As of January 18, 2021, the number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in Mexico since the pandemic began had risen to nearly 1.65 million, up from 1.45 million two weeks earlier. Some areas of Mexico have higher infection rates and hospitalizations than others, in part due to population density and access to medicine and care. As a result, 10 states are now designated in the color red—indicative of the highest risk level of pandemic spread…
Effective January 20, 2021, the Ontario government is increasing workplace inspections of retailers and other workplaces as part of a crackdown on compliance to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed and enforced. Previously, the Government of Ontario announced that it would be sending Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MOLTSD) health and safety inspectors, local bylaw officers, and police officers to “big-box stores” in the Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York, and Durham regions to…
As the 4 April 2021, gender pay gap reporting deadline approaches, the UK government has published an updated set of guidance for employers on the gender pay gap reporting requirements. Although the reporting requirements have not changed, the guidance has been updated to include information for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular relating to furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). In March 2020, the Government Equalities Office and the Equality…
Impeachment. Take Two. On January 13, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump on one count of “incitement of insurrection” by a vote of 232–197 (10 Republicans voted to impeach and 4 did not cast votes). He is the first president to have been impeached twice. Because President Trump has only four full days left in office, what happens next is a bit unclear. First, there is some legal…
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release on January 12, 2021, notifying EEO-1 filers that the EEO-1 filing platform will not open until April 2021. This is of particular interest for employers because the EEOC delayed the 2019 EEO-1 filings, which would normally have been due in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—meaning that both the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings will be due this year. The April 2021 opening…
On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an updated final rule designed to increase prevailing wages required for certain visa processes. The updated rule, entitled “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” is the DOL’s second attempt in recent months to revise how the existing four-tiered wage structure of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey is calculated for purposes of determining…
On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an updated final rule designed to increase prevailing wages required for certain visa processes. The updated rule, entitled “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” is the DOL’s second attempt in recent months to revise how the existing four-tiered wage structure of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey is calculated for purposes of determining…
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law Congress’s spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, which included the Additional Coronavirus Response and Relief (ACRR) provisions that modified the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP, a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive to businesses to retain their employees, was enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. PPP borrowers are eligible for…
A contentious issue during the recent presidential campaign was the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter where one fell along the spectrum of supporters and critics, there was no denying the wide gulf of positions on the topic. That gulf was clearly evident in the months-long dispute over the extent to which the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should involve themselves in implementing COVID-19…
With daily COVID-19 case counts approaching 4,000 in Ontario, the Ontario provincial government announced on January 12, 2021, a state of emergency and a return to stricter lockdown measures that will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on January 14, 2021. The new restrictions will closely resemble the first-wave measures that were implemented in the spring of 2020, with some additional restrictions and enforcement measures. The government declared a second state of emergency under the Emergency