Labor & Employment Law Perspectives

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) issued a third installment of new Q&As regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“the Act”) on March 28, 2020.  Foley’s Coronavirus Task Force outlined the DOL’s initial March 24, 2020 guidance on the Act here and its March 26, 2020 Q&As here. Quick Debrief on the Act The Act takes effect April 1, 2020 and covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees…
On March 27, 2020, the EEOC conducted a webinar that answered some of employers’ most frequently asked questions about compliance with public health directives and federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the webinar emphasized the fast-changing nature of this crisis and encouraged employers to continue monitoring the EEOC website for updates, below are some key issues employers should be mindful of when handling COVID-19 issues, as discussed by the EEOC. An…
As Foley’s multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional Coronavirus Task Force reported on March 27, the newly minted CARES Act creates a $349 billion loan program—referred to as the Paycheck Protection Program (Title I, Section 1102)—for small businesses, including 501(c)(3) nonprofits and physician practices.  (With some specific exceptions set forth in the act, small businesses are those that employ fewer than 500 employees.)  Pursuant to the program, small businesses can apply for loans through a network of Small…
Even as governors in more than half the states issue “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders, the spread of COVID-19 shows little sign of slowing. Across the country, employers are weighing options for managing the pandemic’s financial impact on their businesses.  Some employers have turned to layoffs or furloughs as a means of cost-cutting. Others are considering reducing or suspending employer retirement plan contributions to lessen their financial concerns, and this article provides answers to some…
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) published additional Q&As regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“the Act”) on March 26, 2020, which address some of the open issues regarding the mechanics of leave under the Act.  Foley & Lardner’s Coronavirus Task Force outlined the DOL’s initial March 24, 2020 guidance on the Act here.   Quick Debrief: The Act takes effect April 1, 2020; covers private employers with fewer than…
As of April 1st, if you are a private employer of less than 500 employees, it will be time to post notice of the new federal leave laws addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the posting will give notice to employees of their rights to Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—the FFCRA. A PDF of the required posting, as just issued by Department of Labor per…
As we have discussed, there are notable gaps in the recently passed Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, including exemptions for employers with under 50 and over 500 employees. Accordingly, some states have been working to address those gaps. For example, New York State enacted a paid sick leave law on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, that extends required paid sick leave to employers of all sizes. Instead of exempting employers with under 50 and…
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that, effective tomorrow, March 24 at 12:00 pm through April 7 at 12:00 pm, all non-essential business are to cease in-person operations (the “Order”).  All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers, and the public.  If workers can work remotely, they are encouraged to do so.  Businesses that provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” are urged to continue operations and to do so…
“Caution is appropriate. Preparedness is appropriate. Panic is not.” (~ U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, commenting on the coronavirus outbreak) As the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on markets and industries in the U.S. and around the world, businesses are now confronting significant and unique challenges.  Successful navigation of these challenges will require thoughtful and comprehensive planning.  Foley has created a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional team, which has prepared a wealth of topical client…
No. 1: Can I Force a Sick Employee to Stay Home? Go Home? Yes. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of all of their employees. Employees with obvious symptoms of illness and disease, including all forms of the flu, should be encouraged to stay home or if they are at work when symptoms develop, to go home. Frequently, employees who wish to demonstrate their diligence and strong work ethic will try to “tough…