Labor & Employment Law Blog

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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the central role local and long haul trucking companies and drivers play in the overall U.S. economy and specifically our public health infrastructure.  Now, as states and businesses around the country gradually reopen and truck deliveries begin to ramp up, employers in the commercial trucking industry should be aware of recent changes to Hours of Service regulations as well as COVID-19-related guidance on keeping employees and the general public healthy and safe.  By updating their policies and procedures and enacting responsible safety measures, motor carriers will be in the best position to weather the storm…
On March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Stay At Home Order mandating that all California residents stay home, except as needed to support California’s essential critical infrastructure sectors.  This Order has no set end date. However, as many states across the country begin to slowly reopen their economies, California Governor Gavin Newsom has now published a “Resilience Roadmap” that serves as the overarching plan for California’s incremental reopening.  The Resilience Roadmap is comprised of four stages with each stage gradually permitting the reopening of various businesses depending on the exposure risk that they pose.…
As California businesses begin to reopen and return employees to physical workplaces, there are numerous safety measures for employers to consider implementing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  On May 14, 2020, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) issued its “Interim General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19.”  The new guidelines replace the previous, limited directives by Cal/OSHA, which forced employers to rely heavily on federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Fed/OSHA”) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) for advice instead.  The new guidance identifies specific infection control measures that are mandatory for California…
On May 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would begin the process of allowing various businesses to reopen physical locations as part of a four-phase plan that seeks to gradually re-establish business operations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  While a welcome sign for many businesses and employees, the phased re-opening of California brings about a flurry of return-to-work issues, one of which is how businesses can reduce the number of physical touch points in the workplace.…
On April 29, 2020,  the City of Los Angeles passed the COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance to protect workers amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring certain businesses within the City to adhere to worker retention provisions whenever a change in control occurs within two years following the declaration of emergency due to COVID-19.  The ordinance takes effect on June 14, 2020. The ordinance defines a “change in control” as any sale, assignment, transfer, contribution, or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets used in the operation of a business, or a discrete portion of…
On April 29, 2020, the City of Los Angeles issued a new ordinance, entitled “COVID-19 Right of Recall,” that requires covered employers in Los Angeles to offer priority hiring for laid off rank and file workers, and to allow those workers 5 business days to accept or deny the offer of employment.  Specifically, covered employers must send written offer letters – via mail, email, and written text message – to laid off workers for positions the person is qualified for that become available after June 14, 2020.  A laid off worker is qualified for a position if he…
Los Angeles County enacted an ordinance requiring employers with 500 or more employees nationally and that are not otherwise covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-51-20 to provide employees with supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons.  The City of Los Angeles previously passed a similar ordinance, but the County ordinance expands the coverage for supplemental paid sick leave to employees outside the City’s geographic boundaries.…
As we wrote earlier this year, every employer with employees working in Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”).  The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) recently released a model sexual harassment prevention training program that meets the IHRA’s requirements.…
As every employer grappling with the global pandemic can attest, preventing and combatting occurrences of COVID-19 are paramount considerations.  This concern has become all the more pronounced, and visible to the nation, with the increasing reports of COVID-19 outbreaks at food processing facilities throughout the country.  In response to this potential threat to the nation’s food supply, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) recently issued joint guidance for meat and poultry processing facilities proposing precautionary measures these employers can take to protect their workers and, in turn, the food supply.…
For the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Court’s initial review of the CFAA comes in the wake of a federal circuit split as to whether the statute can only be deployed against hackers and unauthorized users of electronic systems, or also against authorized users who use the information for unauthorized purposes. The Court’s decision may significantly affect not only how law enforcement uses the CFAA, but also whether civil litigants, such as employers, may use the CFAA to defend against unauthorized employee activities.…
As previously noted in our blog, workers’ compensation is an emerging area of concern for employers during the COVID-19 crisis.  For New York employers in the heart of the pandemic, the question of whether one of their employees will contract COVID-19 in the workplace is less a matter of “if” than “when.”  Infected employees may subsequently seek workers’ compensation benefits, which have the potential to be significant if the employee contracts a severe case or suffers lasting damage.  As businesses in New York plan to reopen, employers in the state must take care to review applicable workers’ compensation laws…
While essential workers continue to make their way into the office amid the pandemic, many other Californians have been ordered to shelter in place.  At first blush, non-essential businesses may view this as leading to a decrease in workers’ compensation claims because they no longer have employees physically reporting to the office.  There could be a decrease in claims for businesses that are closed or have reduced their workforce, which appears to be part of the reason for Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s Order of April 13, 2020, requiring that some insurers refund premiums.  However, essential businesses to which employees…
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19, affirming an employer’s ability to medically test its employees for COVID-19 before allowing employees to enter the workplace.  The new guidance expands employers’ options to include medical tests that detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus – not just temperature checks.  The EEOC considers COVID-19 tests to be permissible because an individual with the virus poses a direct threat to the health of others.…
From time to time, employers trigger labor disputes when they make unilateral changes in working conditions.  Unions objecting to such changes often complain to the NLRB, claiming a change to be mandatory bargaining subjects and that the employer’s change without prior bargaining violates the NLRA’s Sections 8(a)(5) and (d).…
The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a joint statement (the “COVID-19 Statement”) regarding what constitutes lawful “procompetitive collaborations” between companies to address certain needs for consumers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.  It also detailed what constitutes unlawful anticompetitive behavior related to essential and frontline workers and other vulnerable employees.  The DOJ and FTC used this opportunity to send a clear warning to companies who may seek to take advantage of the current pandemic by entering into agreements to restrain competition and employee mobility or lower wages.  Separately, for those companies who are…