Category: States

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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

Washington’s Emergency Unemployment Rules May Help Employers Retain Talent During COVID-19

Many Washington employers are looking for ways to retain skilled labor until businesses reopen.  The Washington Employment Security Department’s (“ESD”) emergency rules may help during the COVID-19 crisis.  Employers who plan to rehire employees when businesses reopen may request “standby” status for laid off employees, which has been expanded under the emergency rules. Standby status … Continue Reading

California Continues to Fill in the Gaps Left by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 16, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the “Order”). Similar to laws recently enacted by local California jurisdictions, the Order entitles certain workers to paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19 who are otherwise ineligible for such paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). As discussed here, … Continue Reading

Seattle City Council Expands Paid Sick and Safe Time in Response to COVID-19

The Seattle City Council has expanded Paid Sick and Safe Time (“PSST”) in response to COVID-19.  In addition to the usual reasons for which a Seattle employee may use PSST, the new amendments provide that Seattle employees must be allowed to use their accrued PSST: when the employee’s family member’s school or place of care … Continue Reading

Washington Governor Mandates That Employers Accommodate Employees at High Risk of Contracting COVID-19

For at least the next two months, Washington employers are required to take extra measures to accommodate employees characterized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be at higher than normal risk of severe illness or death if they contract COVID-19.  On April 13, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-46, “High-Risk Employees – … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Issues Warning to Employers with Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies

California is like every other state in that it does not require employers to provide employees with paid time off.  Unlike in most other states, however, if an employer does provide employees with paid time off, then employees have a vested right in such time.  What this means is that employers are prohibited from enacting … Continue Reading

OR-OSHA Announces Workplace Social Distancing Investigations

In the wake of an onslaught of employee complaints about social distancing in the workplace, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OR-OSHA”) announced that it would begin workplace inspections in order to enforce the social distancing requirements imposed by Governor Brown’s March 23 Executive Order.  Our blog post describing the Executive Order is here, … Continue Reading

Oregon Governor Announces “Stay Home” Order

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, “Stay Home, Save Lives” (the “Order”), on March 23, 2020 to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. The Order mandates closure, effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020, of a list of businesses for which close personal contact is difficult or impossible to avoid, … Continue Reading

California Governor Issues Statewide Lockdown

On March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order ordering all California residents to stay at home due to the current public health crisis caused by COVID-19.  This Order exempts from its scope employees working in the following federally identified critical infrastructure sectors: Communications Chemical Critical Manufacturing Commercial Facilities Dams Defense Industrial … Continue Reading

Changes to Oregon Unemployment Insurance and Oregon Family Leave Act in Light of COVID-19

On March 18, 2020, Oregon issued temporary rules to help employees impacted by COVID-19. The Oregon Employment Department issued temporary rules expanding the availability of unemployment insurance to those impacted by COVID-19, while the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) issued a temporary rule expanding the availability of the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”) … Continue Reading

COVID-19 – Information Updates

We continue to stay up to speed on workplace-related legal issues as we all navigate this challenging time. Many of you attended the webinar we put on today, Taming the COVID-19 Chaos: What Employers Need to Know.  The materials from that presentation are available here.  Please join us for another webinar next Wednesday, March 18; … Continue Reading

Washington’s New Leave Laws and the COVID-19 Outbreak

No sooner has Washington enacted two major new leave laws – the Washington Paid Sick Leave Law and the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (WPFML) – than the State has found itself to be one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Here is what Washington employers need to know about Paid Sick … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies What Constitutes “Hours Worked” Under California Law

In Amanda Frlekin v. Apple Inc., No. S243805 (Feb. 13, 2020), the California Supreme Court responded to a request by the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit to answer the following question: Is time spent on the employer’s premises waiting for, and undergoing, required exit searches of packages, bags, or personal technology … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects Assembly Bill 51

Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”) prohibits employers from requiring employees to execute arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.  After being signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 10, 2019, AB 51 was set to go into effect on January 1, 2020; however, on December 30, 2019, the Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller, Chief Judge … Continue Reading

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

As 2019 comes to an end, employers should know about important new obligations that will ring in their new year.  Our Labor & Employment experts offer some guidance on critical developments in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho that employers should be prepared for in 2020. Oregon The statute of limitations for discrimination and harassment claims … Continue Reading

Benefits Kick in for Washington Employees Under the New Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

Beginning January 1, 2020, Washington employees will have access to the benefits of Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“WPFML”) law, administered by the Washington Employment Security Department (“ESD”). Nearly all Washington employees will be eligible, with limited exceptions for self-employed, federal, and tribal employees, as well as employees who perform only occasional and incidental … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Balance Billing

On November 19, 2019, at 11 a.m. PT, I will be co-presenting a webinar with HMA’s Senior Manager, Compliance Services, Jessica Rothe, in which we will outline legislative efforts being made at the state and federal levels to protect patients from surprise balance billing by out-of-network providers. We will also discuss how health plan out-of-network cost containment strategies … Continue Reading
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