The CDC has recently recommended that employers appoint “vaccination ambassadors” to encourage employees to get vaccinated.  The EEOC has not commented on the CDC’s recommendation, but based on other pandemic-related guidance issued by the EEOC, employers should consider the employment risks associated with a vaccination ambassador.  These risks include the following: Continue Reading Is a “Vaccination Ambassador” a Good Idea?

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus bill which provides eligible qualified beneficiaries with up to six months of free COBRA continuation coverage during a temporary COBRA premium subsidy period beginning April 1, 2021 and ending September 30, 2021. Continue Reading New COBRA Premium Subsidy Law Requires Prompt Action by Employers and COBRA Administrators

On March 12, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an act requiring all New York employers, regardless of size or industry, to provide employees with paid COVID-19 vaccination leave of up to four hours per injection, effective immediately. Continue Reading New York Requires Paid Time-Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations

On March 4, 2021, Governor Lamont signed into law the CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair. Connecticut follows California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, Washington, and Virginia in adopting legislation that aims to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnic hairstyles historically associated with race. Continue Reading Connecticut Prohibits Hair Discrimination

Beginning on January 1, 2022, paid leave benefits under the Connecticut Paid Leave program (CPL) will be available for certain qualifying events under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA), and the Connecticut Family Violence Leave Act.  In the meantime, employers are responsible for complying with certain key dates in advance of January 2022.  On January 1, 2021, employers began withholding employee contributions (0.5% payroll tax) from each employee’s paycheck for ultimate remittance to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority trust fund, which will fund the payment of CPL benefits. Continue Reading Reminder: First Quarterly Payment Due on March 31, 2021 Under CT Paid Family and Medical Leave

On January 29, 2021, OSHA posted new guidance intended to inform employers and workers in identifying risks of exposure to COVID-19.  The new guidance applies to industries outside of healthcare.  OSHA previously issued separate guidance applicable to healthcare and emergency response.  The guidance does not create any new legal requirements or obligations, but is advisory only.  OSHA intends for the guidance to assist employers with planning. Continue Reading OSHA Issues New Guidance on COVID-19

On September 30, 2020, section 196-b of the New York State Labor Law went into effect.  The legislation, which provides for the immediate accrual of employer-provided sick leave, permits sick leave to be taken beginning on January 1, 2021.  We wrote about the New York State Paid Sick Leave law previously, and have outlined the situations under which it must be provided to employees.  Like New York City’s paid sick leave entitlements, the law applies to absences related to an employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.  For a complete list of reasons and more detail about the accrual of sick leave, take a look at our prior blog. Continue Reading New York State Paid Sick Leave Law Now in Effect

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) became law on March 18, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we previously blogged on several (okay, numerous) occasions, the FFCRA comprises the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLA”), which provide paid leave in connection with certain COVID-19 related absences from work. Rather than go into each of those circumstances, you can click on any of the above links to our previous blogs.  Although most employers are required to offer EPSLA and EFMLA leave to employees, employers are not required to extend leave eligibility to a “health care provider.”  Continue Reading Department of Labor Revises “Health Care Provider” Exemption to COVID-19-Related Paid Sick Leave and Enhanced Family Medical Leave

We have seen a significant number of OSHA investigations in recent weeks in response to reports of employee deaths and illnesses due to COVID-19.  In the height of the pandemic, employers, including nursing homes, were unclear regarding their obligations to report employee incidents of COVID-19 to OSHA due to the difficulty in determining whether such cases were “work-related.”  Below we have outlined OSHA’s reporting requirements and expectations regarding investigations into whether COVID cases are work-related, as well as some practices in responding to OSHA investigations.  Going forward, we encourage employers to ensure they are meeting OSHA requirements and are prepared to timely respond to requests for information as penalties for such violations can be significant. Continue Reading OSHA Investigations and Employee Deaths and Cases of COVID-19

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued new guidance stating that employers cannot require employees to undergo antibody or serology testing to determine whether employees were previously infected with Covid-19 or are otherwise immune to the virus.  Employers cannot require antibody testing before allowing an employee to return to work or in assigning job duties.  The EEOC’s previous guidance allowing employers to test employees for current Covid-19 infection remains in effect. Continue Reading EEOC Prohibits Covid-19 Antibody Testing