The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has refined its guidelines regarding what is considered a “close contact” exposure to COVID-19. In previous guidance, the CDC defined a close contact exposure as being within six feet of an infected person for 15 consecutive minutes or longer, though the CDC noted that this was a rule of thumb and other factors could influence the likelihood of exposure. On October 21, 2020, the CDC updated…
On April 3, 2020, New York State enacted a statewide paid sick leave (PSL) law impacting all private employers in New York. The law requires employers to provide up to 40 or 56 hours of annual sick leave (depending on their size and net income). While the law became effective on September 30, 2020, and employees became eligible to start accruing leave on that date, entitlement to use leave under the law begins on January…
On October 6, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once again revised its list of individuals whose risk factors make them more likely to develop severe illness from COVID-19. First, the CDC expanded the list of underlying medical conditions and factors that may place adults of any age at “increased risk of severe illness” from COVID-19 to include the following: Cancer. The CDC stated that it is not currently known whether…
On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its long-speculated interim final rule, “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program.” According to the interim final rule’s summary, the purpose of the new rule is to “strengthen the integrity of the H-1B program during the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency to more effectively ensure that the employment of H-1B workers will not have an adverse impact on…
As part of its Plan for Jobs 2020, the UK Government announced in July 2020 that it would pay a bonus to employers that brought furloughed employees back to work and kept such employees continuously employed until 31 January 2021. Further guidance has now been published, in addition to a Treasury Direction, which states that the Job Retention Bonus is intended to “enhance and consolidate” the purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme…
On 9 October 2020, the UK government announced an extension to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) for businesses that are legally required to close on account of coronavirus restrictions. This measure will sit alongside the original JSS and the Job Retention Bonus, replacing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which will end on 31 October 2020. Under the expanded JSS, employers “whose premises are legally required to shut for some period … as part…
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a new human capital disclosure requirement for public companies to “reflect the many changes in our capital markets and the domestic and global economy in recent decades.” Over the past several years, human capital has become increasingly important to investors. “Human capital” generally refers to the value of a company’s workforce, which is often influenced by a company’s policies and procedures related to recruitment, retention, training, development,…
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued emergency health and safety rules aimed at controlling, preventing, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The emergency rules, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved, represent a further effort to fill the void left by a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision invalidating many of the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders. The MIOSHA emergency rules were issued under Section 48(1) of the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act of 1969…
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adjust restrictions according to epidemiological risk, the federal government of Mexico established a bimonthly traffic-light monitoring system aligned with health protocols to guide Mexico’s states through the country’s phased reopening plan. Below is a map for the period of October 12, 2020, to October 25, 2020, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of Mexico’s 32 states. This chart presents the traffic light status of…
As the pandemic continues, a segment of individuals who contracted COVID-19 reports that they have not experienced a quick recovery. Rather, they are continuing to suffer symptoms months after initial onset of the disease. Known as coronavirus “long-haulers,” these individuals report that they endure effects such as chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, and other symptoms far down their road to recovery. While recuperation from a typical cold or flu lasts between 7 to…