On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education, outlining recommendations and guidance on ways universities and colleges can safely open while helping to protect their students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members. The CDC cautions that “[t]he more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.” Accordingly, the CDC outlined tiered risk categories…
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on daily life, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order (EO) N-63-20 on May 7, 2020, extending certain statutory and regulatory deadlines for individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies in California. In addition to other temporary changes, EO N-63-20 extends the time for employees to file certain claims for unpaid wages with the state labor commissioner, the time for the state to issue certain workplace safety…
On May 27, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order No. 2020-067, implementing phase one of a three-stage reopening plan in the District of Columbia. Beginning on May 29, 2020, D.C. residents and visitors will no longer be required to stay at home and certain businesses will be permitted to resume normal operations, so long as they comply with applicable health and safety guidelines. What Does Phase One Include? Phase one lifts the mayor’s…
Oregon employers feeling the financial strain of economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are bracing themselves for another impact. On July 1, 2020, Oregon’s minimum wage increase will take effect. The New Minimum Wage In Oregon, the minimum wage rate varies depending upon an employer’s location categorized by (1) standard counties; (2) Portland metropolitan areas; and (3) nonurban counties. The wage increase for each location is as follows: Date Standard Portland Metro Nonurban Counties…
According to Statistics Canada, two in five employers in Canada have reduced hours or laid off one or more employees since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. One of the risks associated with those difficult decisions is a constructive dismissal claim that would trigger statutory notice and severance requirements under provincial employment standard legislation and under the common law. Ontario’s government has now taken a major step to prevent claims under its Employment Standards Act,…
COVID-19 has certainly not slowed down legislators in Annapolis. Far from sitting idle, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed a broad array of workplace legislation without the governor’s signature. In addition to a significant expansion of Maryland’s  Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, three new employment laws are set to take effect on October 1, 2020. Hairstyle Discrimination Under House Bill (HB) 1444/Senate Bill (SB) 531, Maryland employers are prohibited…
Historical Week in the House. The U.S. House of Representatives reconvened this week for its first multi-day workweek since March (the U.S. Senate remained at home this week on a prescheduled Memorial Day week break). The House made history when, for the first time ever, it allowed absent lawmakers to cast votes via a proxy system (74 members, all Democrats, voted by proxy to approve sanctions against Chinese officials for their detainment of Uyghurs). House…
Because of travel restrictions, such as canceled flights and stay-at-home orders, the COVID-19 pandemic may have significantly limited a nonresident alien’s ability to leave the United States, regardless of whether the individual contracted the COVID-19 virus. An unexpected extended stay in the United States, however, could affect an individual’s tax residency classification or eligibility for certain tax treaty benefits. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released Revenue Procedure 2020-20 to address the potential tax consequences…
On May 26, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation expanding the list of “Covered Services” permitted to reopen in Texas. The proclamation is consistent with Executive Order GA-23, which “continu[es] through June 3, 2020, subject to extension based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].” First, the proclamation…
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will resume premium processing via Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases during the month of June. Previously, on March 20, 2020, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing on all I-129 and I-140 petitions due to COVID-19. The following petitions will be eligible for premium processing…