Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights - Page 3

Mexico updates the monitoring system every two weeks, and the federal government uses it to provide guidance to the states on hygiene measures and work and mobility restrictions in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). In the report for February 1–14, 2021, 13 states were in red status, the strictest level. In the current report, only Guanajuato and Guerrero are in red status. Mexico City and the State of Mexico advanced along…
A February 2021 California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) press release trumpeted the agency’s enforcement efforts and its recently issued citations for COVID-19–related violations. Cal/OSHA continues to aggressively issue “serious” classification citations to California employers. For example, Cal/OSHA issued “serious” and “willful-serious” citations with hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties against a sister agency, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dba San Quentin State Prison, for COVID-19–related violations. With Cal/OSHA’s continued…
On February 10, 2021, the City Council of Coachella, California, passed the “Premium Pay for Agricultural, Grocery, Restaurant, and Retail Pharmacy Workers Ordinance.” Coachella is located in Riverside County, California. Other cities in the state that have enacted similar measures in 2021 include Montebello, in Los Angeles County, and Oakland, in Alameda County. The Coachella ordinance requires employers to provide agricultural, grocery, restaurant, and retail pharmacy workers with premium pay of $4.00…
Minnesota employers will be heading back to the drawing board to revise their handbook disclaimers. The Minnesota Supreme Court now requires specific language in policies that set out the terms and conditions for payment of certain employee benefits such as payouts of vacation and paid time off (PTO). In Hall v. City of Plainview (No. A19-0606, February 3, 2021), the court held that a general provision in a handbook stating that the handbook is not…
On February 2, 2021, the City Council of Oakland, California, passed the “Grocery Worker Hazard Pay Emergency Ordinance” to provide a boost in pay for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oakland is located in Alameda County and is just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, California. The ordinance requires large grocery stores in Oakland to provide their workers with premium pay of $5.00 for each hour worked. The ordinance takes effect…
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the global economy, and employers are increasingly considering which are the most and least employer-friendly places  new offices, distribution centers, and operational locations, both during the pandemic and after emerging from it. The Arizona State University Center for the Study of Economic Liberty recently released Doing Business North America 2020 (DBNA), a report analyzing and comparing data indicative of the regulatory context for business activity in a number of…
In 2016, Illinois enacted the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (IFWA). In doing so, it became one of the first states to pass legislation in response to the Obama administration’s Call to Action, which asked states to amend their restrictive covenant laws to, among other things, ban covenants not to compete for workers under a certain wage threshold. Other states that similarly enacted or amended their restrictive covenant laws to include low-wage restrictions, include…
On February 3, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded a policy memorandum that, while in place, had negated long-standing agency guidance for the adjudication of H-1B petitions in computer programming and related occupations. A USCIS policy memo from December 2000, supported granting H-1B classification for computer programmers and individuals in other related computer occupations, on the basis that at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent was the normal minimum requirement for entry into…
On February 11, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated materials on its website pertaining to when individuals should quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19. Specifically, on the “When to Quarantine” page on its website, the CDC now states that “[p]eople who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease within the…
California Attorney General (AG) Xavier Becerra recently announced that he has created the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section, which will fall under the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Division of Public Rights. This new section will be tasked with protecting workers against workplace issues such as wage theft, health and safety violations, and employee misclassification. Additionally, it will bolster the enforcement of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standards