As we previously discussed, employers with fewer than 500 employees will no longer be legally required to provide employees with leaves of absence under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As of January 1, 2021, covered employers may choose to voluntarily provide such leave through March 31, 2021, and continue to take tax credits for doing so.

Although FFCRA leave may now be an employer elective, covered employers in states and local jurisdictions that have passed their own COVID-19 leave laws may remain obligated to provide their eligible employees with COVID-19 leave. We previously discussed an expansion of Washington D.C.’s COVID-19 leave obligations through March 31, 2021. To a similar end, New York employers also have continuing COVID-19 leave obligations into 2021, and perhaps beyond.
Continue Reading NY employers’ continuing COVID-19 leave obligations…for the foreseeable future

As we explained in a recent post, as of January 1, 2021, COVID-19 leave is no longer mandated under the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), although covered employers who voluntarily provide paid leave outlined in the FFCRA may take advantage of the FFCRA tax credit through March 31, 2021. Notwithstanding this change

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 guidance to address COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace. The EEOC’s guidance implies that a mandatory workplace vaccination program is lawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the other laws the EEOC administers provided that the employer provides disability and religious

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

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