Since the pandemic hit, Massachusetts has developed strict protocols for those wishing to physically enter the state. Presently, all those 18 years of age or older, as well as unaccompanied minors, must quarantine for 14 days, or otherwise provide written proof that they received a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to arriving in MA. The penalty for non-compliance is stiff: a fine of $500 per day.

Continue Reading To Come to Massachusetts or Not to Come? That is the Question.

On August 27, 2020, New Hampshire updated both the Universal Guidelines for All New Hampshire Employers and Employees and the New Hampshire COVID-19 General Travel and Quarantine Guidance, & Employer Screening and Exclusion Criteria.  These documents apply to “all businesses, organizations, and individual business operators for the operation of their business” and must be

Just in time for the start of the school year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added to its long list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) related to the reopening of schools.

This guidance explains eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including hybrid models melding in-person with distance learning. The DOL addressed three different scenarios.


Continue Reading USDOL Issues Updated Guidance for Which Parents (and Employers) Have Been Waiting

This school year is going to be different – very different.  Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, school districts in the region are still developing their plans which include elements of both remote learning and some in-person learning with restrictions regarding mask-wearing, hygiene, and social distancing.  With parents making up about one-third of the workforce nationally, employers and employees are facing a lot of new challenges as students prepare to resume school.

Continue Reading How Can Employers Support Working Parents This School Year?

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, President Trump took executive actions, sidestepping Congress, to extend certain federal pandemic economic relief. The executive actions were issued after Congressional negotiations over additional pandemic economic relief appeared to have collapsed.

One of these executive actions would address additional unemployment relief by establishing a new lost wages assistance program that would provide a $400 weekly payment to eligible claimants beginning with weeks of unemployment ending August 1, 2020. Individuals would be eligible for these $400 payments if they receive at least $100 per week in any of the following types of benefits: unemployment compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Extended Benefits, Short-Time Compensation, Trade Adjustment Allowance, or Self-Employment Assistance. The $400 would be comprised of a $300 federal contribution, diverted by FEMA from the Disaster Relief Fund, and a required $100 State match, proposed to come from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for States. Some States say they do not know whether they can participate because of their own State budget shortfalls caused by the emergency and because use of the CRF would divert funds from necessary COVID-19 testing programs.


Continue Reading President Trump Signs Executive Actions That Would Provide Certain Pandemic Relief

Companies reopening their offices and facilities will be collecting sensitive personal and health information about their employees (as well as about customers, vendors, and other visitors) to track COVID-19 symptoms. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) typically places strict limits on the collection, use, and disclosure of health information about employees, the ongoing pandemic has prompted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to permit the widespread gathering of health information in the workplace in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Continue Reading Coronavirus Tracking Programs Need to Comply with Privacy Laws

According to the Society for Human Resources (“SHRM”), child care shortages and concerns are complicating a return to the workplace for many parents as the coronavirus continues to spread and options remain unclear for schools, camps and day cares. There are no easy solutions on the horizon for these parents or the companies that employ them. Parents of younger children in particular are more stressed and are being torn in different directions. Single parents, predominantly women, are even more severely impacted.
Continue Reading The Daycare Dilemma: Employers and Employees Alike Challenged with Summer Camp Closures and the Uncertainty of the Next School Year

While employers may require testing for COVID-19 before employees return to work, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has confirmed that employers are prohibited from requiring antibody testing before allowing employees back into the workplace.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) allows employers to inquire into an employee’s disability and conduct mandatory medical tests of

As states begin to reopen their economies following months of shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are wrestling with challenging questions about how to bring their employees back in a safe and responsible manner.

New guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) provides some insight about what employers can and cannot do in connection with bringing certain vulnerable employees back to the workplace.


Continue Reading EEOC Offers Guidance for Accommodating Older Workers and Pregnant Employees in Return to Work Following Pandemic-Related Closures