Two New Los Angeles Ordinances Create New Worker Recall and Retention Protections… For Select Businesses Written by Jeremy Mittman and Bethanie Thau On May 4, 2020, Mayor Garcetti signed two new city ordinances creating recall and retention protections for non-supervisory workers in certain industries deemed severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and “Safer at Home” declarations by Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti. The COVID-19 Right … Continue reading No R&R for LA Employers Under New Recall and Retention Ordinances
California Issues Model Notice of Food Sector Worker Paid Sick Leave That Eligible Employers Must Post
On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” who are unable to work for COVID-19-related reasons with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. We previously reported on the Order, which is one of several recent California laws providing paid sick leave to workers who are not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Continue reading “Keeping Food Sector Workers Posted”
Employers May Test Employees for COVID-19 Before Allowing Their Return to Workplace, EEOC Says Written by Jeremy Mittman and Thea Rogers The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) said in guidance released Thursday that employers may administer COVID-19 testing to employees in order to determine if they have the virus, prior to permitting them to return to the workplace. The agency stated that this latest … Continue reading Employees Put to the Test
EEOC Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation and Return-to-Work Issues
On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance for employers, providing further technical assistance about complying with workplace issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the EEOC’s new Q&As for employers concern how to handle employees’ accommodation requests in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the agency advised that employers may ask questions or request medical documentation to determine if the employee has a “disability” under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”). Employers also may forgo or shorten the “interactive process” and grant the accommodation requests, if necessary. Continue reading “Accommodation Landmines Await”
California Provides Supplemental Paid Sick Leave For Food Sector Workers
On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The Order, effective April 16, 2020, is the second recent law in California providing paid sick leave to workers not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)(which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees provide paid sick leave). We previously reported on the Los Angeles emergency ordinance providing similar paid sick leave provisions for employees of larger employers not covered by the FFCRA.
Although the Order explicitly addresses “food sector workers”, it is not necessarily limited to workers in the food industry. The Order may apply to employers across all industries, if those employers have workers engaged in food services. Consequently, all employers should carefully scrutinize the provisions of the Order to determine if they apply. Here is what employers need to know about the Order: Continue reading “Order Up!”
Los Angeles Provides Guidance on Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
On April 11, 2020, the City of Los Angeles published Rules and Regulations interpreting the City’s Emergency Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), which mandates employers of either (a) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (b) 2,000 or more employees within the United States, to offer supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons.
Here are the top 5 new takeaways for employers interpreting the Ordinance from the Rules and Regulations:
Los Angeles Enacts New Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance For Large Employers
On April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti approved the City Council’s Emergency Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) mandating employers of either (a) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (b) 2,000 or more employees within the United States, to offer Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 related reasons. The Ordinance is effective April 7, 2020. The Ordinance is in response to the enactment of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which does not cover employers with more than 500 employees from its paid leave provisions. While the Ordinance is designed to supplement the FFCRA and provide paid sick leave for Los Angeles employees of larger employers (with some exceptions), it differs from the FFCRA in several respects, set forth below. Continue reading “Los Angeles Makes Big Moves for Big Employers”
DOL Issues Guidance on New CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions
Last week, the DOL issued two guidance letters (available here and here) to state workforce agencies (such as the California EDD) on the unemployment insurance provisions of the recently enacted CARES Act. The CARES Act, which has been discussed in prior blog posts at length (see, e.g. here, here and here), provides emergency assistance for certain individuals, families, and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, the DOL guidance instructs state agencies on how to implement and operate two programs that were included as part of the CARES Act involving unemployment insurance benefits: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Additionally, the federal government will provide 100% reimbursement to states that provide compensation to individuals beginning on their first week of unemployment (i.e., states which do not require a waiting week) and enter into an agreement with the DOL. Continue reading “America CARES About Unemployment”
Georgia: Employers Must File Partial Unemployment Insurance Claims for Their Employees
On March 16, 2020, Georgia’s Department of Labor (the “Georgia DOL”) became the first state to adopt a rule that requires employers to file partial unemployment claims for any week during which an employee (full-time or part-time) has his or her hours reduced or eliminated due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Georgia law, partial unemployment claims apply to employees who will experience a reduction in hours or a temporary layoff. Employers must file partial unemployment claims online by visiting the Employer Portal, and must file partial claims for each weekly pay period during the temporary reduction/layoff. Continue reading “Georgia Employers On the Hook”
Written by Jeremy Mittman
Why This Matters
Over the last several years, some employers have chosen to adopt unlimited vacation time policies for their employees. Unlike more traditional vacation policies, under unlimited vacation policies, vacation time does not vest. Rather, employees can take as much vacation time as they’d like (generally within reason and subject to business needs). One of the benefits of these policies for employers is that, while vested vacation time is considered wages and must be paid out upon termination of employment, because unlimited vacation time does not vest, there is nothing to pay out when employment ends.
Recently, in McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation, Inc., the California Court of Appeal ruled that, while under the facts of the particular case, the employer’s “unlimited” vacation time policy was not valid (and so the actual vacation days taken by plaintiffs should be accrued and paid out upon termination), employers may have “truly unlimited time off policies” if they are provided to employees in writing and meet certain criteria set forth below.