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 Orders

(as of March 26, 2020) Last evening, Governor Inslee issued further guidance to construction employers regarding his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order. 03.25.20-ConstructionGuidanceMemo002   (as of March 24, 2020) On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee announced a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order.  The Order can be found here. In short, the Order requires all Washingtonians to stay at home, except for people: Pursuing an essential activity, such as grocery shopping, medical appointments, etc.; Going to work at an essential business; … Continue reading

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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 Commercial Truck Driver Requirements (as of March 19, 2020)

FEDERAL.  Effective March 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial truck drivers transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19.  This waiver is in effect for 30 days (April 12) unless extended. On March 18, 2020, FMCSA expanded the regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for: Medical supplies and equipment … Continue reading

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Employment Legislation – State of Oregon

An ongoing list of enacted Oregon State legislation related to employment issues. (as of March 23, 2020) On March 23, 2020, Governor Brown issued Oregon Governors Order 03.23.20 significantly tightening social distancing guidelines. The new guidelines provide the following restrictions related to businesses or employment:   It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and … 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)

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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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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COVID-19 and Workplace Safety (as of March 18, 2020)

What’s the main workplace safety guidance we should follow? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, outlining steps employers can take to help protect their workforce. OSHA has divided workplaces and work operations into four risk zones, according to the likelihood of employees’ occupational exposure during a pandemic. These risk zones are useful in determining appropriate work practices and precautions. Very High Exposure Risk: Healthcare employees performing aerosol-generating procedures on known or … Continue reading

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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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