Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: coronavirus

Department of Labor’s Q&A page provides new information about enforcement of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

As the April 1, 2020 effective date for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act quickly approaches, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to release guidance via a Q&A page through which the DOL illustrates how it will enforce the Act.

Some of this guidance has been discussed in earlier posts which you can find here and here. In addition, the DOL has provided the following new information.…

The Department of Labor answers more questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Q&A page for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ahead of the act’s April 1, 2020 effective date. This guidance provides employers with additional insight about how the DOL will enforce the FFCRA’s expanded Families and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and paid sick leave requirements. In this second piece of our three-part series, here is our look at the key points the new guidance provides.…

DOL releases Families First Coronavirus Response Act poster and clarifies posting obligations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) separately released a FAQ devoted solely to an employer’s posting obligations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Each covered employer must post a notice (available in English and Spanish) of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. Where an employer has employees reporting directly to work in several different buildings, the employer must post all required federal notices in each building, even if the buildings are located in the same general vicinity.…

Colorado enacts paid sick leave rules

On March 10, 2020, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a State of Disaster Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor directed that immediate rulemaking be initiated to provide employees in certain industries paid sick leave for possible COVID-19 testing. The next day, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment published the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules. These emergency rules became effective on March 11, 2020, and remain in effect for the longer of (a) 30 days after adoption (in other words, April 10, 2020); or (b) the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency, up …

Nurse brings COVID-19 whistleblower suit against Northwestern Hospital

In what may be the first COVID-19 whistleblower action to be filed in the country, Lauri Mazurkiewicz sued her former employer, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, on March 23, 2020.  Ms. Mazurkiewicz, a nurse, filed her lawsuit in Illinois state court. She alleges that the hospital fired her after she raised concern over the masks being provided to its health care workers. Ms. Mazurkiewicz claims that the actions of the hospital and its management violated Illinois’s Whistleblower Act and also amounted to retaliatory discharge.…

Department of Labor releases Q&A regarding Families First Coronavirus Response Act and mandatory posters

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Q&A page to resolve some of the most pressing questions regarding emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and paid sick leave offered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its application to employers. Additionally, the DOL released the required poster regarding the Act which an employer must maintain in its workplace.

While the public awaits the DOL’s final regulations interpreting the FFCRA, the DOL’s Q&A provides some guidance as to where DOL enforcement of the FFCRA is heading ahead of the act’s effective date …

New York becomes first state to enact paid sick leave law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

As we recently reported, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to provide paid Family Medical Leave (FMLA) and paid sick leave to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the law provides a number of protections to American workers, it also has a few gaps. One gap in the FFCRA, for example, is that it does not apply to employers of 500 or more employees.…

Ohio “Stay at Home” order limits business operations to slow spread of COVID-19

On March 22, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, health director for the Ohio Department of Health, signed the “Director’s Stay at Home Order,” calling on all Ohioans to stay at home or at their place of residence unless conducting or participating in essential activities, essential governmental functions, or essential businesses and operations.

The Director’s Order, which will be enforced by local departments of health and local law enforcement, goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020 and remains in effect until 11:59 on April 6, 2020. The Order has a number of key directives for businesses operating …

Ohio BWC guidance for employers during COVID-19 outbreak

On March 19, 2020, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) issued some guidance to employers and employees to explain how the BWC is continuing to operate during this crisis. The BWC is continuing to process claims. For employers, the present changes may result in increased claim costs attributed to their risk. The BWC is permitting benefits to continue while suspending some of the employees’ requirements to maintain those benefits.…

Navigating employment issues, help for small businesses and a delay in the tax deadline

There have been a number of helpful blogs over the past few days from our colleagues at Porter Wright aimed at helping businesses navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

Navigating Employment Issues in the Wake of COVID-19 webinar

We have all felt the tremendous impacts to our workplaces and daily lives following the COVID-19 outbreak We’ve also watched the daily press conferences announcing new legislation and executive orders, but what happens next?

As your workplace adapts to growing restrictions, Porter Wright invites you to a live webinar on Monday, March 23, 3:00 – 4:00 pm with Porter Wright’s Leigh Ann Benedic and …

President Trump signs HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, providing relief to some American workers

The U.S. Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), and shortly after, President Donald Trump signed it into law. The Act will take effect no later than 15 days after its enactment. It will remain in effect until it expires under a sunset provision on December 31, 2020. This final version of the bill has some key differences from the one passed earlier in the U.S. House. But like the House bill, the final legislation does not apply to employers of 500 or more.

The FFCRA provides for expanded, paid FMLA as well as paid leave. Here are …

COVID-19 and OSHA: Commonly asked questions

Below are answers to three common questions about COVID-19 and employer obligations under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA):

Is there any OSHA standard or regulation that covers workplace exposure to COVID-19?

No. OSHA standard applies specifically to workplace exposure to COVID-19. However, the OSHA General Duty Clause requires all employers to provide a workplace free from known hazards. That includes known exposure to infectious diseases. So, OSHA does expect employers to take reasonable measures to protect workers from workplace exposure to COVID-19, including taking reasonable hygiene and sanitation measures and taking reasonable precautions in the event it …

Workers’ compensation implications of COVID-19 in the workplace

Presently there are many uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. It is certainly possible employees will allege they contracted coronavirus while at work. Given that the United States has not experienced a pandemic in a significant period of time, this is a gray area for employers. Most states do not have specific legislation addressing this situation.

In general, any illness, injury or occupational disease could be a compensable claim if it arises out of the course and scope of the employee’s employment. The difficulty is that it is likely impossible to determine with certainty as to where the employee contracted the …

Ohio takes executive measures to curb COVID-19 pandemic

Restrictions placed upon indoor recreational locations

On Monday, March 16, 2020, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine announced on Twitter that he will be issuing an order to close gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, indoor water parks, movie theaters and trampoline parks until further notice. This order took effect at the close of business on Monday, March 16th.

Restrictions placed upon bars and restaurants

Ohio expands unemployment compensation protections in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Ohio Governor Michael DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced that the state has expanded unemployment compensation benefits to workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. By way of background, Ohio’s unemployment insurance system provides 50 percent of a qualifying worker’s former average weekly pay, subject to caps based on the number of dependents in the household.

Governor DeWine has issued an executive order that expands unemployment benefits related to COVID-19. Moreover, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has published a series of questions and answers related to the order. Here are the highlights:…

Work from home and travel policy considerations for employees of nonimmigrant visa status during coronavirus outbreak

Public health experts recommend that companies encourage employees to work from home to stem the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in offices, large meetings, public transit and elsewhere. Remote work policies, coupled with travel bans and government-imposed quarantines, pose unique complications for employers and their employees holding nonimmigrant visa status.…

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