Labor & Employment Law Perspectives

Effective November 30, 2020, Cal/OSHA approved new regulations impacting employers’ obligations to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 and stop outbreaks.  The rules apply to all employers regardless of size unless there is only a single employee with no contact to other people, employees working from home and employees covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases regulation.  The California Department of Industrial Relations also issued an FAQ on December 2, 2020. In short summary, the standard requires…
On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” interim final rule, amending the existing four-tier wage structure governing the calculation of prevailing wage levels.  The new regulation significantly increases the wage levels of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey across all occupations.  It affects H-1B (Specialty Occupation), H-1B1 (Free Trade Agreement Workers in…
At this point, employers and employees alike have adjusted to the new working environment that is COVID-19. With the number of positive cases recently on the rise, employers are growing more concerned about exposure to COVID-19-related liability. And they should be. Although some lawsuits filed against large employers have since been dismissed, new lawsuits against employers making claims regarding COVID-19 in the workplace are still being filed. But there is hope. Back in June, we
Employees in Massachusetts will soon be eligible for up to 26 weeks of paid family and medical leave.  As explained in a recent post, benefits established by the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law become available on January 1, 2021.  PFML provides paid leave for individuals facing a health crisis, bonding with a child, or caring for a sick relative.  Benefits will be paid to employees by the Massachusetts Department of Family…
Every year about this time, when the holiday season is just beginning and the new year is around the corner, all good qualified retirement plan sponsors (and plan administrators) ask: “Have we adopted all the IRS-required plan amendments for this year yet?” Given everything that’s happened so far in 2020,1 you can be excused for being a bit anxious about what the last few weeks might bring. Fortunately, you can relax (just a little – it’s…
Focus on the presidential contest aside, on Election Day, voters in several states approved measures that will impact employers.  Namely, Florida employers are now looking at years of incremental increases to the minimum wage, while a slew of other states jumped on the marijuana-legalization bandwagon.    Florida Voters Approve of Gradual Minimum Wage Hikes, to Reach $15 in 2026 Florida voters narrowly approved Constitutional Amendment 2, which gradually increases the Sunshine State’s minimum wage…
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tweeted last week that it has cited more than 200 employers for coronavirus-related violations, with penalties totaling nearly $3 million. Amidst this wave of enforcement activity, OSHA issued a press release and accompanying guidance and a one-pager on November 6 to advise employers about “lessons learned,” based on the most common violations issued to employers so far during the pandemic. Below are the requirements that OSHA reports employers…
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the winter months, the legal landscape for employers trying to navigate COVID related requirements grows ever more complicated and challenging.  Employers are faced with a long list of COVID related issues requiring their action.  How should the employer screen employees?  What happens when an employee tests positive after being present in the workplace?  When must employees quarantine if they have had close contact with a person who has tested…
The COVID-19 pandemic has created innumerable challenges for employers around the country, not the least of which are a slew of obligations under federal, state, and local laws.  This is especially true for employers in California, where we have already written about legal risks associated with the pandemic. A new California law, AB 685, adds yet another set of requirements for California employers.  AB 685, which takes effect on January 1, 2021, requires California…
Massachusetts will soon join the growing list of states mandating paid family and medical leave for employees.  Beginning January 1, employees in Massachusetts will be eligible to receive benefits established by the commonwealth’s new Paid Family Medical Leave (“PFML”) law.   PFML provides paid leave for individuals facing a health crisis, bonding with a child, or caring for a sick relative.  Massachusetts employers should be taking steps now to ensure that they can meet their PFML…