Photo of Tao Leung

On June 14, 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA) requires Colorado employers to pay out employee vacation pay once earned—regardless of any relevant employment agreement or company policy. The court explained in Nieto v. Clark’s Market that, although employers are not required to offer their employees vacation pay,

The state of California, after a series of recommendations that were made and then withdrawn, has finally settled on new workplace safety guidance. The Cal-OSHA Advisory Board approved the updated workplace COVID-19 prevention protocols on June 17, 2021, and Governor Gavin Newsom immediately issued an executive order implementing them.
Continue Reading CA employers finally have guidance from Cal-OSHA on updated workplace COVID-19 prevention protocols

On May 18, 2021, Santa Clara County, California, issued a health order imposing new and significant obligations on employers in light of the increasing number of individuals that are being vaccinated against COVID-19.

The most significant requirement under the new health order, which went into effect on May 19, 2021, is that employers must inquire into, and continue to keep track of, the vaccination status of all personnel. The Santa Clara health order does not, however, require employers to request or record proof of vaccination. This requirement applies to Santa Clara employers regardless of whether they have a mandatory or voluntary vaccination program.

Continue Reading Santa Clara County now requires employers to inquire about, and keep records regarding, employees’ vaccination status

As we recently discussed, last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced guidance that loosened its COVID-19 rules for facial coverings and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals. However, the CDC guidance was not intended to override, and explicitly made such guidance subject to, federal, state, or local rules.

In what should not be a surprise to employers in the Golden State, California had already announced that it will be maintaining its current masking guidance until at least June 15. Los Angeles County, despite boasting low and stable metrics, has announced that it will do the same in light of continued COVID-19 transmission.

Continue Reading Masks must stay on for now in California and Los Angeles County

On April 16, 2021 Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 93, which requires employers in certain industries to offer laid-off employees due to COVID-19 all job positions that become available for which the employee is qualified. Employees included in the act are those who had (1) been employed for at least six months in the twelve months preceding January 1, 2021; (2) worked two hours or more per week for a covered employer; and (3) were most recently separated from employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. due to a public health directive, shutdown order, lack of business, reduction of force, etc.).

Employers covered by the new law include hotels, private clubs, airport hospitality operations, airport service providers, and those who provide janitorial, building maintenance or security services to offices, retail establishments or other commercial buildings.
Continue Reading California requires employers in certain industries to rehire employees laid-off due to COVID-19

[UPDATE: The California Labor Commissioner updated its FAQs in April to provide further clarification as to when employees may use COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (COVID-19 SPSL). Highlights from the updated guidance include:

  • For employees to receive COVID-19 SPSL due to daycare closures, the closure must have been a total or partial closure that occurred on or after January 1, 2021, and rendered the care unavailable, because of COVID-19 on the premises.
  • An employee may receive COVID-19 SPSL if they are caring for a family member either because the family member has been advised by a medical professional to stay home due to COVID-19, or the family member is subject to a COVID-19 related quarantine or isolation period.
  • Employers must provide COVID-19 SPSL immediately upon the eligible employee’s oral or written request.]

On March 19, 2021 Governor Newsom signed into law SB 95 (adding sections 248.2 and 248.3 to the Labor Code), which requires employers to pay California employees up to two weeks of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (COVID-19 SPSL).

This new law revives and expands the supplemental paid sick leave law that expired on December 31, 2020. As a result of these changes from the prior iteration of California’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law, many more California employers will be required to provide, and many more employees will be eligible for, COVID-19 SPSL.
Continue Reading California brings back, and expands, COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

As employers anticipate returning to work in light of increased availability of vaccines, some have considered requiring employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination to return to the workplace. On March 4, 2021, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) updated its DFEH Employment Information on COVID-19 to address whether employers may mandate vaccines under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The FEHA prohibits discrimination against employees based on protected characteristics, including disability and religious beliefs.

Under the recent update, the DFEH states that employers may require employees to receive an FDA-approved vaccination against COVID-19 as long as the employer 1) provides reasonable accommodation related to disability or sincerely held religious beliefs, and 2) does not retaliate against employees for requesting such an accommodation.

Continue Reading DFEH issues guidance addressing mandatory vaccines in California

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

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

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