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

Next month, Connecticut legislators from across the political spectrum are set to formally introduce a bill prohibiting employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s age, birthday, or graduation date, unless necessary for a bona fide employment reason.  At an announcement on Thursday, January 16, 2020, a wide ranging group of elected officials and other stakeholders heralded the measure as a protection for older workers facing age discrimination in the labor market.  Connecticut has the sixth oldest workforce in the country.  A similar bill, H.B. No. 6113, passed the Labor Committee last year, but was never presented for a vote in the House.

Continue Reading How Old Are You, Job Seeker? Connecticut Legislators to Introduce Bill Banning the Question

For the first time in sixty years, the U.S Department of Labor is substantively revising the regulation that articulates when two people or businesses are “joint employers” of an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The final version of Joint Employer Status under the FLSA will be published this Thursday, January 16, and is effective on March 16, 2020.  See 29 CFR Part 791.  The unpublished version is available here.  The revisions are meant to “reduce uncertainty over joint employer status, promote greater uniformity among court decisions, reduce litigation, and encourage innovation in the economy.”  Franchise chains, temp agencies, and businesses that outsource their workforces are among those that will benefit from the revised rule.

Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Joint Employer Rule Applicable to Wage and Hour Violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act

The holidays arrived early last week for employers and management-side labor attorneys, as the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision approving employer policies that prohibit the discussion of pending workplace investigations. In Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store and Kathy Johnson, Cases 27-CA-191574 and 27-CA-198058, the Board considered two workplace rules: “one requiring employees to ‘maintain confidentiality’ regarding workplace investigations into ‘illegal or unethical behavior’ and the other prohibiting ‘unauthorized discussion’ of investigations or interviews ‘with other team members.’”

Continue Reading NLRB Approves of Employer Policies Requiring Confidential Workplace Investigations

This spring, Westchester County extended statutory employment protections for workers facing sickness, caregiving obligations, domestic violence, or human traffic through passage of the Earned Sick Leave Law (the ESLL) and the Safe Time Leave Law (the STLL). 
Continue Reading Westchester County, New York Enacts Safe Time Leave Law to Complement Earned Sick Leave Law

In 2019, the New York State Legislature championed a host of employment laws that strengthen protections for employees.  One of those laws codified new requirements for non-disclosure agreements, which are effective as of October 11, 2019.  To ensure enforceability of non-disclosure provisions, employers must account for the following provisions:
Continue Reading New York Bars Non-Disclosure Agreements in All Discrimination Case Settlements

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final overtime rule as it relates to the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees. The DOL estimates that 1.3 million workers will be eligible for overtime pay as a result of its final rule.  Here is how the new rule will impact workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.
Continue Reading Update: DOL Issues Final Rule On Minimum Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees: The Impact in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York

Effective October 1, 2019, Connecticut increased the minimum wage and implemented extensive revisions to existing sexual harassment laws. Below is a brief summary of the changes. As always, Murtha employment lawyers are available to discuss these new laws and how they may affect your organization.

Changes to Connecticut Sexual Harassment Laws


Continue Reading Revised Sexual Harassment Law and Minimum Wage Increase Take Effect October 1, 2019