Category: Updates

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Oregon Now Requires Face Coverings in Public and Private Offices

The Oregon Health Authority recently updated the state’s COVID-19 guidance to expand the use of face coverings to public and private offices. Under the new rule, masks, face coverings, or face shields are required at all times for office employees, including in hallways, bathrooms, elevators, lobbies, break rooms, and other common spaces, unless employees are … 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

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

Senate Authorizes Additional Relief for Small Businesses Under the Paycheck Protection Program

Most employers are aware of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) created by the CARES Act that could provide assistance with meeting payroll, but the program quickly ran out of money, leaving many without funding.  To address that and other issues, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, see here, to … 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

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

Department of Labor Issues Regulations and Updates Guidance for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which went into effect the same day.  The regulations are available here. The majority of the content in the regulations is not new and simply repeats information that is also available in the DOL’s FAQs … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Congress Passes Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

*a prior version of this post indicated the House vote was still pending. The House passed this legislation on March 27, 2020.  Like you, we are closely monitoring the rapid developments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest is Congress passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or “CARES” Act). We focus below … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Updates Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has updated its guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”), which was signed into law on March 18, 2020.  (A summary of the law is here.)  Regulations are coming in April.  In the meantime, the DOL’s current resources available are: A tip sheet for employees A tip … 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

Congress Passes Legislation to Provide Paid Leave to Employees During COVID-19 Emergency

On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (the “Act”), which was passed by the House last week.  President Trump swiftly signed the legislation, which is effective in 15 days.  All public employers and private employers with under 500 employees are covered by the Act, which provides for emergency paid … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Takes Steps to Provide Paid Leave to Employees Absent due to COVID-19; Senate Must Still Act

We are continuing to monitor developing issues facing employers due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  The latest is from Congress. On March 13, the US House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (the “Act”) to  provide for emergency paid sick and family and medical leave for some employees around the country.  Public … 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

HDHPs Can Provide No Cost COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Announces Special Enrollment Period Today, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15 clarifying that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) may provide benefits associated with testing and treatment of COVID-19 (commonly referred to as coronavirus) without application of a deductible or cost-sharing. Doing so will not impact a plan’s status as a HDHP or a participant’s … 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

A Return to Common Sense in Federal Labor Law

Through a series of decisions issued in late 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has signaled a return to common sense in its approach to the rules governing labor relations.  Here are a few of the Board’s decisions that are of interest to employers. Employers May Require Employees to Maintain Confidentiality in … 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

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

California Codifies Dynamex – Now What?

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 5, thereby codifying the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Lee.  This represents the culmination of a seismic shift in California employment law that began a little over a year ago. To refresh, starting in 1989, the leading … Continue Reading

California Employers Gain Time to Meet New Training Requirements for Employees

On August 30, 2019, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 778, extending for one year the deadline for providing harassment prevention training to employees.  California employers now have until January 1, 2021 to provide the sexual harassment prevention training mandated by SB 1343, which took effect on January 1, 2019. SB 1343 requires an employer … Continue Reading

Pay Equity Update: Oregon Legislature Amends Equal Pay Law

SB 123, just passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Brown, makes several amendments to Oregon’s pay equity law. Most notable are the revisions to the limited affirmative defense available to employers in litigation. The law previously provided employers a “safe harbor” from emotional distress and punitive damages if a lawsuit is filed, if … Continue Reading

NLRB Gives Employers Greater Discretion to Limit Union Activity on Their Premises

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently issued a decision in UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside that reverses longstanding Board precedent and holds that employers no longer have to allow nonemployee union representatives access to public areas of their property unless (1) the union has no other means of communicating with employees or (2) the employer … Continue Reading

Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act Means Major Changes for Oregon Employers

Oregon’s Legislature just enacted the most significant legislation for Oregon employers in years.  The new Workplace Fairness Act has been hailed as a #MeToo law and seems intended to curb incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace, but its reach is significantly broader than that. Key Changes and Takeaways Employers are now required to have … Continue Reading
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