(What a) Year In Review
By Megan Holstein
By Marjory Robertson
AVP & Senior Counsel
This year has dealt a lot of unexpected challenges, and the areas of absence and disability management are no exception. One of the many changes the global workforce is experiencing is the shift away from in-person events, so it’s only fitting that our session, (What a) Year in Review, which breaks down even more changes employers are facing, will be presented in an online format at DMEC’s Virtual Annual Conference on Aug. 19.
It is fortunate that our months of mandated social distancing and “safer at home” orders have given us an opportunity to stay on top of the constantly emerging and evolving federal, state, and local legal requirements for employers regarding COVID-19. Governors, public agencies, and local officials have also issued guidance for employers which, in turn, is frequently updated and changed without notice as the circumstances of the pandemic evolve. It has become a full-time job just to try to stay up to date with these rapidly-changing policies.
In our session, we will provide an overview of key legal changes and new COVID-19 related employer obligations. As always, we will share practical tips about how to stay compliant with the rapidly-evolving legal requirements in this uncertain environment and then discuss the new federal emergency COVID-19 paid sick leave, paid family leave (who would have thought?), and state and local level leaves. We will explore the constantly-evolving guidance issued by federal agencies to address COVID-19 implications under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). We will hit the highlights of key compliance issues raised by COVID-19 under the FMLA, the ADA, OSHA, and more.
We will also review the common requirements and emerging trends of the hundreds of state and local orders and guidance of employers who continue to operate during the pandemic. Attendees will get briefed on updates to workers’ compensation requirements and COVID-19. The session will review emerging developments in litigation that has been filed in the wake of COVID-19 as well as areas where legal commentators are expecting to see more lawsuits. Finally, we will discuss new state and proposed federal legislation granting immunity to employers and businesses and discuss whether businesses should request waivers from either customers or employees.
The topics are enough to send even the most seasoned professional’s head spinning, but we’re excited to provide them in a digestible and engaging way. We look forward to seeing you virtually on Aug. 19!