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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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

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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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

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 April 1, 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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COVID-19 and the ADA (as of March 18, 2020)

(as of April 21, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance on issues concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) , and employer obligations related to COVID-19.  The Q&A Section is provided below: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers All EEOC materials related to COVID-19 are collected at eeoc.gov/coronavirus. The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with … Continue reading

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