Recent events across the U.S. have spurred companies to reexamine diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies and efforts in order to better address inequities in the workplace. In this webinar, our Hogan Lovells employment team will discuss the legal and practical considerations of popular initiatives such as hiring quotas, self-identification questionnaires, and pay equity studies so that companies are better equipped to meet their D&I goals while mitigating potential legal risk.

We hope you will join us on July 2 from 12:00pm -1:00pm EDT. To register please click here.

We would like to share this Chicago Tribune article—‘PTO Bomb’ as vacation-starved employees make time-off requests.— featuring a quote and commentary by Hogan Lovells employment lawyer David Baron.  As we predicted in our April 8, 2020 blog post on the topic (re-posted below), this article discusses the issues employers face, and what they can and should consider, as they brace for a deluge of employee requests for paid time off.

Continue Reading COVID-19 considerations: vacation and PTO

On Friday June 26, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued clarification guidance regarding the availability of Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave.  Specifically, the DOL stated that FFCRA leave is equally available for summer camps, summer enrichment programs or other summer programs as it was available for day cares or schools.

As a reminder, the FFCRA requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to twelve weeks of expanded family and medical leave, of which up to 10 weeks may be paid.  FFCRA leave may be taken if the employee is unable to work or telework due to the need to care for his or her child whose “place of care” is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. Continue Reading Department of Labor clarifies FFCRA Leave based on summer camp closure is similar to leave based on school or day care closure

On Thursday, June 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a pamphlet with “guidance to assist employers and workers in safely returning to work and reopening businesses deemed by local authorities as ‘non-essential businesses’ during the evolving [COVID-19] pandemic.”  OSHA states that the guidance does not create new legal obligations and instead is advisory. OSHA’s guidance tracks the three reopening phases identified by the White House in its “Opening Up America Again” guidelines, which in turn are based on proposed state or regional gating criteria. Continue Reading OSHA issues return-to-work guidance for non-essential businesses

Benefits will be available to employees under the District of Columbia’s paid family and medical leave program, known as D.C. Paid Family Leave (DCPFL), starting July 1, 2020. As discussed in our prior posts here and here, DCPFL provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible employees who need to take leave for certain medical or family reasons. The program is funded by employer payroll taxes, which D.C. employers began paying in July 2019. DCPFL is administered by the Department of Employment Services (DOES), which will make eligibility determinations and pay benefits directly to employees. Continue Reading Are you ready for D.C. paid family/medical leave on July 1? Questions & Answers for employers, including benefits coordination

Hollywood got the greenlight to resume film and television productions from Los Angeles County Public Health officials last week. But art – like life – in a COVID-19 world could look very different under the detailed new safety regulations promulgated by public health officials. Crowd scenes, intimate scenes, and fight scenes are discouraged. Dialogue with no masks is permitted but should be brief. And actors are not supposed to touch their faces during filming.

Some of the protocols for film and television productions are similar to other businesses, including requirements for social distancing when possible, cloth face coverings, and frequent hand washing and sanitization. But many of the rules – perhaps reflecting the unique work environment – will require a major overhaul. Continue Reading “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”: COVID-19 reopening protocols require Hollywood to adopt significant changes to production

As employers across the country are implementing return to work procedures and are gradually opening up their workspaces, many employers were left with unanswered questions regarding what testing they may conduct prior to permitting entry into the workplace.  The EEOC has previously taken the position that employers may test employees for an active COVID-19 infection (through a viral COVID-19 test) prior to entry into the workplace, and may conduct other screening mechanisms in an effort to prevent employees from entering the workplace with COVID-19, such as temperature checks. In recent guidance, however, the EEOC has stated that, at least for now, an employer may not require employees to undergo serological (antibody) testing as a condition of returning to work. Continue Reading EEOC states that requiring antibody tests prior to entry to the workplace is unlawful

The CDC recently released new guidance on considerations for events and gatherings. The scope of the guidance is broad, covering any planned or spontaneous event, even those with only small numbers of people. CDC has reminded event-holders that the guidance is meant to supplement any safety laws, rules, or regulations applicable to events or gatherings, such as requirements under state or local law. Continue Reading CDC releases new guidance on considerations for events and gatherings

Virginia has substantially rewritten its employment laws to provide a number of new protections and rights to employees in the areas of employment discrimination, whistleblower protection, non-compete agreements, independent contractor classification, wage payment, and more. Most of these laws take effect on July 1, 2020, and employers must take action to prepare for them, including updating employment policies and practices, providing certain notices to employees, ensuring non-compete agreements are not being provided to employees earning less than the average wage in Virginia, updating pay stubs, and generally understanding new exposures and risks. Continue Reading Major changes coming to Virginia employment laws on July 1, 2020; prepare now with this employer checklist