The City and County of San Francisco recently enacted an emergency Ordinance, the text of which is available here, effective September 11, 2020, which prevents all employers from taking adverse employment actions (e.g., firing, threatening to fire, disciplining, or in any manner discriminating) against employees and independent contractors (collectively “Workers,” as defined in the Ordinance) related to absences caused by COVID-19. The Ordinance is effective for 60 days through November 10, 2020 (unless extended) and applies to any Worker who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is isolating or quarantining, or has previously isolated or quarantined, due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure (a “COVID-19 Absence”). The Ordinance prevents adverse actions during or within 90 days of a COVID-19 Absence. Continue Reading New San Francisco COVID-19–Related Employment Protections Ordinance

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to make available additional unemployment payments for those who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. Upon a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, states and territories may choose to provide eligible claimants up to an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits through December 27, 2020. Seventy-five percent of these additional benefits are funded through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The remaining 25% of the benefits are funded through state unemployment insurance programs. The $400 lost wage assistance replaces the $600 unemployment supplement provided for in the CARES Act, which expired at the end of July. Many states have applied for the additional assistance, and at least one state (South Dakota) has declined the assistance.

Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery Attorneys Jim Davis and Brad Dlatt interview special guest Perkins Coie Labor Partner Heather Sager, who is counseling companies operating during the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics include how businesses find out if they are allowed to re-open, what employers need to know about having employees return to work, the use of health screenings, privacy issues arising from new procedures, the implication for insurance, and a brief legislative update. Listen Here

We have updated and added to our frequently asked questions (FAQs) from U.S. employers relating to COVID-19 and developments in employment law. These updates include new sections on Employer Immigration Considerations and Returning to Work and Reasonable Accommodations. View the FAQs here.

These FAQs provide general guidance based on the current understanding of COVID-19 and federal law. Different conclusions may be reached based on different circumstances, changes to the pandemic, and/or variations in state or local law. Moreover, because the laws, regulations, and guidance pertaining to COVID-19 are constantly in flux and continue to evolve, there may be new or different information not addressed or referenced in these FAQs. Employers should contact experienced counsel for guidance specific to their business.

Employers throughout the United States are rightfully concerned about what they should be doing in light of the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). They need to keep in mind the current status of applicable employment laws when responding to the pandemic, as employer actions may implicate several areas of employment law, including occupational health and safety regulations, anti-discrimination laws, immigration regulations, wage and hour laws, employee leave laws, and employee privacy considerations.

We address frequently asked questions (FAQs) from U.S. employers relating to COVID-19 and developments in employment law here. We will update these FAQs as the legal landscape continues to evolve.

This is general information based on the current understanding of COVID-19 and federal law. Different conclusions may be reached based on different circumstances, changes to the pandemic, and/or variations in state or local law. Employers should contact experienced counsel for guidance specific to their business.

Business and economic disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic are ongoing, and we want to keep you informed on the latest legal developments. Provided below are links to our employment flowcharts intended to help employers navigate issues arising from the FFCRA.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has now passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and is reportedly headed to the President’s desk for signature. This post summarizes the key employment-related provisions of the bill.

The “Paycheck Protection Program”

The CARES Act would increase government guarantees for SBA loans to 100% through December 31, 2020. Notably, it specifies that such loans may be used for business operating costs including payroll, mortgage interest and rent, employee salaries, utilities, and costs associated with group benefits and insurance premiums and paid sick or medical leave periods. This is a key provision, given the new paid leave requirements implemented via the FFCRA. A borrower could not, however, receive this assistance along with that afforded by an economic injury disaster loan from the SBA. The maximum loan amount would be $10 million through December 31, 2020, but the loan amount is tied to actual payroll costs of the borrower. To be eligible, borrowers must attest that the loan is required due to business exigencies related to COVID-19. Finally, the proposal would allow complete deferment of section 7(a) payments for at least six months and at most one year.

Continue Reading The CARES Act: Key Employment Law Provisions

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left employers with many legal questions. As they make decisions regarding employee safety, remote working arrangements, and how to handle business disruption and potential layoffs, companies are asking if their insurance policies will respond to employment-related claims. This update addresses potential insurance coverage for:

  • Crisis management for mass layoffs/furloughs
  • Claims related to layoffs/furloughs
  • Claims for bodily injury
  • Claims for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations, wage-and-hour/FLSA claims, and safe workplace/OSHA claims

This update also includes a checklist to help companies identify what they should be doing now to protect their coverages. Read More

Join us as we discuss employment law in China during the outbreak. This program focuses on the unique aspects of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus and the challenges it poses to business operations. The number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise although there are still critical business enterprises to attend to.

Some organizations have swiftly enacted polices to guide HR through the spread of COVID-19, while others have been slow to implement guidelines. Join our expert team of attorneys as they discuss challenges faced and the employment law measures they have enacted and their effects. This program focuses on the unique aspects of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus and the challenges it poses to business operations. Register Here

On September 17, 2021, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a new Public Health Order, effective at midnight on October 7, 2021, and continuing until further notice.

The Health Order emphasizes that “[t]he best way to reduce the current level of community transmission and to prevent future surges is for everyone who is eligible, including those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection, to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.” To promote its goal and reduce community transmission of the virus, the Health Order requires: Continue Reading LA County Issues New Health Order Affecting Bars, Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Restaurants, and Outdoor Mega Events