Category: States

Subscribe to States RSS Feed

Seattle Municipal Code Protections for Hotel Employees Take Effect

On July 1, 2020, legislation went into effect providing additional protections for certain hotel and motel employees in Seattle.  The legislation was enacted to protect Seattle hotel workers from harassment and discrimination, unsafe workloads, and job insecurity and to provide increased access to medical care. Hotel Employees Safety Protections In hotels and motels with 60 … Continue Reading

Updated Face Covering Guidance for Oregon Businesses

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an order this week making her earlier Mask, Face Shield, and Face Covering Guidance applicable statewide effective July 1, 2020.  Although the media has generally described the guidance as applying to all businesses, it is only required of the following covered businesses: Grocery stores Fitness-related organizations Pharmacies Public transit agencies … Continue Reading

Utah Counties Require Face Coverings

On June 25, Governor Gary Herbert approved requests by leaders in Salt Lake and Summit Counties to require face coverings in indoor and outdoor settings where social distancing is difficult or impossible.  The Governor had previously mandated the use of face coverings in state buildings, including state offices, liquor stores, colleges, and universities. Salt Lake … Continue Reading

Governor Inslee Announces Statewide Mask Mandate in Washington

On June 23, Governor Jay Inslee announced that facial coverings will be mandatory statewide.  Starting Friday, June 26, anyone in a public space must wear face coverings.  The mandate includes indoor public spaces and outdoor public areas where physical distancing of six feet is not possible.  Individuals may remove face coverings while eating or drinking … Continue Reading

Oregon Employers Must Post Pregnancy Accommodation Notice and Distribute Notice to Existing Employees by June 29, 2020

Effective January 1, 2020, Oregon law requires employers with six or more employees to make reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, such as lactation, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship. An employer’s accommodation obligations extend beyond those already required by the federal Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

BOLI Releases Oregon Workplace Fairness Act Model Policy

The October 1, 2020 deadline for Oregon employers to update their non-discrimination policies is approaching.  In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed the Workplace Fairness Act (the “Act”), which made significant changes to state law governing discrimination and harassment claims (quick recap here).  Among other provisions, the Act requires employers to adopt a written anti-discrimination and … Continue Reading

Face Coverings Are Now Required for Employees of Select Oregon Businesses

Pursuant to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance, employers in certain businesses must require employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. On June 11, 2020, the OHA issued updated guidance explaining that face coverings are not required when eating/drinking … Continue Reading

Employees May Now Bring Direct Claims Against Employers for Alleged Violations of the WA Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

Amendments to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (“WPFMLA”) that went into effect June 11, 2020 include a new private right of action for employees. Under the WPFMLA, employers are prohibited from interfering with, discriminating against, or retaliating against employees exercising their rights under the Act. Previously, any claims of interference, discrimination, or … Continue Reading

Washington Governor Extends Proclamation Requiring Accommodation of High-Risk Employees

Governor Inslee has extended – until at least August 1, 2020 – his proclamation prohibiting all Washington employers from failing to provide accommodations to workers at high risk should they contract COVID-19.  See here for our discussion of the details of the accommodation requirements and here for the Governor’s extension order.… Continue Reading

Oregon Employers in Counties Entering Phase II May Begin Limited Return to Office Work; Remote Work Is Still Recommended

Governor Brown’s latest Executive Order, 20-27, issued June 5, 2020 provides comprehensive guidance for Oregon employers as the majority of the state enters Phase II of Oregon’s reopening plan.  In addition to outlining the sector-specific requirements for Phase II, which we recently blogged about here, the Executive Order provides further instructions regarding office work. Under … Continue Reading

Oregon Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers as Most Counties Enter Phase 2

We continue to track Governor Brown’s plans for Oregon’s phased reopening, and the impact on Oregon employers.  Select Oregon counties have been approved to move into Phase 2 effective June 5, 2020, with the majority of Oregon counties moving into Phase 2 by June 8.  Multnomah County, Oregon’s most populous county, remains at Baseline, but … Continue Reading

Washington’s Safe Start Proclamation for Phased Reopening Includes a Mandate That Employees Wear Cloth Face Coverings

At midnight on May 31, Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” order expired, replaced by his “Safe Start – Stay Healthy” order of the same day (“Safe Start Proclamation”).  Under the Safe Start Proclamation, any county may apply to transition to Phase II of the Safe Start Washington plan if it can demonstrate that … Continue Reading

Be Aware: SHSH Violations Will Be Treated As WISHA Violations

In response to recent developments displaying the difficulties in enforcing Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home Stay Healthy” order (“SHSH”), the state Department of Labor & Industries has acted.  Now a violation of SHSH will be treated as a violation of Washington’s health and safety regulations, and subject employers to the full panoply of fines and … Continue Reading

The Status of Washington’s COVID-19 Restrictions: Phased Reopening, Contact Tracing, and Mask Requirements

Phased Reopening As part of his proclamation extending the Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order through May 31, Governor Inslee established a phased approach to reopening the state: Safe Start Washington. Under the plan, the entire state began in Phase I of four planned phases, with each phase expected to last at least three weeks. … Continue Reading

Alaska Reopens for Business

Much of Alaska will be allowed to reopen as of 8 a.m. on May 22.   Governor Dunleavy has announced that the state will move straight from its current Phase II of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan, which permits only limited business operations, to Phase IV.  Most businesses will be allowed to fully reopen on Friday.  … Continue Reading

Reopening Oregon: Governor Brown Releases Details and Guidance for Businesses

On Thursday, May 7, 2020 – six weeks after Oregon Governor Brown announced a statewide “Stay Home” order – Governor Brown released details for Reopening Oregon over the coming weeks and months.  The Governor’s plan follows federal guidance and permits certain businesses to reopen in phases after specific public health prerequisites are met. In the … Continue Reading

California Modifies California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws to Deal with COVID-19

In yet another effort to adapt California law to the current pandemic, on May 6, 2020 California Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-62-20 (the “Order”). As it pertains to workers’ compensation benefits, the Order provides that any COVID-19 related illness of an employee shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of … Continue Reading

Ten Things to Consider In Getting Back to Work

As restrictions are easing, employers are planning for and starting to bring people back to work.  In these extraordinary times, everyone recognizes that things will not be business as usual.  Here is our “Top 10” checklist of things to consider as we move toward the “new normal.” Reluctant Returners. Many employees are eager to return … Continue Reading

Staying Connected with Your Employees: Temporary Hours Reduction or Work Share Program?

Employers facing changes in their business or broader economic downturns must find ways to respond and weather the storm.  Typically, this means cutting expenses, while maintaining their ability to operate.  For many (if not most) businesses, payroll is the single largest expense item.  And when business slows, employees are left with excess capacity and are … Continue Reading

Idaho Governor Announces Guidelines Permitting a Phased Re-opening of Idaho’s Economy

On April 23, 2020, Idaho’s Governor Little adopted “Guidelines” that constitute a “data-driven approach to opening up Idaho’s economy.”  The proposed approach is intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the State’s most vulnerable population and preserve capacity in the healthcare system, while opening up businesses safely.  The Governor’s action readily acknowledges that employee … Continue Reading

Utah Releases Plan to Reopen Its Economy

Like many states, Utah has begun considering how and when it can return its economy back to more normal activity.  On April 17, 2020, Governor Gary Herbert issued his Utah Leads Together Plan, version 2.0 (“Plan 2.0”).  This plan was partly in response to legislation passed in a special session of the Utah State Legislature, … Continue Reading

Oregon’s Plan for Reopening

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced this week that Oregon is developing a multifaceted, step-by-step plan for reopening businesses and relaxing its “stay at home” measures.  In accordance with federal guidance, Oregon’s plan has three phases, with gating criteria and core preparedness requirements that must be met before moving to the next phase. Between each phase, … Continue Reading

Governor Dunleavy Issues Phase 1 of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan

On April 22, Governor Dunleavy announced Health Mandate 016, reflecting Phase 1 of the Governor’s Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan.  The Governor anticipates issuing information on Phases 2 through 5 of the Plan in the near future. Phase 1 of the Plan permits limited openings of businesses, including restaurants, retail businesses, personal services businesses, and both … Continue Reading
LexBlog