COVID-19 Workplace Law Advisor

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has passed the Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act of 2020, which is effective October 1, 2020. The ordinance, which applies only to businesses located in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County, requires employers to implement specified social distancing, mitigation, and cleaning protocols and practices in the workplace. The required protocols include: maintaining and implementing specified cleaning and disinfection protocols; establishing protocols for action if a worksite…
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may resume implementation of the new Public Charge Rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled. The factors that are considered under the new Public Charge Rule include the applicant’s use of public benefits, employment status and history of employment in the U.S., among others. Since 2018, the Administration has been trying to enforce a new Public Charge Rule that expands the public benefits that…
The City of San Diego enacted emergency ordinances requiring fair employment practices in response to job and economic insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home directives.  The City of San Diego COVID-19 Building Service and Hotel Worker Recall Ordinance (“Recall Ordinance”) and the City of San Diego COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance (“Retention Ordinance”) went into effect immediately upon their passage on September 8, 2020. The Ordinances apply to three categories of businesses and employers…
Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1159 (“SB 1159”) on September 17, 2020, which could expand the definition of injury under the workers’ compensation system to include illness or death resulting from COVID-19. In May, the governor had issued an executive order which created a presumption that any COVID-19-related illness of an employee shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment to award workers’ compensation benefits if certain conditions were met.…
On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 685, which requires employers to provide written notifications to employees within one business day of receiving notice of potential exposure to coronavirus (“COVID-19”).  AB 685 also authorizes the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal OSHA”) to prohibit operations, processes, and prevent entry into workplaces that it has determined present a risk of infection to COVID-19 so severe as to constitute an imminent hazard.…
On September 9, 2020, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1867 (“AB 1867”) which mandated both food sector employers and other industries, including employers with 500 or more employees, to provide supplemental paid sick leave (“COVID-19 Supplemental PSL”). The California Labor Commissioner, charged with enforcement of the new laws, has issued a Frequently Asked Questions Page (“FAQ”) regarding both new supplemental leaves. What are some of the key clarifications? The Labor Commissioner clarifies that the food…
Days before the upcoming deadline, ICE has announced it is extending the remote virtual verification option for completion of I-9 employment verification an additional 60 days (instead of just 30 days), until November 19, 2020, due to continued precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to the original guidelines for virtual verification, eligible employers may continue to inspect Section 2 documents without an actual in-person physical inspection (e.g., over video link, fax, or email). As…
Judge Amit Mehta in Gomez v. Trump ordered the Department of State (DOS) to make good faith efforts to “expeditiously process and adjudicate DV-2020 diversity visa and derivative beneficiary applications” and issue visas to those eligible by September 30, 2020 – the deadline for the Diversity Visa program. In response, DOS has issued guidance, but the agency’s “good faith” efforts will not be good enough for many DV applicants. Indeed, DOS said that it…
The Trump Administration’s effort to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 250,000 people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan has been upheld in a split ruling from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Crista Ramos, et al. v. Wolf, et al. TPS for Honduras and Nepal likely will be affected by this ruling as well, adding approximately 57,000 and 9,000 beneficiaries, respectively. While the Ninth Circuit also upheld termination of TPS…
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has issued final regulations related to the COVID-19 Job Protection Act signed into law on March 20, 2020. The law generally protects employees from adverse actions when they take or request time off at the written or electronic recommendation of a medical professional licensed in New Jersey, because they have or are likely to have an infectious disease that may infect others in the workplace.…