Category Archives: Legal Updates

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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Posted in COVID-19, Leave Laws | Tagged , , , , , , | 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 , , , , | 5 Comments

COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in Washington (as of March 18, 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 the Questions and Answers provided by the ESD for Employers related to COVID-19: Q.  What programs are offered to assist businesses to keep workers during COVID-19? A.  We have expanded programs to help support businesses and workers whose financial stability is affected by COVID-19. SharedWork: This program allows employers to reduce … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Unemployment Benefits (WA), Washington | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

COVID-19 and WARN Act Layoffs (as of March 18, 2020)

In reviewing whether layoffs are required, there are a number of legal factors that may come into play.  One of those is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act.  The WARN Act was designed to offer protection to workers by requiring employers to provide 60 days notification in advance of plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Q:        Does the WARN Act still apply if are forced to suspend operations on account of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its aftermath? A:        … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Legal Updates, WARN Act | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

COVID-19 and the Union (as of March 18, 2020)

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) imposes on employers the duty to bargain in good faith over mandatory subjects of bargaining such as wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. Generally speaking, even in emergency situations, such as this one, employers are required to bargain with the union over unilateral changes concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining, unless your collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. Here are several questions that we have received. Q:        Are there any exceptions to the general … Continue reading

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Posted in COVID-19, Labor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

COVID-19 and the ADA (as of March 18, 2020)

Employers are faced with dealing with a variety of laws in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.  The EEOC issued Guidelines in 2009 (“2009 Guidelines”) that were designed to help employers deal with a pandemic while also being compliant with the ADA.  A pandemic is a global “epidemic”.  The 2009 Guidelines were designed to address the H1N1 pandemic scare. The 2009 Guidelines include a discussion regarding disability-related inquiries, permissible medical examinations, “direct threat” issues and reasonable accommodation obligations.  The Guidelines also include … Continue reading

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New Washington Law Restricts Non-Competition Agreements

In May 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed a new bill into law, restricting non-competition agreements in Washington.  The law makes non-competition agreements for employees earning less than $100,000 per year unenforceable.  For employees earning over $100,000 annually, it creates the presumption that such an agreement for a period longer than 18 months is unreasonable and unenforceable.  The law also makes non-competition agreements for independent contractors earning less than $250,000 annually unenforceable.  These salary thresholds will be adjusted annually due to … Continue reading

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Posted in Arbitration, Legal Updates, New Legislation, Noncompete Agreement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MANDATORY ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS FOR NON-UNION EMPLOYEES

Employers are often wondering whether they should consider mandatory arbitration agreements for their non-union employees. Such arbitration agreements provide many advantages to the employer-employee relationship. As the law continues to develop, employers are asking more and more whether arbitration agreements are right for their workplace. What is an arbitration?  Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where an employment dispute is privately resolved by a neutral third-party arbitrator, or panel of such arbitrators. Non-union arbitration typically occurs under the rules … Continue reading

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Posted in Arbitration, Handbook Policies, Labor, New Legislation, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

National Labor Relations Board Rejects Attempt to Expand Weingarten Rights

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a decision this year that serves as a reminder to employers about their responsibilities when an employee requests union representation during an investigatory interview (referred to as “Weingarten rights”).  See YRC Inc., d/b/a YRC Freight, 360 NLRB No. 90 (April 30, 2014).  In YRC Freight, the NLRB reiterated that an employer does not violate an employee’s Weingarten rights or rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) when it discontinues an interview … Continue reading

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Posted in Labor, NLRB | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Employment Law Update – Seminar April 30, 2019

The April 10, 2019 registration deadline for Davis Grimm Payne & Marra’s 2019 Employment Law Update is less than 3 weeks away.  Don’t miss out on your opportunity to learn and ask questions about recent changes to employment laws from Davis Grimm Payne & Marra attorneys: Selena Smith on “Anti-Harassment Training in the #MeToo Era” Josh Brittingham on the “Latest Changes to Paid Sick and Family Leave Laws” Brian Lundgren on “Staying Out of Court: Mandatory Arbitration Agreements” Cost for … Continue reading

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Posted in Firm News, Leave Laws, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Seminar, Sick Leave, Washington Law Against Discrimination, Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave, WLAD | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment