes Adoption of ABC Standard

Remember August 2019? Before COVID? Before masks? Before shutdowns, limited reopenings, resurgences, and renewed shutdowns? Before presidential election drama?

Fifteen months seems like a lifetime ago. And for many of us, at least a few action items that were important at the time have since slipped to the back burner. That doesn’t make us bad people or even procrastinators; we’ve had a few emergent issues to address that have taken priority. But we’re now about five weeks away from a deadline that was instituted for Illinois employers in August 2019, and if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to ensure compliance with the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA).

Continue Reading Last Call: Illinois Employers Must Provide Sexual Harassment Training by Year End

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress created a federal unemployment supplement program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which extends emergency jobless benefits to gig workers and others who may be ineligible for benefits under existing programs, but are out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits Under CARES Act

On March 27 and 28, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released additional question-and-answer style guidance on the emergency paid sick and family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which we first reported here. We look below at seven key issues addressed in the DOL’s updated guidance.

Continue Reading Updated Guidance for Employers on Paid Leave Requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 24 and 25, the U.S. Department of Labor released guidance on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which we wrote about here when it passed last week.

Among other things, the FFCRA requires covered employers to provide paid sick leave and expanded partially paid family and medical leave to certain employees affected by the coronavirus. The FFCRA’s provisions are summarized in the table below and go into effect on April 1, 2020.

The guidance provides further detail concerning various aspects of the new law, including employers’ notice posting obligations and calculations of: (1) number of employees for purposes of determining covered employer status, and (2) employee rates of pay and hours worked for purposes of calculating leave obligations.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Issues Clarifying Guidance for Employers Concerning the Families First Act’s Employee Leave Requirements

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed A10153, a bill designed to provide paid sick leave and wage replacement for workers who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While the bill provides public assistance for employees affected by the pandemic, it requires certain employers to provide additional paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19. The new law’s provisions took effect immediately once Governor Cuomo signed it on Wednesday.

Continue Reading New York Law Now Requires Employers to Provide Additional Paid Sick Leave to Employees Affected by Coronavirus