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

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a national online dialogue to obtain feedback on “Opening America’s Workplaces Again.” Businesses and workers are invited to participate in this new public forum and to provide comments through May 7, 2020. Specifically, the DOL seeks ideas and recommendations on what challenges employers and workers may face with a return to work and what companies and employees can best do to reopen workplaces safely. The information obtained will be used to guide the DOL in developing compliance assistance materials for return to work and to assist lawmakers in drafting policy on reopening businesses.


Continue Reading DOL Invites Feedback On Opening America’s Workplaces Again

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

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division posted temporary regulations for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) to provide employers with guidance to administer these two new paid leave laws under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The rule became operational on April 1, 2020 and is set to expire on December 31, 2020.  The final rule (29 CFR § 826) officially published in the Federal Register today, April 6, 2020.

FFCRA, as amended by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), authorizes the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations “as necessary, to carry out the purposes of this Act, including to ensure consistency” between the EPSLA and the EFMLEA. This blog attempts to highlight only some of these rules.  Other posts on the requirements of FFCRA, including DOL guidance to date, can be found at the McLane Middleton’s Coronavirus Resource page.


Continue Reading DOL Regulations Offer Employers Guidance For Implementing Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

As part of its ongoing effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary regulations to implement emergency leave benefits established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  These implementing regulations (29 CFR § 826) are available from the DOL at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA.pdf.

While the FFCRA greatly expands emergency leave, including emergency paid sick leave, benefits, employers may elect to exclude certain “health care providers” and “emergency responders” from these provisions of the FFCRA.  The following provides a brief summary of those employees who may be exempt.


Continue Reading DOL’s Implementing Regulations Shed Some Light On Defining “Health Care Provider” Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Throughout the past week, the USDOL has continued to update its guidance into how employers will be expected to manage the paid sick and paid family and medical leave benefits, which will become available to eligible workers as of April 1, 2020, the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”).

A model notice which employers can use to discharge their obligation to inform employees of their rights under the FFCRA is available here. No specific Certification or Designation Forms have been provided, so employers may create their own forms for the time being.


Continue Reading USDOL Provides Guidance Regarding Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave Including Advice on Intermittent Leave and Availability of Benefits to Furloughed Employees

This post was updated on 6/2/2020.

In light of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will go into effect on April 1, 2020, companies should consider implementing a new paid sick leave policy.   Below, for reference only, is a sample policy to consider.   Any new paid sick leave policy should be tailored to each particular workplace, and this policy is not intended to serve as, or to replace, legal advice on this important subject.

SAMPLE Emergency Paid Sick Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy:

In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, the recently-implemented federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), and our Company’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its employees and other members of the community, the Company has adopted this temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) Policy (the “Policy”).  Under the Policy, employees may take a paid leave of absence, up to a maximum of two weeks of paid sick leave in addition to other paid leave provided by the Company to the employee, subject to the terms and conditions outlined below.


Continue Reading Sample Emergency Paid Sick Leave Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy

On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  This new federal law includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.  Updated guidance on the FFCRA is available from the U.S. Department of Labor at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

Q:  What paid leave benefits are required under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

A:  Paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave related to COVID-19.


Continue Reading Q&A – Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”.  This new federal law will provide employees with emergency paid family leave and paid sick leave related to COVID-19.

These paid leave laws apply to all employers with fewer than 500 employees. The laws take effect on April 1st and expire on December 31, 2020.  The Secretary of Labor is expected to issue guidelines to assist employers in complying with these new legal requirements in the coming weeks.


Continue Reading EMERGENCY PAID LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19 SIGNED INTO LAW AND TAKES EFFECT APRIL 1, 2020