Protecting At-Risk Employees

Employers Cannot Exclude At-Risk Employees, Says EEOC in New Return-to-Work Guidance 

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein

The EEOC recently answered the question whether employers can bar from the workplace employees who, according to the CDC, are at a “higher risk for severe illness” if they get COVID-19.

In the words of the EEOC in its press release: “It is important that employers understand that the ADA does not allow them to act against employees solely because the employee has a CDC-listed underlying medical condition.”

An employer cannot exclude — or take any other adverse action against — an employee solely because he/she falls within the CDC identified high risk category.  Instead, the employer must determine whether the “employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” Continue reading “Protecting At-Risk Employees”

Workers Comp For COVID-19

Contracting COVID-19 Through Work Is Now Presumed Under California Workers Compensation

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Louise Truong 

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which provides that any COVID-19 related illness that an employee contracts between March 19, 2020 and July 5, 2020 shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment for workers’ compensation purposes.  This presumption will only apply if all of the following conditions are met: Continue reading “Workers Comp For COVID-19”

Will COVID-19 Cause Securities Litigation?

Written by John Durrant

As of May 5, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has accompanied a precipitous descent in the domestic securities markets, followed by a surprisingly sharp rebound. Such volatility may well give rise to several different types of potential liability against companies and their officers and directors, including:

  • Securities fraud claims under the Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
  • Claims related to offerings of securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”).
  • Claims under the various state securities claims, i.e., the “Blue Sky” laws.
  • Derivative suits arising under state law.

Business leaders may well say, “Wait, we didn’t cause COVID-19; we didn’t shut down the economy; how can we be held liable?” Continue reading “Will COVID-19 Cause Securities Litigation?”

No R&R for LA Employers Under New Recall and Retention Ordinances

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

SEC Offers an Elixir for Small Businesses Feeling the Financial Effects of COVID-19

Written by Mark T. Hiraide

In response to the ill effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on business, the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 4, 2020 adopted a temporary final rule to make it easier for existing businesses to raise up to $250,000 through Regulation Crowdfunding.

Under the relaxed rules, which are in effect only until August 31, 2020, a business is excused from complying with the Regulation Crowdfunding requirement to have its financial statements reviewed by an independent public accountant. During this limited period, the SEC is requiring only certain information from the business’ Federal income tax returns certified by the principal executive officer. That represents a significant time and financial savings for companies – especially small businesses – that need a quick infusion of capital during rough times caused by the COVID-19 virus. Continue reading “SEC Offers an Elixir for Small Businesses Feeling the Financial Effects of COVID-19”

Stop The Clock

Written by Robert Lowe  The US Department of Labor (DOL) has “stopped the clock” on many employee benefit plan deadlines during the period starting March 1, 2020 and ending 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency (referred to by the DOL as the “Outbreak Period”), including the following: 60-day period for an employer to provide notice of the right to elect continuation … Continue reading Stop The Clock

Keeping Food Sector Workers Posted

California Issues Model Notice of Food Sector Worker Paid Sick Leave That Eligible Employers Must Post

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz

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”