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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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.

CDC Removes Mask Requirement For Fully Vaccinated In Some Settings

May 14, 2021In a surprise move, the CDC followed the lead of the various states that have lifted their masking and physical distancing recommendations. However, the CDC’s new recommendations come with a twist.

Pennsylvania Employees, Organs, and the FMLA

May 4, 2021Employee question of the day for HR: “I need time off because I’m donating a kidney.” You’re probably wondering: “How do I respond to this request? Is this incredibly generous employee entitled to protected leave?”

Understanding Time Off From Work Obligations For COVID-19 Vaccinations

April 27, 2021Last week, President Biden encouraged employers to pay employees for time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and highlighted the tax credits available for employers with less than 500 employees.

Employers Receive Clarification Regarding 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

April 23, 2021The COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statute was signed into law a month ago and employers were faced with uncertainty as to whether their employee’s leave request qualified under the statute. Fortunately, the Labor Commissioner has updated its FAQs to provide further clarity to employers.

Indiana Enacts Pregnancy Accommodations Law, Effective in July 2021

April 23, 2021A new Indiana statute sets out the process for pregnant workers to seek a reasonable accommodation from their employers. The new law applies to employers with at least 15 employees. It goes into effect on Jul. 1, 2021.

Washington Amends Its Paid Family and Medical Leave Act in Response to Pandemic

April 23, 2021The Washington State Legislature has temporarily amended the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Act to create pandemic leave assistance grants for certain employees and employers.

COVID-19 Vaccination: Setting Up On-Site Programs

April 15, 2021The Biden administration has called for all people at least 18 to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by Apr. 19, 2021. Organizations considering setting up an on-site COVID-19 vaccination program have several issues to consider.

Understanding CFRA: Who Is a “Family Member”?

April 15, 2021The new year brought several important changes to the California Family Rights Act. One key change that employers should be aware of is the expansion of the scope of individuals who qualify as “family members” under the law.

Virginia Expands Disability Discrimination Protections and Adds Domestic Worker Protections

April 14, 2021Effective Jul. 1, 2021, Virginia further expands the scope of the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The state also enacted protections and benefits for domestic workers.

Virginia Paid Sick Leave for Home Health Workers

April 13, 2021Effective Jul. 1, 2021, Virginia provides designated paid sick leave for home health workers.

Private New Mexico Employers Must Provide Up to 64 Hours of Paid Sick Leave

April 13, 2021Beginning on July 1, 2022, New Mexico will join 15 other states (and Washington, D.C.) in requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

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.