On May 1, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #40 to facilitate and guide the reopening of the State in phases.  Referred to as Stay At Home 2.0, Emergency Order #40 sets forth mandatory requirements for those businesses that were considered to be “essential” and that therefore have remained open, as well as for those that are scheduled to reopen all or a portion of their operations in the coming weeks.

Continue Reading NH Healthcare Providers Receive Roadmap for Remaining Open and Reopening Workplaces

On May 1, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #40 to facilitate and guide the reopening of the State in phases.  Referred to as Stay At Home 2.0, Emergency Order #40 sets forth mandatory requirements for those “essential” businesses that have remained open and those that are scheduled to reopen all or a portion of their operations in the coming weeks.

Continue Reading NH Retailers Receive Roadmap for Remaining Open and Reopening Workplaces

The USDOL on April 29, 2020 announced that a Southern California Tire Company will be required to pay an employee $2,606 in back wages for failing to provide sick leave to an employee under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The employee presented documentation to his employer from a health care provider advising that he self-quarantine while waiting for a family member’s test results for coronavirus.  The employer mistakenly believed that the individual was required to produce evidence of a positive test to qualify for the leave.

Continue Reading USDOL Begins Enforcement of Employee FFCRA Rights

The Massachusetts-based Pioneer Institute – a well-respected public policy research body – has issued a “Checklist for Employers” preparing to re-open their facilities. The comprehensive checklist states that:

“While it is impossible to fully eliminate all risks associated with reopening in the COVID-19 setting, an employer may be able to significantly mitigate and reduce risks, such as workplace hazards and employment issues, by following some or all of the recommendations” set forth in the Checklist.


Continue Reading Checklist for Employers Wanting to Re-Open Their Businesses in the Coming Weeks

On Friday, May 1, Governor Baker issued COVID-19 Executive Order No. 31 requiring face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible.  The Order provides that effective Wednesday, May 6, 2020, any person over 2 years of age, within a public place and who cannot maintain social distancing – defined as maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others – “shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering[.]” The new mandate “applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations open to the public as ‘essential businesses.’”

Continue Reading Massachusetts Now Requires Cloth Face Coverings

In a guidance dated March 18, 2020, and discussed in further detail in this blog post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made it clear that employers are entitled to monitor employees’ temperatures during the pandemic in order minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits medical examinations unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity, and taking an employee’s body temperature is regarded as a medical examination. Given recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the EEOC amended its previous guidance that prohibiting temperature taking to allow it in these circumstances. There are, however, a number of issues associated with temperature taking that which employers should consider.


Continue Reading The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Temperature Checks

On May 1, 2020 the Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force issued Universal Guidelines for all New Hampshire employers and employees. The guidelines apply to organizations deemed essential and that remained open during the “Stay at Home Order,” as well as to those now set to reopen fully or partially in the coming weeks.

The Guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Association.  As CDC guidance continues to evolve, businesses should frequently check for updated information. In addition to the general guidelines, industry specific guidance has been developed for  businesses such as retail stores, restaurants, barber shops, hair salons, and golf courses. The Universal Guidelines are designed to strike a balance between ensuring public safety and allowing New Hampshire businesses to remain open.


Continue Reading Stay at Home 2.0 Provides Roadmap for Reopening NH Business and Safety Guidelines for Employers

On Thursday, April 23, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance for employers to include a provision allowing employers to test employees for the COVID-19 virus without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).


Continue Reading The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Allows Employers to Test Employees for COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  is delaying the issuance of “Notice of Right to Sue” letters to workers. While not publicly announced by the agency, officials have confirmed this practice to advocacy groups and media outlets.

The Notice of Right to Sue letter begins the clock ticking as to when plaintiffs must bring a lawsuit against a company for discrimination under federal law. Specifically, once workers receive this EEOC notice, they have 90 days to file a complaint in federal or state court. The 90 days deadline to file in court is a statutory deadline that must be met and cannot be changed by the EEOC.  On the other hand, when the notice that triggers this statutory clock is sent to workers is within the control of the EEOC.  It appears that the EEOC is taking this opening.


Continue Reading LITIGATION: EEOC DELAYS RIGHT-TO-SUE LETTERS AND REMINDS EMPLOYERS ABOUT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS