Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights - Page 2

Mexico’s federal government continues to relax restrictions on business and social activities in accordance with the four-tiered national traffic light monitoring system as COVID-19 pandemic conditions continue to improve in Mexico’s states. Since the report issued for March 1–14, 2021, none of the nation’s 32 states have been in red traffic light status, the most restrictive of the monitoring system. At the other end of the system’s color spectrum, seven states are currently in…
Administration Debuts Infrastructure Package. Just weeks after enacting the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, the Biden administration this week unveiled the American Jobs Plan—its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package. The broad outline released by the White House (there is, of course, no actual bill yet) proposes investing in U.S. roads and bridges, the electrical grid, high-speed broadband, and the like. It also goes further, pledging to delve into the “care economy,” supply chains, climate…
During his January 2021 State of the State address, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey called for “COVID liability protection, so that a statewide emergency doesn’t line the pockets of trial attorneys with frivolous lawsuits.” On March 30, 2021, the Arizona State Legislature answered Governor Ducey’s call and passed Arizona’s pandemic-related liability shield legislation. Senate Bill (SB) 1377 establishes civil immunity for employers and health care providers for actions (or omissions to act) related to “a…
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) published EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 in the nick of time on February 26, 2021. EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 was released just two days before the date that certain benefit plan deadline extensions were potentially expiring. The DOL and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued joint guidance on May 4, 2020, which provided that certain employee benefit plan deadlines for participants would…
On March 12, 2021, New York State enacted a law that requires all employers to provide their New York employees with up to four hours of paid time off per injection to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. At the time of enactment, the law did not provide guidance on certain key issues. Recently, the New York State Department of Labor published answers to some questions that many employers have been asking. Covered Employers All employers, including…
Secretary of Labor Confirmed. On March 23, 2021, former Boston mayor Martin Walsh was sworn in as the 29th U.S. Senate-confirmed secretary of labor. Walsh’s nomination had been approved by the Senate just one day earlier on a bipartisan 68–29 vote, with 18 Republicans voting in favor of confirmation. Walsh, who has strong ties to the labor movement and the Boston community, will have some catching up to do upon entering the U.S. Department of…
On March 2, 2021, the City Council of San Diego, California, extended the “COVID-19 Worker Recall and Retention Ordinance” (O-21231/O-2021-20). The ordinance provides certain rights and preferences to hotel and janitorial workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance originally took effect on September 8, 2020, and was set to expire on March 8, 2021. However, given the extraordinary loss of jobs in San Diego in the building services, leisure, and hospitality industries,…
On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued guidance entitled “FAQs About Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Implementation Part 44.” The guidance addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) that stem from the requirements under the FFCRA and CARES Act that group health plans and issuers cover COVID-19 testing…
On March 16, 2021, the City Council of Costa Mesa, California, passed an urgency ordinance establishing premium pay for retail grocery and pharmacy workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Costa Mesa is a large city in Orange County located southeast of Los Angeles. The ordinance requires that large retail establishments that sell groceries or prescription and nonprescription drugs in Costa Mesa provide their workers with premium pay of $4.00 for each hour worked. The ordinance took…
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is the state agency responsible for enforcement of the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). The NJFLA provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave during any 24-month period: (1) to bond with a child within 1 year of the child’s birth or placement for adoption or foster care; (2) to provide care to a family member or one who is the equivalent of…