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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Archives

Philadelphia Enacts COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

April 9, 2021Philadelphia has joined a growing list of localities to require employers to provide employees paid COVID-19-related sick leave.

New York State Employees Entitled to Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations

March 19, 2021Effective immediately, New York State employers must provide employees with up to four hours of paid time off per COVID-19 vaccination.

The American Rescue Plan Extends FFCRA Tax Credit, But Not the Mandate

March 15, 2021On Mar. 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Plan extends the date employers can receive tax credits for qualified wages paid to employees from Mar. 31, 2021 until Sep. 30, 2021.

Understanding CFRA: Who Is Eligible for CFRA Leave

March 12, 2021With the recent expansion of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), employers who previously were not covered under CFRA now find themselves having to navigate the murky waters of the law.

Fifth Circuit Holds Regular Attendance Is Essential

March 12, 2021An employer’s past leniency in applying and enforcing its attendance policy did not contradict the employer’s later position that regular worksite attendance was required for employment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held.

Updated Guidance from California’s DFEH at the One Year Mark of the Pandemic

March 11, 2021California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the agency charged with administering California’s employment discrimination statute and regulations, has updated its COVID-19 guidance for employers.

California Leave Bills Employers Should Watch

March 3, 2021Though employers may feel like California just wrapped up its legislative session for 2020, the 2021 legislative session is already in full swing. Feb. 19 was the last day for the proposal of new bills.

Understanding CFRA: How CFRA Works for Pregnant Employees

February 24, 2021On Jan. 1, 2021, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) expanded in several ways, including that small employers (those with five or more employees) must now provide up to 12 workweeks of CFRA leave within a 12-month period to eligible employees.

Arizona Expands Employment Discrimination Laws to Prohibit Pregnancy Discrimination

February 19, 2021Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on pregnancy or childbirth.

California’s Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act Covers COVID-19

February 11, 2021California currently has a patchwork of local COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave ordinances which remain in effect in 2021.

More Movement Towards Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Records

February 10, 2021A key tech initiative as COVID-19 vaccinations begin rolling out are digital health passports. One example is being developed by a group of large tech companies, along with the Mayo Clinic, as part of the Vaccination Credential Initiative.

OSHA Issues New Guidance for Employers Combating COVID-19

February 9, 2021On Jan. 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.”

CDC Expands Guidance on Informed Consent to Support Workplace SARS-CoV-2 Testing

February 1, 2021As employers continue to grapple with a safe return to the workplace, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for businesses and employers on SARS-CoV-2 testing of employees, as part of a more comprehensive approach to reducing transmission of the virus in non-healthcare workplaces.

California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in 2021

January 28, 2021In 2020, employers with employees in California were inundated with new compliance requirements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the leave requirements of the FFCRA have expired, many local agencies are reviewing the supplemental sick leave ordinances that were adopted in 2020.

Seventh Circuit Continues To Find That Lengthy Leaves of Absence May Not Be Reasonable Accommodations

January 25, 2021On Dec. 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in McAllister v. Innovation Ventures, LLC, No. 20-1779 (7th Cir., Dec. 30 2020), and held that an employer did not violate the ADA where it terminated its employee after it became clear that she would require several additional months of leave after she had already been granted a two-and-a-half-month leave of absence due to her disability.

President Biden Calls for Reinstating and Expanding Mandatory Paid Leave as Part of COVID Relief Package

January 21, 2021As all eyes were on Washington, D.C. last week with the inauguration of the 46th President. President Biden has laid out an “aggressive plan” to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic recovery, and invest in racial justice.”

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana User May Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Retaliation Claims

January 21, 2021A federal court in Pennsylvania held that a medical marijuana user’s claims for disability discrimination and retaliation were sufficiently alleged to survive the employer’s motion to dismiss.

Want to Know if Your Employees Received the COVID-19 Vaccine? Some Best Practices to Consider

January 20, 2021While its rollout has been slow, the vaccine is being administered across the U.S. and in other countries. For a variety of reasons, organizations want to know whether their workforce members (employees, contractors, etc.) have been vaccinated. The EEOC has provided some guidance on the issue.

DOL Field Assistance Bulletins Clarify Telehealth and Telework Impact on FMLA Obligations

January 15, 2021On Dec. 29, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued two field assistance bulletins aimed at clarifying obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act in light of the prevalence of telework and telehealth.

Mandatory COVID-19 Benefits Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act Have Ended. Now What?

January 14, 2021In March 2020, when Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) with a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2020, few anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic would be ongoing into 2021. But the pandemic has not slowed, and requests for COVID-19-related leave (along with the corresponding tax credits) continue.

Wellness Programs and Water Bottles – EEOC Proposes New Rules under the ADA and GINA

January 13, 2021Since 1996, when Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), employers have been struggling with whether and to what extent they could offer incentives to employees to participate in certain “wellness programs.” On Jan. 7, the EEOC proposed a new approach that may provide employers some certainty, particularly as many employers are wondering about incentives to encourage employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

DFEH Releases Family and Medical Leave Tool Kit

January 12, 2021The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the administrative agency charged with enforcing the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), has released new documentation for Family and Medical Leave that reflects the expansion of CFRA which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

With Federal COVID-19 Leave Ending, Leave Laws in D.C. and Elsewhere Take Center Stage

January 6, 2021When the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired on Dec. 31, 2020, COVID-19-related leave was no longer assured for many employees throughout the United States unless another law, like the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, applies.

New York State, Modified New York City Sick and Safe Leave Obligations Fully Effective Jan. 1

January 4, 2021The New York State Paid Sick Leave Law and the amendments to the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law expanding employees’ paid sick leave entitlements went into full effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

COVID-19 Leave Arrives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

December 10, 2020On Dec. 9, 2020, Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto signed a new ordinance granting COVID-19 Sick Time to certain employees working within the City.

Has the COVID-19 14-Day Quarantine Period Been Shortened?

December 9, 2020By now, employers likely have heard the news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reduced the length of time that individuals should quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19. The old adage “don’t believe everything you read” turns out to be true in this case.

CDC Clarifies Critical Infrastructure Worker Guidance

December 4, 2020On Nov. 16, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) clarified its guidance permitting critical infrastructure workers to return to work before the end of the standard 14-day quarantine period following exposure to COVID-19.

Connecticut Paid FMLA: What Employers Need to Know Now

November 25, 2020With a difficult 2020 nearing its end, if Connecticut Paid FMLA has recently reappeared on your radar, don’t fret! Simply review these basics to prepare for this upcoming change.

Michigan’s Patchwork of COVID-19 Laws & Orders For Employers

November 25, 2020As previously reported, on Oct. 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated post-Apr. 30, 2020 Executive Orders that Governor Whitmer issued related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate…That Is The Question

November 18, 2020As we enter flu season (in the midst of a national spike in COVID-19 cases), and it now appears that a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, employers are struggling with whether they should require employees to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza and/or COVID-19 infection.

Colorado Voters Approve Paid Medical and Family Leave Initiative

November 9, 2020Colorado voters approved the Paid Medical and Family Leave (PMFL) Initiative, Proposition 118, on Election Day. PMFL creates a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program in Colorado that allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave and keep their job.

California Employers Cannot Forget Local Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Yet

November 5, 2020In September, when Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867, employers hoped that the state-wide COVID-19 Supplemental Leave was a replacement for the patchwork of local ordinances. However, due to differences in coverage, many employers are faced with complying with the more stringent local ordinances.

Request For Medical Examination Was Permissible Under ADA After Positive Drug Test Result

October 30, 2020A federal court in Indiana dismissed an employee’s claim that his employer did not have the right to request a medical examination after he tested positive for drugs and subsequently admitted that he was taking numerous prescription medications that could create a safety risk.

CDC Guidance on “Close Contact” Is Expanded

October 22, 2020Just when you thought you had your contact tracing protocol down for dealing with COVID-19 exposures, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance has changed again.

California’s Governor Signs Several Bills Causing Bold Changes to Employee Leaves

October 6, 2020California wrapped up its 2020 Legislative Session with the Governor passing several bills that bring dramatic changes to employee leave requirements.

Amendments to New York City Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law Effective

October 1, 2020On Sep. 23, 2020, the New York City Council enacted Int. No 2032-A, and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill on Sep. 28, 2020.

Maine Labor Department Releases Final Rules for Earned Paid Leave Law

September 28, 2020As the Jan. 1, 2021, effective date of Maine’s Earned Paid Employee Leave Law approaches, the state Department of Labor (DOL) has promulgated the much-anticipated final regulations for implementing the statute.

New California Law Significantly Expands Employee Entitlement to Family and Medical Leave

September 18, 2020California employers with as few as five employees must provide family and medical leave rights to their employees under a new law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sep. 17, 2020. The new law significantly expands the state’s existing family and medical leave entitlements and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Do Employers Still Need to Provide Time to Vote in California?

September 3, 2020In light of new executive orders to ensure wide availability of voting options in California, employers may question if they still are required to provide time during the workday for their employees to vote.

School’s Back (Or Is It)! When Can Your Employees Take FFCRA Leave?

August 31, 2020For many, the start of school looks different this year: from all virtual, to hybrid, to parent’s choice. Employers required to provide leave under the Federal Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) may be wondering how to administer FFCRA leave under this new regime.

Washington Governor Creates COVID-19 Food Production Workers Paid Leave Program

August 21, 2020Under the Washington COVID-19 Food Production Workers Paid Leave Program, no food production employer in Washington may operate from Aug. 18, 2020, to Nov. 13, 2020, unless the employer provides its workers with paid leave for certain qualifying events.

Puerto Rico Working Mothers Act Amended to Provide Additional Adoption Leave for Working Mothers

August 14, 2020On Aug. 8, 2020, Wanda Vázquez Garced signed into law an amendment to the Puerto Rico Working Mothers Act.

New Georgia Legislation Requires Employers to Provide Paid Lactation Breaks

August 13, 2020Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed new legislation requiring employers to provide paid lactation breaks and private locations at the worksite where working mothers can express breast milk.

EEOC Issues Guidance on Opioid Addiction in Employment

August 11, 2020The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued two technical assistance documents on Aug. 5, 2020, addressing accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for employees who use opioid medications or may be addicted to opioids.

New York District Court Vacates Parts of FFCRA Regulations Including Healthcare Provider Definition

August 4, 2020Shortly after the Department of Labor issued its FFCRA regulations, the state of New York filed a lawsuit challenging some of the provisions. Today (four months after the regulations went into effect, and just five months before the FFCRA is set to expire), the federal district court in New York struck down four provisions in the regulations.

DOL Issues Additional Clarification on FMLA, FFCRA, FLSA in COVID-19 Context

July 24, 2020The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued additional clarification on its FAQs and guidance regarding the FMLA and the FFCRA in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some highlights include:

California Legislature Proposes Bill Mirroring Executive Order Regarding Food Sector Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

July 24, 2020On Apr. 16, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20, (Executive Order) which provides COVID-19 related paid sick leave for “food sector workers” who work for larger employers in the state. The California legislature is now considering codifying those leave requirements with Senate Bill 729.

Extended School Closings Create Homework for Employers

July 22, 2020You can hear the parents wailing across the country, as states begin to announce their plans to keep physical schools closed or alternate between in-school and virtual classes for the upcoming year.

Colorado Enacts Legislation Requiring Employers to Provide Employees with Paid Sick Leave

July 21, 2020Colorado has enacted the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (SB20-205) (HFWA) to require employers to provide employees with up to six days, or up to 48 hours, of earned paid sick leave.

South Carolina Enacts Lactation Support Act

July 7, 2020South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law the South Carolina Lactation Support Act, requiring employers to provide employees reasonable unpaid break time, or paid break time or mealtime, each day to express breast milk.

Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

July 2, 2020The “Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” (Senate Bill 2520) requires every employer with at least 15 employees to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s or prospective employee’s medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on business operations.

Changes to Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Became Effective Jul. 1, 2020

July 2, 2020On Jul. 1, 2020, a number of substantive changes (including expanded coverage) to Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) became effective.

Summer Break Does Not Necessarily Mean A Break From FFCRA Leave Requirements

July 2, 2020Its July. A time when in normal years, schools are closed and families are planning vacations. But in 2020, paid vacation is being replaced with paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), leaving employers asking, can they still do that?

D.C.’s Highly Anticipated Paid Family Leave Program Launches July 1

June 30, 2020After three years of preparation, the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 went live on Wednesday, July 1.

Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to Minneapolis Sick and Safe Ordinance

June 25, 2020The Minnesota Supreme Court (5-2) has upheld the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, ruling state law does not preempt the Ordinance, and it can apply to employers who are located outside of the City.

Seattle Enacts Gig Worker Paid Sick & Safe Time Ordinance During COVID-19 Crisis

June 23, 2020The Seattle City Council has enacted the Paid Sick and Safe Time for Gig Workers Ordinance, which temporarily provides paid sick and safe time for online-based food delivery network companies and drivers of transportation network companies with 250 or more gig workers worldwide.

Washington Proclamation Extending Time Period for High-Risk Employee Job Protection

June 15, 2020Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has issued a new Proclamation that extends until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 1, 2020, the job protections in place for “high-risk” Washington employees.

Bereavement Leave: The Next Potential Mandated Leave in California

June 12, 2020California is known for having a multitude of leaves available to employees from sick leave to organ donation leave. Despite this, California has not mandated employers provide bereavement leave for employees. This may change by the end of the year if Assembly Bill 2999, the Bereavement Leave Act of 2020 (the Act), becomes law.

Chicago City Council Passes COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance

June 3, 2020Chicago’s City Council has passed an ordinance to protect employees from retaliation by their employers if they obey public health orders or orders of a healthcare provider to stay at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance was passed by the City Council on May 20, 2020.

Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Proposals Affecting Private Plan Exemptions

May 21, 2020The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave’s (DFML) proposed amendments to existing regulations for the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) include significant changes relating to the private or self-funded plan exemption.

Puerto Rico Senate Passes Reasonable Accommodation Bill for Certain Workers during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 15, 2020The Puerto Rico Senate has approved unanimously Senate Bill No. 1577 (SB 1577), which seeks to amend Section 9 of Puerto Rico Act No. 44 of July 2, 1985, known as the “Law Prohibiting Discrimination Against Disabled Persons,” to expand its protection and confer certain type of employees the right to a reasonable accommodation in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Class Action Suit Claims ADA Requires Public Accommodation to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 at Facility

May 13, 2020Despite significant legal obstacles, on May 4, 2020, a group of plaintiffs filed a class action complaint alleging the Queens Adult Care Center (QACC) violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III) and its precursor, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), by failing to provide a level of care to safeguard their health and safety at its assisted living facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York State Enacts State-Wide Paid Sick Leave Law

May 11, 2020New York State has joined the growing list of states and localities (including New York City and Westchester County) mandating that employers provide paid sick leave to employees.

Expanded Wage Replacement Entitlements for California Employees

May 6, 2020As schools and childcare facilities announce they will remain closed through the summer months, the California legislature is considering an amendment to the state’s Paid Family Leave program to allow employees to obtain income replacement under the unemployment insurance code for COVID-caused school closures.

EEOC Opines on COVID-19 Testing by Employers

April 29, 2020The EEOC’s most recent update provides an answer to the following question: “May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace?”

Navigating Employer Obligations to Provide Employees with Masks, Face Coverings

April 27, 2020As the CDC continues to study COVID-19, the agency is regularly updating guidance on precautionary measures to further prevent the spread across the United States. The agency has expanded its recommended precautions to include “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”.

San Jose Issues Guidance and Opinion Letter Regarding Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

April 27, 2020Soon after San Jose passed its supplemental paid sick leave ordinance to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it issued further guidance regarding the leave.

Pregnancy Accommodation Case Turns on Similar Ability to Do the Job, Not “Similarly Situated” Test

April 23, 2020In Durham v. Rural/Metro. Corp., the Eleventh Circuit held that a pregnant employee, who was denied light duty after being placed on lifting restrictions, satisfied the fourth prong of the prima facie case by establishing that her employer had accommodated others who could not lift due to on-the-job injuries.

Puerto Rico Enacts Five-Day Paid Emergency Leave for Pandemic Illness

April 15, 2020Puerto Rico’s Law 37-2020 provides certain employees up to five days of paid leave once they exhaust other paid leave.

Massachusetts Department of Paid Family Leave Releases New Guidance

April 13, 2020The current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis have brought paid family and medical leave to the forefront of the national consciousness. While the federal government and other states have created new, immediately effective, paid family and medical leave laws, Massachusetts has remained committed to the existing timeframe for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), which will be effective Jan. 1, 2021.

EEOC Answers Key Questions for Employers

April 10, 2020The EEOC yesterday for the first time advised that, at least under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers may disclose the employee’s name to the public health agency.

Seattle Bans Employers from Requiring Medical Verification for Paid Sick Leave for 60 Days

April 9, 2020Under Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) law, an employer normally may require verification (including a doctor’s note) for the use of PSST after three consecutive workdays in which the employee uses paid sick/safe leave.

Washington Amends its Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

April 2, 2020On Mar. 26, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law amendments to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.

Judge’s Decision Halts Dallas from Enforcing Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

April 2, 2020Texas employers no longer must provide paid sick leave to their employees in Dallas following the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Sean D. Jordan.

The Los Angeles City Council Passes Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers

April 2, 2020On Mar. 27, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance mandating employers with 500 or more employees nationally offer Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for various COVID-19 related reasons. The ordinance is awaiting Mayor Eric Garcetti’s review and anticipated approval.

DOL Provides Details About Small Employer Exception Under FFCRA

March 30, 2020The Department of Labor has been issuing FAQs to try to explain the provisions regarding small employer exceptions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act before it goes into effect on Apr. 1, 2020.

DOL’s Latest FAQs Expand “Health Care Providers” and Define “Emergency Responders” Under FFCRA

March 30, 2020The DOL's latest FAQ's allow employers of healthcare providers and emergency responders to exclude these employees from the leave provisions under both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

DOL States That Employees on Furlough or Layoff Are Not Eligible for FFCRA Paid Sick Leave or Expanded FMLA

March 30, 2020The Department of Labor issued additional FAQs addressing how the paid sick leave and expanded FMLA leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will apply starting Apr. 1, 2020.

EEOC Releases Recorded Webinar Addressing Important Questions

March 30, 2020The EEOC published a webinar to address common employer questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, including: taking employees temperatures, appropriate and inappropriate disclosure of information related to an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis, and managing employee accommodation requests including requests from employees in the high risk categories identified by the CDC.

DOL Issues Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster

March 26, 2020The Department of Labor published the required poster for employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

DOL Publishes FAQs on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 26, 2020According to the Department of Labor, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Seattle Expands Its Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance in Response to COVID-19

March 24, 2020Effective Mar. 18, 2020, the Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance allows eligible employees working in Seattle to use PSST when their family member’s school or place of care is closed, regardless of whether such closure is made by a public official.

EEOC Updates Its 2009 Guidance Concerning Pandemic Preparedness

March 23, 2020On Mar. 19, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its 2009 pandemic preparedness guidance: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What Employers Should Know About Michigan’s Approach To COVID-19

March 16, 2020With 53 presumptive-positive cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as of March 15, Michigan is taking proactive steps to reduce transmission of the virus.

Puerto Rico Senate Considers Unpaid Emergency Leave for Pandemic Illness

March 16, 2020Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved a bill to establish a new unpaid emergency leave of 20 days for employees with a suspected or actual diagnosis of a pandemic illness.

California Paid Sick Leave and Coronavirus

March 10, 2020Confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have risen swiftly in California and in response, administrative agencies have released guidance to employers regarding wage and hour issues and paid sick leave.

Pittsburgh Sick Days Act Effective Date is Right Around the Corner

March 9, 2020On Mar. 15, 2020, the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act finally goes into effect after its years-long journey through the City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Pennsylvania courts.

Colorado Continues Its Efforts Towards Paid Family Leave

March 3, 2020There is a new proposed Colorado bill, which attempts to create tax incentives to encourage employers to voluntarily support paid parental and medical leave programs.

Governor Planning Big Changes to California Leave Laws

February 7, 2020As California employers continue to grapple with recent legislation effective Jan. 1, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom is releasing his plans for even more employment legislation.

New Facts on Coronavirus Should be Continually Monitored by Employers

February 5, 2020The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, continues to raise not only health concerns, but issues for employers and employees.

The 5th Circuit Affirms “My Disability Made Me Do It” Is No Excuse for Sleeping on the Job

February 5, 2020On Jan. 14, 2020, the 5th Circuit ruled on whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an employer to excuse terminable misconduct — in this case, sleeping on the job — based on an employee’s after-the-fact, disability-related explanation.

Compliance Memos: January 2020

January 16, 2020Paid Family Leave Benefit for Civilian Federal Employees Paid family leave for birth, adoption, or fostering is a new benefit for 2.1 million federal civilian employees, available for these family ... Read More

Paid Sick Leave Quarterly: 4th Quarter 2019

January 14, 2020The end of 2019 brought more nuances, but also resolutions to paid sick leave (PSL) state and local laws. For instance, challenges to the Michigan PSL law and Alabama preemption law were resolved, but the PSL turbulence in Texas continues as we await a decision from the Texas Supreme Court on whether it will wade into the PSL controversy.

Request for Opinion on Michigan Paid Sick Leave Law Rejected

December 20, 2019On Dec. 18, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court said no, it would not issue an advisory opinion on the legality of the recently enacted state PSL law.

Challenge to Alabama Preemption Law Rejected

December 19, 2019On Dec. 13, 2019, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in an en banc decision, rejected the challenge to Alabama’s minimum wage and employment benefits preemption law.

San Antonio Sick and Safe Leave Law Enjoined

November 25, 2019On Nov. 22, 2019, a Bexar County judge temporarily enjoined implementation of San Antonio’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance to become effective on Dec. 1, 2019.

Westchester Safe Time Leave Has Arrived

November 6, 2019The Westchester County Safe Time Leave Law took effect on Oct. 30, 2019, and starting on Jan. 28, 2020, employers must begin providing eligible new hires with a copy of the law and written notice, which is intended to explain how the law applies to them.

Paid Sick Leave Quarterly: 3rd Quarter 2019

October 29, 2019The paid sick leave (PSL) turbulence in Texas garnered most of the PSL headlines in the third quarter. How that turbulence ends will determine the fate of PSL ordinances in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

6th Circuit Rules Regular, On-Site Attendance Is Essential Function

October 22, 2019The 6th Circuit held “regular, in-person attendance constitutes an essential function of most jobs," but an employer must tie time-and-presence requirements to some other job requirement in order to prove that in-person attendance is indeed an essential job function.

Massachusetts Begins Withholdings to Fund Paid Family and Medical Leave

October 3, 2019After an initial delay, payroll and wage withholdings to fund the Massachusetts paid family and medical leave program began Oct. 1, 2019, which will establish a fund that will allow employees in the Commonwealth to begin taking paid leave in 2021 for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Can You Be Regarded as Disabled Based on a Potential Future Disability?

September 19, 2019Can you be regarded as disabled based on a potential future disability? In a case just decided by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, EEOC v. STME, LLC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) espoused precisely this position.

7th Circuit Rules Employee’s Telework Accommodation Unreasonable

September 17, 2019The 7th Circuit ruled the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) did not fail to accommodate a disabled lawyer by rejecting her request to work from home.

DOL States that Employers May Not Delay Designating FMLA Leave

September 13, 2019On Sept. 10, 2019, the Department of Labor issued an FMLA opinion letter stating that an employer may not delay designating paid leave as FMLA leave if the delay complies with a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and the employee prefers that the designation be delayed.

9th Circuit Dodges the Question of Whether Morbid Obesity Is an “Impairment” Under the ADA

August 30, 2019On Aug. 20, 2019, the 9th Circuit dodged answering the question of whether or not morbid obesity is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bernalillo County, NM Passes “Any Reason” Leave Law

August 26, 2019Bernalillo County Commissioners in New Mexico approved an “any reason” leave law by a narrow margin on Aug. 20, 2019.

DOL Opines That Parent’s Attendance at Individualized Education Program Conference Warrants FMLA Leave

August 26, 2019In an Aug. 8, 2019 opinion letter, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) shed some light on what counts as “caring for” a family member under the FMLA.

Oregon Governor Signs Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

August 26, 2019Oregon’s paid family and medical leave law was signed by Governor Kate Brown on Aug. 9, 2019.

San Francisco Employers May Have to Pay More in Paid Parental Leave Benefits in 2020

August 26, 2019Currently, employers who have 20 or more employees (located anywhere) are required to provide eligible San Francisco employees with up to 6 weeks of supplemental compensation when an employee takes time off to bond with a new child. Effective July 1, 2020, this requirement will increase to 8 weeks of supplemental compensation.

Pittsburgh Sick Leave Law Upheld

August 12, 2019The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held recently that the City of Pittsburgh had authority to enact the Paid Sick Days Act.

Employer’s Additional Notice Requirement for Requesting FMLA Leave Dooms Dismissal Attempt

August 12, 2019While the FMLA regulations clearly authorize employers to adopt “usual and customary notice and procedural rules for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances,” this case suggests employers should closely review any such rules to determine whether they place impermissible additional burdens on employees seeking FMLA leave.