As we discussed in more detail in a prior post, the updated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance has implications for all employers as they begin to reopen work sites due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional commentary, please read this related article on HR Exchange Network featuring employment partner Michael DeLarco’s insights on OSHA’s recent guidance.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has published a new self-identification form federal contractors (including subcontractors) must provide to individuals to request information concerning their disability status. OFCCP hopes the changes will increase applicant and employee response rates. Notably, the new form deletes the second page of the current form, which reminds applicants and employees of their right to ask the employer for reasonable accommodations to apply for a job or perform a job. Federal contractors must begin using this form on or before August 4, 2020.

 As background, under OFCCP regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, covered federal contractors must provide an opportunity to voluntarily self-identify as an individual with a disability to (1) applicants (prior to giving an offer); (2) offerees (prior to starting employment); and (3) employees (every five years, with a reminder at least once during the intervening years). This invitation must be made using the specific form prescribed by OFCCP. Therefore, to stay in compliance with OFCCP regulations, contractors should ensure that they begin using the new self-identification form by August 4, 2020. In light of the deletion of the reasonable accommodation notice, employers should consider whether to provide a separate notice to applicants and employees of their right to request a reasonable accommodation. As a reminder, federal contractors continue to be required to satisfy separate requirements to provide invitations to voluntarily self-identify on the basis of race/ethnicity, gender, and veteran status.

 

On May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Revised Enforcement Guidance (Guidance) requiring employers to investigate whether employee COVID-19 infections are “work-related” for the purpose of determining whether a record must be made of such infections. This Guidance, which is effective on May 26, 2020, backtracks from OSHA’s prior April 10 guidance which had previously relaxed recordkeeping obligations on all non-healthcare, emergency response, or correctional institution employers for COVID-19 illnesses. Continue Reading OSHA requires all employers to investigate whether COVID-19 infections are “work-related”

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom enacted executive order N-62-20 (the Order), substantially expanding the availability of workers compensation to employees that contract COVID-19.[1]

Under California’s existing workers’ compensation system, for an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation, the death, illness or injury must “arise out of employment” or occur “during the course of employment.” Continue Reading Workers’ compensation now presumptively applies to employee COVID-19 claims in California

The Los Angeles City Council adopted two ordinances on April 29 that will significantly limit changes that operators of hotels, entertainment and sports venues, and some commercial buildings will be permitted to make when they rehire employees following the COVID-19 shutdown, or in the event that one of those businesses is sold in the coming years. Continue Reading Los Angeles adopts ordinances giving certain laid off workers “Right to Recall” and right to be retained during a change of control

Many U.S. employers are eager to reopen their worksites and to resume more normal in-person operations. But resumption of business while the country continues to face the risk of COVID-19 infections presents significant legal and practical challenges. The nature of these challenges will differ based on the employer’s geography and industry. This article describes key labor and employment considerations for U.S. employers in planning and executing a reopening strategy. Continue Reading Practical and legal considerations for reopening U.S. worksites related to COVID-19

In an important development for critical workforces that continue to operate, as well as businesses planning to reopen, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has advised employers that they may administer COVID-19 tests to employees before they enter the workplace. Continue Reading EEOC states that employers may administer COVID-19 tests before permitting employees to enter the workplace

Though the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt and processed by businesses, we are starting to see litigation being brought against employers. Just recently, a wrongful death action was brought against a major retailer related to an alleged workplace COVID-19 infection prompting concern about what liability risks employers face.

In order to best prepare you, Employment partner George Ingham has teamed with Michael Kidney, a partner in our leading Litigation practice, to discuss how food and beverage companies with continuing operations may face potential liability risks as a result of COVID-19 (including tort liability and workers’ compensation), as well as steps businesses can take to mitigate those risks.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, April 28th at 12 p.m. ET. Click here to register.

California food sector workers now have the right to additional paid sick leave, even if they work for large employers exempted from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). And they are also entitled to handwashing breaks every 30 minutes and additionally as needed. Continue Reading California grants additional paid sick leave rights to food sector workers

The Mayor of the District of Columbia recently signed two emergency laws that expand obligations of employers to provide leave to employees for COVID-19 reasons: