Stay on Top of Legislative Changes

DMEC Legislative UpdatesCompliance with rapidly changing state and federal laws is a challenge for employers across the country. For more than 20 years, DMEC has been monitoring and reporting on decisions and developments that impact absence, disability, and return to work programs.

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Voting and Sick Leave for Georgia Employees

May 24, 2023A new Georgia law takes effect on July 1, 2023 (GA S 129) and provides employees time off to advance vote in primaries and elections. The Georgia legislature, with sign off from Governor Brian Kemp, also recently voted to repeal the sunset provision relating to use of sick leave for care of immediate family members.

DOL Pumps It Up With New Guidance on PUMP Act Enforcement

May 23, 2023The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2023-02 providing guidance to agency officials responsible for enforcement of the “pump at work” provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) including those recently enacted under the 2022 PUMP Act.

Puerto Rico Five-Day Paid Leave for COVID-19 Ends

May 18, 2023The governor of Puerto Rico has issued Executive Order No. OE-2023-012, ending the state of emergency declared in 2020 due to the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and repealing multiple Executive Orders issued to adopt preventive measures because of COVID-19.

New Executive Order Relieves Federal Contractors From Safer Federal Workforce Requirements

May 18, 2023As anticipated, President Joe Biden has rescinded the COVID-19 safety requirements for federal contractors in connection with the declared end of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the World Health Organization determination that COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

EEOC Revises its COVID-19 Guidance, Again

May 17, 2023In response to the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 technical assistance: “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws”.

Maryland Modifies, Delays Implementation of Its Paid Leave Program

May 17, 2023Maryland Governor Wes Moore has signed an amendment (Senate Bill 828) modifying the 2022 law that established the state’s paid leave system, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program.

Ending of Federally Mandated COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements and Public Health Emergency

May 5, 2023The Biden-Harris Administration has announced that, at the end of the day on May 11, 2023, it will end COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees, federal contractors, and international air travelers. The COVID-19 public health emergency also will end on the same day.

Idaho Enacts New Coronavirus Vaccination Law

April 28, 2023Under new legislation coined the “Coronavirus Stop Act,” employers doing business in the state of Idaho may no longer require a coronavirus vaccination as a term of employment unless required by federal law or where the terms of employment include travel to foreign jurisdictions requiring vaccination.

Gig Workers Get New Protections in Washington

April 26, 2023New laws in Seattle and Washington State allow certain gig workers greater access to traditional employee benefits.

Virginia Law Mandating Unpaid Organ Donor Leave Goes Into Effect July 2023

April 20, 2023Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a law on April 12, 2023, mandating employers provide unpaid organ donor leave. When the law goes into effect on July 1, 2023, Virginia will join nearly 20 other states that require employers to provide medical donor leave.

San Francisco Issues Implementation Guidance for Military Leave Pay Protection Act

March 10, 2023On Feb. 19, 2023, San Francisco’s Private Sector Military Leave Pay Protection Act took effect. The ordinance requires covered employers to provide supplemental pay to an employee while on leave for military duty for up to 30 days in a calendar year.

Federal Court Strikes Down Amendments to Puerto Rico Employment Law Reform

March 10, 2023Less than a year after its enactment, a federal district court has declared null and void Puerto Rico Act 41-2022, a law that rolled back parts of the 2017 employment law reform. Accordingly, the 2017 Puerto Rico employment law reform is back in full force.

Bloomington and St. Paul’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinances Get Updates

March 1, 2023Responding to increased attention to worker protections promoting public health and safety, both Bloomington’s and St. Paul’s City Councils recently unanimously approved amendments to their Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) Ordinances.

DOL Issues Guidance on Handling Telework under FLSA, FMLA

February 21, 2023The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance on the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act to employees who telework from home or from another location away from the employer’s facility.

Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act is Ready for Governor’s Signature

February 15, 2023Governor J.B. Pritzker has indicated he intends to sign the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act that passed both houses of the legislature on Jan. 10, 2023. The Act will entitle covered employees to earn and use up to 40 hours of paid leave in each 12-month period of their employment and go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

San Francisco Passes Ordinance Mandating Paid Military Leave

February 7, 2023On Jan. 20, 2023, San Francisco approved the Military Leave Pay Protection Act, which mandates that certain employers must provide paid leave for employees taking leave for military duty. The ordinance takes effect 30 days after passage on Feb. 19, 2023.

(Mothering) Justice Denied: Legislative Amendments to Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Upheld

February 3, 2023The Michigan legislature was within its authority to amend two ballot initiatives in 2018 — one to significantly raise the minimum wage and the other to greatly expand the availability of paid sick leave to employees, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held.

Washington Paid Family Medical Leave Program’s Premium Rate Increased for 2023

January 23, 2023On Jan. 1, 2023, the Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave Program’s “total premium” rate rose to 0.8% from 0.6%. This rate is recalculated annually in October, based on contributions from premiums and benefits paid during the previous year.

New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Declared Null and Void

January 20, 2023On Friday, Jan. 13, 2022, a New York State Supreme Court Judge for Onondaga County struck down the New York State Department of Health regulation mandating certain healthcare professionals be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, declaring the regulation to be “null, void, and of no effect.” (Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, et. al. v. Bassett, et al.)

Important Information about Colorado’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program

January 6, 2023Starting Jan. 1, 2023, Colorado employers must comply with Colorado’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act, which requires nearly all employers and all employees to contribute to the state’s paid family and medical leave program.

New York Department of Health Revises the COVID-19 Return-to-Work Protocols

December 28, 2022On Nov. 30, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) updated its Advisory on Return-to-Work Protocols for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to Sars-CoV-2.

Appellate Court Addresses How Much Information Employee Must Submit to Support an Accommodation Request

December 15, 2022One of the many difficult issues employers face under the ADA is determining what information a disabled employee must provide to an employer to trigger the employer’s duty to accommodate a disability. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed that question for the first time in Owens v. Georgia.

New York Bars Discipline for Legally Protected Employee Absences

December 7, 2022On Nov. 21, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law clarifying that it is unlawful for an employer to penalize an employee for any absence protected under federal, state, or local law.

The Aftermath of U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs: Where Are the States in Fall 2022?

November 2, 2022The legal landscape around abortion rights has changed greatly following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392 (June 24, 2022), which ended a nearly 50-year precedent protecting the right to abortion and opened the door for states to implement and enforce new laws on access to abortion.

Puerto Rico Disability Discrimination Law Covers Registered and Authorized Medical Cannabis Patients

October 24, 2022Puerto Rico’s disability discrimination statute (Law 44-1985), the local counterpart of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has been amended to extend coverage to registered and authorized medical cannabis patients. The amendment (Law 90-2022) went into effect on Oct. 14, 2022, upon Governor Pedro Pierluisi’s signing.

Election Day is Coming – A Reminder of Employer Obligations

October 21, 2022With midterm elections upon us, employers should ensure they are aware of and in compliance with state law requirements related to employee voting rights.

San Francisco’s OLSE Issues FAQs for Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance

October 14, 2022In June, San Francisco voters approved Proposition G, which created the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO). The ordinance requires private employers to provide paid leave to employees for “public health emergencies.”

California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Extended Until Year End with Potential Grants

October 12, 2022California has extended COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) through Dec. 31, 2022. On Sept. 29, 2022, California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 152 which amends the existing SPSL law and provides for state grants to certain employers.

Bereavement Leave Now Protected in California

October 4, 2022On Sept. 29, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1949, which amends the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to require covered employers to provide eligible employees with 5 days of bereavement leave.

Now Is Always a Good Time to Evaluate Your FMLA Processes

September 27, 2022Based on experience advising hundreds of employers and closely watching court rulings on cases around the country, below are a few tips for complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Fourth Circuit Rules: Gender Dysphoria Is Not Excluded from Coverage under the ADA

August 19, 2022Gender dysphoria is not excluded from the broad definition of “disability” protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held.

CDC’S COVID-19 Guidance Changes…Again

August 15, 2022Since March 2020, COVID-19 rules have been confusing at best. On Aug. 11, 2022, in an effort to streamline the guidance and reflect the current state of the pandemic, the CDC once again issued updated guidance.

What Employers Need to Know About Monkeypox

August 10, 2022Monkeypox is the latest virus to catch wide attention. But it is important for employers to keep in mind that MPV is not COVID-19. Nevertheless, there are steps employers can take.

Change to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Vetoed

August 9, 2022A provision in the enacted state budget for fiscal year 2023 would have amended the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act to provide employers and employees more flexibility to use other accrued benefits to supplement paid benefits received from the state.

Order for Changes to Michigan Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Law Stayed

August 9, 2022On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims held that in 2018, the state legislature violated the Michigan Constitution when it enacted, and within the same legislative session amended, two ballot initiatives — one to raise the minimum wage and the other to require employers to provide paid sick leave.

Massachusetts PFMLA Allows Adding Accrued Sick and Vacation Pay to Benefits

July 29, 2022A provision in the enacted state budget for fiscal year 2023 amends the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) to provide employers and employees more flexibility to use other accrued benefits to supplement paid benefits received from the state.

Michigan Court Voids State’s Minimum Wage and Paid Medical Leave Acts

July 28, 2022Citing legislative “sleight of hand,” the Michigan Court of Claims has held that the Michigan legislature violated the state’s Constitution when, in 2018, it adopted and then immediately amended ballot initiatives to increase the state’s minimum wage and to require employer-paid sick leave.

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance to Reflect Current State of COVID-19 in the U.S.

July 22, 2022As the pandemic continues to evolve, so does the EEOC’s guidance. On July 12, 2022, the EEOC once again updated its COVID-19 guidance: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws to reflect the pandemic’s changing state

San Francisco Voters Approved New Public Health Emergency Leave

July 18, 2022In June, San Francisco voters passed Proposition G, a new Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance. The ordinance requires private employers to provide paid leave to employees for “public health emergencies.”

Paid Family Leave Grant for Small Employers

July 13, 2022California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which is administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD) provides eligible employees with up to 8 weeks of wage replacement benefits when an employee is off work for certain qualifying reasons.

Second Circuit Issues Decision on Title III Braille Gift Card Appeal

July 13, 2022The Second Circuit issued a decision in Calcano, et al. v. Swarovski North America Ltd., et al., affirming dismissal of five consolidated cases brought by visually impaired plaintiffs who alleged various retail defendants must provide braille gift cards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Sick Leave for All New Mexico Employees Begins July 1

June 29, 2022The New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act (“NMHWA”) requires all private employers in New Mexico to provide all employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Bloomington Becomes the Fourth City in Minnesota to Require Paid Sick and Safe Leave

June 29, 2022The City of Bloomington, Minnesota is the latest city in Minnesota to join the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth in enacting an Earned Sick and Safe Leave ordinance (ORDINANCE NO. 2022-31).

Amendments to Puerto Rico 2017 Employment Reform Law

June 24, 2022Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi has signed into law changes reversing portions of the 2017 employment reform law. House Bill 1244 (HB 1244) rolls back and changes the statutory probationary period, vacation and sick leave accrual, and eligibility for the annual Christmas Bonus, among other requirements.

Illinois Expands Unpaid Child Bereavement Leave to Cover Additional Family Members, Losses

June 16, 2022Illinois has enacted amendments to the Child Bereavement Leave Act, expanding the law’s scope and renaming it the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA).

Delaware Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Signed

May 12, 2022On May 10, 2022, Delaware Governor John Carney signed the Healthy Delaware Families Act, which provides up to 12 weeks of leave and benefits to covered employees for certain parental, family caregiving, and medical reasons.

New Paid Family Leave Laws Sprout in Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia Region

April 26, 2022Both Maryland and Virginia have joined the District of Columbia in enacting laws relating to paid family and medical leave for private-sector workers.

Washington Amends Its Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

April 13, 2022The Washington State Legislature has again amended the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Act.

Philadelphia Enacts COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

March 25, 2022On Mar. 10, 2022, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a new ordinance expanding COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) until 2023.

Massachusetts Ends COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

March 14, 2022The Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program will end on March 15, 2022, the state has announced.

Pittsburgh Issues Important Guidance for Victims of Domestic Violence Protections

March 11, 2022Following the passage of a bill that expanded the City’s anti-discrimination law to include employee “status as a victim of domestic violence,” Pittsburgh recently published additional guidance for employers.

Amount of Paid Leave Dramatically Increased Under D.C. Universal Paid Leave Law

March 11, 2022Due to a surplus in the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Fund, the number of weeks of paid leave available to D.C. workers under D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Act will significantly increase on Jul. 1, 2022.

San Francisco OLSE Updates Guidance Regarding Paid Sick Leave and COVID-19

March 7, 2022While many employers are concerned with complying with the recently passed statewide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, employers should also be aware of the interactions between regular paid sick leave and COVID-19 related absences.

CDC Relaxes Mask Recommendations

February 28, 2022In response to requests across the country, and following a number of states who have relaxed or removed their mask requirements, CDC has relaxed its mask recommendations.

Nationwide Injunction on COVID-19 Vaccine for Federal Contractors Applies to Vaccine Requirement Only

January 27, 2022The federal court that issued a nationwide injunction of Executive Order (EO) 14042, “Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors,” has issued a new Order stating that it enjoined only the vaccine requirement of the EO’s implementing tool: the Safer Federal Taskforce (Safer Taskforce) Guidance.

OSHA Withdraws Vaccine-Or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19

January 27, 2022D.C.’s new “COVID Vaccination Leave Temporary Amendment Act of 2021” (Temporary Act) will extend employees’ entitlement to paid time off for both COVID-19 vaccination and recovery from any side effects well into 2022.

At-Home COVID-19 Testing Options and Alternatives

January 24, 2022In fulfillment of President Biden’s promise to make at-home COVID tests more available for all of us, two significant action steps have now occurred

D.C. Employees to Get Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccines Well into 2022

January 18, 2022D.C.’s new “COVID Vaccination Leave Temporary Amendment Act of 2021” (Temporary Act) will extend employees’ entitlement to paid time off for both COVID-19 vaccination and recovery from any side effects well into 2022.

U.S. Supreme Court Turns Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services COVID-19 Vaccine Rules Back On

January 14, 2022Accordingly, CMS can enforce in the 24 states that had been subject to the injunctions reviewed by the Court its interim final rule requiring many Medicare and Medicaid providers to ensure that their covered staff are vaccinated against COVID-19.

U.S. Supreme Court Puts OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine-Or-Test ETS Back on Ice

January 14, 2022In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted a temporary stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). 

All Connecticut Employers Are Covered by State Family and Medical Leave Act Beginning 2022

January 13, 2022Have any employees in Connecticut? Then you are covered by the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (Connecticut FMLA).

Updated Rates for California EDD Benefits and San Francisco Paid Family Leave Ordinance

January 13, 2022The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has released the Voluntary Plan Employee Contribution and Benefit Rates for 2022.

Connecticut Paid Leave Payments and FMLA Changes What You Need to Know

January 3, 2022As we speed closer to Jan. 1, the date when payments will begin under Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act and the effective date of changes to Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA), below are some updates and considerations for employers.

Sixth Circuit Dissolves Stay of OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine ETS

December 20, 2021The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has lifted the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccination and testing for employers with at least 100 employees.

Is COVID-19 a Disability? EEOC Provides Updated Guidance

December 15, 2021On Dec. 14, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added a new section, COVID-19 and the Definition of “Disability” Under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act, to its COVID-19 guidance.

Philadelphia Mandates COVID Vaccine for All City Workers

November 24, 2021On Nov. 19, 2021, the City of Philadelphia announced all City workers must “complete a full schedule of COVID-19 vaccination(s)” by Jan. 14, 2022, or risk losing their jobs.

Florida Legislature Passes New COVID-19 Workplace Laws

November 22, 2021During a special session to consider what Governor Ron DeSantis called his “Keep Florida Free” agenda, the Florida Legislature passed several vaccine measures, some of which conflict with recently implemented federal rules, that affect the workplace.

Fate of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine ETS in the Hands of Sixth Circuit Court

November 18, 2021The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has won the much-anticipated Multi-District Litigation lottery and will get to decide the merits of the challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

Puerto Rico Expands Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

November 18, 2021Puerto Rico Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi has issued an Executive Order (EO) requiring all private sector employers with at least 50 employees to adopt COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirements.

Council Adopts Paid Leave for D.C. Employees Getting COVID-19 Vaccines

November 17, 2021The D.C. Council has adopted legislation that “removes one of the biggest obstacles workers say prevents them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine” by ensuring paid time off for both vaccination and recovery from any side effects.

What Healthcare Employers Need to Know About the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Vaccine Mandate

November 10, 2021The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) establishing the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff employed at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.

Fifth Circuit Hits Pause on OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine or Testing Emergency Standard

November 10, 2021One day after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) titled “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard” (Mandate) (see 86 Fed. Reg., 61,402), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a nationwide stay of the OSHA ETS.

Update on Face Coverings in California

November 5, 2021In June, California relaxed many of its COVID-19 restrictions, including allowing fully vaccinated individuals to go without a face covering indoors, with limited exception.

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard Requiring COVID-19 Tests or Vaccinations for Most Employers

November 5, 2021The temporary COVID-19 Massachusetts emergency paid sick leave (MA EPSL) has been extended through Apr. 1, 2022.

Massachusetts Extends COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave to April 2022

October 4, 2021The temporary COVID-19 Massachusetts emergency paid sick leave (MA EPSL) has been extended through Apr. 1, 2022.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Enacts Paid Sick Leave with New Ordinance

October 1, 2021On Sep. 14, 2021, the Allegheny County Council unanimously approved a new paid sick leave ordinance requiring employers with 26 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to its employees.

How to Handle Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act Leave Periods

September 30, 2021Amendments to the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and employees will be entitled to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, instead of the current 16 weeks of leave in a 24-month period.

President’s Path Out of the Pandemic Adds Obligations for Employers

September 10, 2021On Sep. 9, 2021, the White House issued Path Out of the Pandemic: President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan. The Plan outlines a six-pronged approach, portions of which will impose new obligations on employers across the country.

Oregon Issues New Rule Requiring Vaccinations of Healthcare Workers by Mid-October

August 31, 2021Following on the heels of an executive order by Oregon’s governor requiring full vaccination for teachers, staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools, the Oregon Health Authority yesterday issued a new rule requiring that healthcare providers and healthcare staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 18, 2021.

OSHA Updates Non-Healthcare Employer Guidance on COVID-19

August 18, 2021The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare employers, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace, on Aug. 13, 2021.

Vaccine Verification and Testing Requirements for Workers in Schools Across California

August 16, 2021A week after issuing the first in the nation order mandating all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, on Aug. 11, 2021, the state of California issued an order mandating either vaccination or regular testing for all workers of schools throughout the state.

Puerto Rico Extends Mandatory Vaccination to Dining and Entertainment Sectors

August 13, 2021Puerto Rico has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for additional industries after Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi extended vaccination requirements for employees in the health and hospitality sectors beginning Aug. 16, 2021.

Pittsburgh Expands COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

August 13, 2021Pittsburgh has joined other American cities by enacting new legislation to address the uptick in COVID-19 cases from a sick leave perspective.

Federal Contractors Must Comply with New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for On-Site Employees

August 12, 2021Federal contractors are being contacted by their contracting agencies about implementing requirements relating to President Biden’s mandate that all federal employees and on-site contractor employees either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face repeated testing.

Connecticut Mandates Vaccination for Employees of Broadly Defined ‘Long-Term Care Facilities’

August 12, 2021Connecticut is requiring certain healthcare employees be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Connecticut joins other states, including Washington and Massachusetts, in mandating vaccination.

Puerto Rico Implements Mandatory Vaccination of Certain Employees

August 12, 2021Puerto Rico Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi has issued an Executive Order (EO-2021-058) making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all public employees in the Executive Branch.

New Jersey: Vaccines Or Testing for Workers in Healthcare and High-Risk Congregate Settings

August 12, 2021New Jersey is requiring employers in covered healthcare and high-risk congregate settings to establish a policy that: (1) mandates vaccinations or weekly testing for workers; (2) creates a system to track the results of the applicable testing requirements; and (3) creates a system to communicate the results of such testing to local public health departments.

California Mandates Vaccination for Workers in the Healthcare Industry by Sep. 30

August 11, 2021The California Department of Public Health issued a new "first in the nation" order mandating that workers who provide services or work in certain healthcare facilities receive their first dose of a one-dose vaccine or their second dose of a two-dose vaccine by Sep. 30, 2021.

Duluth, Minnesota Updates Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

August 9, 2021Employers covered by the Duluth, Minnesota Sick and Safe Time ordinance will need to revisit relevant policies in light of amendments that will become effective Aug. 19, 2021.

IRS Updates FAQs to Include Leave to Accompany Someone to a COVID-19 Vaccination

August 9, 2021The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) extends tax credits available to covered employers who provide qualified sick and family leave wages (within the meaning of ARPA) to their employees between Apr. 1, 2021 through Sep. 30, 2021.

Chicago Amends Paid Sick Leave Ordinance to Expand Bases for Leave

August 6, 2021The Chicago City Council amended its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) to clarify and expand the bases to take paid leave and to create a new action for wage theft.

Revised Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Expands Who Are Covered Family Members

August 6, 2021Beginning July 25, 2021, employees can use Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) to care for more people.

DHHS and DOJ Issue Guidance on “Long COVID” As a Disability

August 5, 2021On July 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance explaining that “long COVID” can be a disability under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which apply to state/local government and public accommodations respectively.

To Mandate or Not To Mandate: DOJ Weighs In on Vaccination Mandates

July 29, 2021Can employers mandate vaccines? The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) says they can, but before employers do, they should consider the many legal and practical risks.

Mask On? Mask Off? Mask On? What Employers Need to Know About The New CDC Guidance

July 28, 2021The CDC is now recommending that everyone — including fully vaccinated individuals — wear masks in indoor public settings in all areas with substantial and high transmission of the COVID-19 virus and get tested following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

New Hampshire Adopts Paid Leave Program

July 20, 2021New Hampshire has joined eight states and the District of Columbia when, on June 24, 2021, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a two-year state budget that includes a paid leave program.

Louisiana to Require Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy

July 9, 2021Beginning Aug. 1, 2021, Louisiana employers will be required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who need such accommodations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer.

Oregon Temporarily Allows Vaccine Incentives and Hiring Bonuses

July 9, 2021The Oregon legislature has temporarily amended Oregon’s Equal Pay Act to allow employers latitude to both encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and to attract new employees as the state emerges from COVID-19 business restrictions.

Minnesota Legislature Amends Lactation Breaks and Pregnancy Accommodation Provisions

July 9, 2021As part of the Omnibus Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Bill, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has approved an amendment relating to pregnancy accommodations and barring reducing compensation for lactation breaks, among other changes.

City of Los Angeles Requires Vaccine Leave for Employees Working in the City

July 8, 2021California state and some local COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirements continue through the summer, and the City of Los Angeles’ mayor issued a public order mandating additional paid leave.

OSHA’s Updated Guidance for COVID-19 in Workplaces

July 2, 2021When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rolled out its COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard on June 10, 2021, it also issued its updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in non-healthcare workplaces.

Virginia Employers Soon Must Adopt, Provide Accommodation Policies to Employees With Disabilities

July 1, 2021Starting on July 1, 2021, most Virginia employers must include information in their employee handbooks about reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and provide that information directly to any employee within 10 days after receiving notice that the employee has a disability.

Nevada Expands Paid Leave Rights for Employees, Including for COVID-19 Vaccination

June 30, 2021Nevada has enacted a new law requiring employers to provide additional paid leave to allow employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and clarifying that employees may use existing paid leave to care for themselves and their family members.

Connecticut Enacts Law Providing Employees Unpaid Time Off to Vote

June 25, 2021Connecticut Governor Lamont has signed into law a requirement for employers to provide all employees with two hours unpaid time off to vote.

Maine Expands State FMLA to Allow Leave to Care for Serious Health Conditions of Grandchildren

June 23, 2021Maine employees will soon be eligible to take protected unpaid leave to care for serious health conditions of their grandchildren. On June 14, 2021, Governor Janet Mills signed into law L.D. 61, an Act to Include Grandparents Under Maine’s Family Medical Leave Laws.

Incentives: From Water Bottles to “Not So Substantial”

June 2, 2021For years, the EEOC has waffled about whether incentives were permissible in connection with a medical inquiry under a voluntary wellness program. The EEOC issued its most recent pronouncement on the topic — this time related to incentives for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Montana Makes Vaccination Status a Protected Class

June 1, 2021Discrimination based on vaccination status is prohibited under a new Montana law (House Bill 702). Enacted on May 7, 2021, the new law went into effect immediately.

EEOC Updates Its Guidance On Vaccinations

June 1, 2021The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued additional informal guidance concerning COVID-19 vaccination issues.

For Once, Good Deed Goes Unpunished

May 20, 2021Allowing an employee to self-limit duties and not perform an essential function of a position for an extended period of time may give the employee the expectation that they are performing the essential functions of the position. Setting employee expectations is often key to avoiding litigation.

What Does the CDC’s Latest Mask Guidance Mean For Businesses Open to the Public?

May 20, 2021The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or social distance in many settings raises questions for businesses in retail, hospitality and other settings open to the public.