Decisions around remote and in-office working arrangements are one of the many areas of potential liability in the COVID-19 era. Lawyers from Mayer Brown presented on this and other areas of potential liability in a recent webinar for a major auto manufacturer, highlighting important issues that employers should address in the months ahead.

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On April 29, 2020, the City of Los Angeles adopted the COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance and the COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance, both of which come into effect on June 14, 2020. Two weeks later, on May 12, 2020, the Los Angeles County adopted its own COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance and COVID-19 Right of Retention Ordinance, applying in the unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles, both of which became effective immediately.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Related Worker Retention and Right of Recall Protections Adopted for Airport, Event Center, Hotel, and Commercial Property Employees in Los Angeles City and County

On May 20, 2020, the Chicago City Council passed a new ordinance that bars employers from retaliating against employees who miss work for certain reasons related to COVID-19.  The ordinance, which became effective immediately after passage, imposes potentially significant financial penalties on employers who violate the ordinance.

The ordinance incorporates the definitions contained in the City of Chicago’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (Chapter 1-24-010 of the Municipal Code).  The ordinance applies to all employers with a business facility within the city’s boundaries, and generally to any employee who spends at least two hours working within the City limits in any two-week period.

Under the ordinance, employers may not retaliate against employees who:

Continue Reading Chicago Enacts New COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Law

Over the past two weeks, the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued several new memoranda containing guidance for both employers and states related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. On April 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued “Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” which  provides interim guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (“CSHOs”) regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s recordkeeping requirements with respect to recording COVID-19 as an occupation illnesses. In addition, the Employment and Training Administration (“ETA”) has issued three Unemployment Insurance Program Letters (UIPLs) 15-20 , 16-20  and 17-20, which  provide guidance to states concerning the enhanced unemployment insurance benefits provided by the federal government pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act of 2020.

Continue Reading US Department of Labor Issues Guidance Concerning COVID-19 OSHA Reporting Requirements and Unemployment Compensation Under the CARES Act

On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-31-20,  conditionally suspending enforcement of certain—but not all—employer obligations under the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (Cal-WARN) Act “as a result of the threat of COVID-19.”

The Cal-WARN Act requires subject employers to provide employees and certain government agencies with 60-days’ prior notice before implementing a qualifying “mass layoff,” “relocation,” or “termination.” Cal-WARN applies to “covered establishments,” defined as “any industrial or commercial facility, or part thereof that employs, or has employed within the preceding 12 months, 75 or more persons,” including part-time employees.

Continue Reading California Governor Partially Suspends Cal-WARN’s 60-Day Notice Period for COVID-Related Closures

On March 18, 2020, the State of New York enacted new legislation providing sick leave to employees in New York State during the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill (S.8091/A.10153) took effect immediately. The new law, which is an extension of the existing New York Paid Family Leave law, provides sick leave to employees who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York, the New York State Department of Health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such an order. Employees whose children are home from school due to an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York or any authorized government entity due to COVID-19 are also eligible for paid sick leave under this new law.

Continue Reading New York Enacts Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

Employers in the United States should be aware of newly enacted legislation—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)—that imposes obligations on many employers  to provide temporary paid family and sick leave to employees directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump signed the law on March 18, 2020.

The FFCRA contains two separate laws that