Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights

On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an injunction immediately blocking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from enforcing the Trump administration’s new public charge rule during the COVID-19 pandemic. The district court found that the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the pandemic warranted temporary relief and that the public charge rule impeded the nation’s efforts to mitigate the effects…
On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum with the stated purpose of providing “further temporary relief … to support working Americans” by enabling the deferral of employee Social Security taxes for specific individuals. Specifically, the “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to defer (not suspend) the withholding, deposit, and payment of the employee component…
On August 8, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum, which establishes a “lost wages assistance program” to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by dipping into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). If a state agrees to participate in the program, covered individuals will receive an additional $300 per week in addition to their existing unemployment benefits. The “Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for
On August 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York upended several employer-friendly limitations in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Specifically, the court struck down the DOL’s regulations regarding: (1) the requirement that employers actually have work available for employees in order to be eligible for leave; (2) the broad definition of “health care provider” under the final rule;…
On July 7, 2020, the Government of Alberta proposed important changes for workplaces through Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020 (Bill 32). The stated purpose of Bill 32 is to increase investment in Alberta’s workforce and to reduce the administrative burden for employers. On July 29, 2020, Bill 32 received Royal Assent. Bill 32 will result in amendments to Alberta’s Labour Relations Code and Employment Standards Code. These changes continue to…
Legislative Relief Package Stalls. The Buzz recently predicted that negotiations over a fourth COVID-19 legislative relief package would be like an immovable object facing an unstoppable force. Unfortunately, it appears that this prediction is coming true, as our elected officials in Washington, D.C. don’t appear to be any closer to a deal than they were several months ago. As a result, President Donald Trump announced that he is preparing executive orders concerning a payroll…
On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a communication plan titled “COVID-19 Communication Plan for Select Non-healthcare Critical Infrastructure Employers.” The purpose of the plan is to outline actions certain critical infrastructure employers may consider to disseminate COVID-19 messages with employees more effectively. The plan suggests key messages employers may consider to inform employees and provides prepared CDC communication materials in multiple languages for use in…
Since March 2020, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, and the county’s acting director of the Department of Public Health (DPH), Dr. Emily Doucette, have issued more than 20 orders and “safe operating guidelines” regarding COVID-19. On July 29, 2020, with an effective date of July 31, 2020, the DPH issued its third amended public health order setting forth its current “Business and Individual Guidelines for Social Distancing and Re-Opening.” In some respects, this…
As part of Mexico’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Mexico has established a biweekly traffic-light monitoring system with four criteria that Mexico’s states must meet before proceeding to the next phase of the country’s reopening plan. Below is a map for the period of August 3, 2020, through August 16, 2020, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of Mexico’s 32 states. In addition, we have provided a chart listing the…
In March 2020, everyone thought we just need to occupy our children at home for a few weeks, maybe through spring break, and we would be fine. Then it was “just make it to summer.” Now summer is winding down and many kids are not going back to school full-time (at least not in person) any time soon. This creates tremendous challenges for families as well as employers. Employer Obligations Under the FFCRA While many…