Category Archives: COVID-19

ARE YOU READY ON COVID-19 SAFETY IF A DOSH INSPECTOR COMES KNOCKING?

Your small business has worked hard to grapple with COVID-19 safety rules. You genuinely care about employee safety. You have paid attention to the CDC guidelines and followed them dutifully. You have implemented a mask policy, increased cleaning of common areas, and required physical distancing. You feel as if you’ve “checked the box” on COVID-19 compliance. Suddenly, a knock at the door of your business reveals an inspector from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Division of Occupational … Continue reading

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May Employers Require Employees to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Many employers are considering whether they can or should require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.  Distribution and availability of the vaccine is such that the general public does not yet have access to it, but employers should begin considering how they want to address this issue. As with any topic that involves the health and medical care of employees, employers should know to proceed cautiously.  There are a number of factors that should be considered … Continue reading

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ESD Q&A – CARES Act Federal Stimulus

(as of April 21, 2020) Washington ESD has provided the following Q&A as it relates to the CARES Act federal stimulus package: Q: I heard there is legislation that has passed to expand unemployment insurance, how does this affect me? A: This legislation will likely help many people, including people who typically don’t qualify for unemployment benefits – including those who don’t have the usually required 680 hours. We are working as quickly as possible to implement the changes under the … Continue reading

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Mine Operators and COVID-19

FLEXIBILITIES FOR MINE OPERATORS The Mine Safety and Health Administration will work with mine operators when it comes to the following recertifications: Annual refresher training certification (30 CFR Part 46) Surface and underground annual refresher training certification (30 CFR Part 48) Certified person; sampling (30 CFR §§ 70/71/90.202) Certified person; maintenance and calibration (30 CFR §§ 70/71/90.203) Exemptions to recertifications will not be granted; however, their due dates will be extended by at least the time the government is operating … Continue reading

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New DOL Guidance on the FFCRA

Posted on March 25, 2020, by Josh Brittingham On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, announced its first official set of guidance about the paid-leave provisions in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), enacted on March 18. New implementing regulations for the FFCRA are forthcoming. DOL issued a fact sheet for employees, a fact sheet for employers, and a Q&A document. These materials clarify the DOL’s position on FFCRA’s requirements and protections, which are discussed here. For convenience, … Continue reading

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Governor Inslee’s Orders

(as of November 15, 2020) The November 15 “Stay Safe-Stay Healthy” Order, Proclamation 20-25.8, is a four-week set of new statewide restrictions (subject to a possible extension) intended to curb further spread of COVID-19.  The restrictions set forth in this Order supplement the already-existing restrictions seen here, here, and here. Governor Inslee also released a document titled COVID-19 Guidance on November 15, which sets forth the various new restrictions that have been put in place as a result of this … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Legal Updates, Uncategorized, Washington Law Against Discrimination | Leave a comment

FEDERAL LEGISLATION: COVID-19 Related FMLA and Paid Sick Leave Requirements (as of March 19, 2020)

On March 18, 2020,  the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) (the Act) was signed into law. This article discusses the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Paid Sick Leave provisions related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Due to the immense effect this Act may have on small businesses, I have provided a thorough review of relevant questions. APPLICABILITY: When do the COVID-19 related FMLA and Paid Sick Leave provisions take effect? Within 15 days of enactment, … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Leave Laws, New Legislation, Oregon, Paid Leave, Sick Leave, Washington | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Oregon Government Response to COVID-19

An ongoing list of enacted Oregon State legislation related to employment issues and COVID-19. (as of May 1, 2020) Governor Kate Brown’s executive order directs Oregonians to stay at home.  This Order “remains in effect until ended by the governor.”  As of May 1, some non-urgent medical procedures can resume if the hospital, medical office, or dental office meets the state requirements for COVID-19 safety precautions.  Additional restriction may be eased depending on numerous factors, including the declining number of COVID-19 cases, … Continue reading

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Employment Legislation – State of Washington

An ongoing list of enacted Washington State legislation related to employment issues. (As of March 18, 2020) Washington HB 2965, among other things, added $25 million appropriation from the budget stabilization account for expenditure into the COVID-19 unemployment account.  It became effective on March 17, 2020. Washington HB 2739 adjusted certain requirements of the shared leave program.  Includes a provision of shared leave for employees in isolation or quarantine as requested or ordered by a public health offiical or health … Continue reading

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COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in Washington (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) has issued emergency rules for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  They have also prepared a comparison guide for some common COVID-19 scenarios that affect benefits. Here are Summaries and Questions and Answers provided by the ESD for Employers related to COVID-19: CARES Act and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)   Federal stimulus in the recently enacted CARES Act creates Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.   How will the CARES Act help me? … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Unemployment Benefits (WA), Washington | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments