In light of the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, employers have made adjustments to facilitate remote working, with some considering maintaining expanded remote work policies even after government restrictions are lifted. However, employers should be aware of several legal issues and considerations that may apply when employees work from home and that “home” is located in another state or country. This post covers issues for employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.

Continue Reading Legal implications of remote work arrangements: perspectives from the U.S., UK, and France

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 May 13, 2021, the CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals (Vaccination Guidance), stating that fully vaccinated people (fully vaccinated means two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or two weeks after a first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) can:

  • Resume indoor and outdoor activities

On April 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh placed a “hold” on the implementation of a potential U.S. Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which would set a national COVID-19 safety standard for OSHA-covered employers throughout the United States. While President Biden’s inauguration day Executive Order directed

[UPDATE: On April 7, 2021, the Department of Labor issued the model notices required by ARPA, as well as an FAQ to provide additional guidance on the changes to the COBRA subsidies.]

On March 12, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, aiming to provide relief to individuals and businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. ARPA impacts employer-sponsored health plans in several ways, including the implementation of a COBRA premium subsidy. Employers should be aware of the actions they must take in response to this change.

COBRA requires an employer-sponsored group health plan to give employees who otherwise would lose coverage due to termination (or another qualifying event) a chance to continue to buy coverage for themselves and any family members on the plan for a limited period after that event. The maximum coverage period generally is 18 months. The plan typically may charge up to 102 percent of the cost of coverage for similarly situated active participants (the COBRA premium).


Continue Reading American Rescue Plan Act’s COBRA health care premium subsidy

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