Latest from Employment Lawscene Blog

On May 13, 2021, the CDC announced that it had updated its guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus (i.e., individuals who received their final shot more than two weeks ago). The updated guidance states that individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19  are not required to wear masks or follow social distancing guidelines in most settings. Masks are still required for those who have not reached full vaccination. …
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. Among a wide variety of other aims, the $1.9 trillion bill extended tax incentives for certain employers that chose to provide their employees with qualifying paid leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) was signed into law. The FFCRA contained two leave components: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and the Emergency…
In this, the final installment in our series discussing the Biden Administration’s workplace initiatives, we will now discuss some of the potential changes forthcoming from the U.S. Department of Labor that employers should note, including changes to the independent contractor test under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a narrowing of the “joint employer” test under the National Labor Relations Act, an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide paid leave through passage…
In this, the latest installment in our series discussing the Biden Administration’s workplace initiatives, we will now consider the potential impact on employment discrimination laws. At the moment, there are two main legislative actions underway in Congress, and President Biden has lent his support to both these initiatives, as well as other proposals that would affect employment discrimination laws. Equality Act In February 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which was originally…
In our series discussing the new workplace initiatives under the Biden Administration, we will next address the Biden Administration’s desire to make significant changes in National Labor Relation Board (“NLRB”’ or “Board”) policy and to roll back the labor law precedent of the Trump Administration’s NLRB.  The Biden Administration’s labor policy through the NLRB will focus on two primary goals: (1) the promotion of collective bargaining and (2) the protection of employees’ rights to join…
In this installment of our series discussing the new workplace initiatives under the Biden Administration, we will discuss wage and hour issues that employers should prepare for, including an increased federal minimum wage, updated enforcement priorities, and the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. Minimum Wage The federal minimum wage was last increased in 2009. Since then, multiple states and municipalities have increased their minimum wages. However, the federal minimum wage, as well as the minimum wage…
In our series discussing the new workplace initiatives under the Biden Administration, we will first look at the Biden Administration’s efforts on protecting worker health and safety. Simply, under the Biden Administration, employers should expect to see a more robust Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), meaning ramped-up OSHA enforcement efforts, including more workplace inspections, more whistleblower protection, and the likely issuance of an emergency temporary standard to address the hazards of COVID-19 in the…
The labor and employment law policies and enforcement goals of the federal government rely largely on which party’s administration occupies the White House. When inaugurated in January, President Joseph R. Biden made some immediate and significant changes that will affect employers. Also, based on President Biden’s statements made during his campaign and the stated goals of others in the Democratic Party, decidedly pro-employee policies, enforcement goals, and legislation are very likely on the way. These…
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is Election Day. Although early voting is underway and many individuals have already returned their absentee ballots, many people will want to vote in-person on Election Day. All Wisconsin employers are required to provide employees who are eligible to vote up to three consecutive hours of unpaid leave to vote while the polls are open (from 7 AM until 8 PM), and employees must request the time off prior to the…
On September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor  issued updated regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act  and leave available under that law. These updates were issued in response to a recent federal district court ruling out of the Southern District of New York that invalidated portions of DOL’s original rules under the FFCRA because the agency exceeded its authority in issuing certain portions of its rules. These updated regulations are effective on  September…