EEOC Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance

December 18, 2020

By Nicholas P. Jacobson and Nolan Kokkoris

On Wednesday, December 16, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new guidance (the Guidance) for employers regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. While the Guidance offers some insight for employers who are considering offering vaccinations to employees or requiring that employees get the COVID-19 vaccination, a number of questions still remain unanswered. The following are some key takeaways from the Guidance.

Read More >> EEOC Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance

Reminder: New York Minimum Wage Rates and Salary Thresholds for the Executive and Administrative Exemptions Will Increase on December 31, 2020

December 11, 2020

By Subhash Viswanathan

Employers in New York will be required to comply with the new state minimum wage rates and the new state salary thresholds to qualify for the executive and administrative exemptions, effective December 31, 2020.

Read More >> Reminder: New York Minimum Wage Rates and Salary Thresholds for the Executive and Administrative Exemptions Will Increase on December 31, 2020

Governor Cuomo Signs Amendment to the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act

November 17, 2020

By Mary E. Aldridge

Employers issuing notices pursuant to the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (NY WARN) are now subject to additional requirements due to a statutory amendment that Gov. Cuomo signed into law on November 11, 2020. This amendment, which is effective immediately, expands the list of entities whom covered employers must notify prior to implementing a plant closing or mass layoff. The list now includes: (1) the chief elected official of the unit(s) of local government and the school district(s) in which the plant closing or mass layoff will occur; and (2) each locality which provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services or other emergency services to the site of employment subject to the plant closing or mass layoff.

Read More >> Governor Cuomo Signs Amendment to the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act

How Long Does Your CBA Obligate You to Pay for Retiree Health Insurance Coverage?

November 13, 2020

By Richard S. Finkel

If you are a municipal employer in New York State struggling to find the answer to that question, you are not alone. In the absence of express language in your collective bargaining agreement, a definitive response is elusive. So elusive that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reached out to New York’s Court of Appeals for guidance. Whatever answer the Court of Appeals returns, if any, the value of a carefully negotiated and precisely drafted collective bargaining agreement cannot be overstated. 

Read More >> How Long Does Your CBA Obligate You to Pay for Retiree Health Insurance Coverage?

Employers with Employees in NYC Must Distribute Updated Earned Sick and Safe Time Notice Today

October 30, 2020

By Kerry W. Langan and Theresa E. Rusnak

On September 30, 2020, New York City’s amendments to the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (ESSTA) became effective. The revisions changed ESSTA to be consistent with the New York Paid Sick Leave Law, and also added other requirements for employers. More information regarding the scope of these changes and their impact on employers can be found in our prior blog post.

Read More >> Employers with Employees in NYC Must Distribute Updated Earned Sick and Safe Time Notice Today

NYC Amends Earned Sick and Safe Time Act

October 16, 2020

By Theresa E. Rusnak and Kerry W. Langan

On September 28, 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill amending the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (ESSTA). The amended ESSTA took effect on September 30, 2020. Although the intent of the amended law was to make ESSTA synchronous with the New York State Paid Sick Leave Law (NYSSL), the revisions also made significant changes to the law unrelated to the NYSSL. 

Read More >> NYC Amends Earned Sick and Safe Time Act

New Record-Keeping Requirements in New York, Including, Effective Today, Employee Sick Time

September 30, 2020

By Andrew D. Bobrek

This is a brief reminder that private sector employers in New York should take note of a new payroll record-keeping requirement, quietly tucked away in the state’s massive “budget” legislation.

More specifically, Section 195(4) of the New York Labor Law will be amended – effective today, September 30, 2020 – to require that an employer’s weekly “payroll records” must include the “amount of sick leave provided to each employee.” Notably, the amendment does not require employee pay stubs to include this same sick leave information.

Read More >> New Record-Keeping Requirements in New York, Including, Effective Today, Employee Sick Time

The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations to Determine Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

September 24, 2020

By Subhash Viswanathan

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued proposed regulations regarding the determination of whether an individual is an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or an independent contractor who is not subject to the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements. The proposed regulations are expected to be published in the Federal Register on September 25, and comments can be submitted for 30 days after publication. If the proposed regulations are adopted, it will likely be easier for businesses to classify employees as independent contractors under the FLSA.

Read More >> The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations to Determine Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

The EEOC Supplements Its Guidance on the Application of Disability Discrimination Laws to COVID-19 Issues

September 23, 2020

By Peter H. Wiltenburg

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed employers in a difficult position when it comes to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. New protocols for maintaining workplace safety necessitate inquiries about employees’ health that present privacy pitfalls. Moreover, widespread teleworking early in the pandemic has created new questions about reasonable accommodations as workplaces have reopened. On September 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) supplemented its existing FAQs to provide additional guidance on some of these issues. The full guidance, including the recent additions, is available here. The most notable points from the September 8 additional guidance are summarized below.

Read More >> The EEOC Supplements Its Guidance on the Application of Disability Discrimination Laws to COVID-19 Issues

Calling All Public Employers: Time to Develop a Pandemic Operations Plan

September 22, 2020

By Christopher T. Kurtz and Jacqueline A. Giordano

This past Labor Day, Governor Cuomo signed legislation which requires all New York State public employers to adopt a plan for operations in the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease. The new legislation will constitute New York State Labor Law Section 27-c, and clearly serves as a political response to the effects of the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this past Spring. Such a plan must be finalized and published by April 1, 2021.

Read More >> Calling All Public Employers: Time to Develop a Pandemic Operations Plan

The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Revised FFCRA Regulations in Response to District Court Decision

September 18, 2020

By Mary E. Aldridge

On September 11, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) issued revisions to the Temporary Rule it issued on April 1, 2020, implementing the employee leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The revisions respond to the August 3 decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (District Court) that invalidated certain parts of the Temporary Rule. The revised regulations took effect on September 16, 2020.

In its August 3 decision, the District Court ruled that four parts of the Temporary Rule were invalid: (1) the requirement that an employee may only take FFCRA leave if there is work available from which to take leave; (2) the requirement that an employee may take intermittent FFCRA leave only with employer consent; (3) the definition of a “health care provider” whom an employer may exclude from taking FFCRA leave; and (4) the requirement that employees who take FFCRA leave must provide certain documentation to their employer prior to taking leave.

The Department reconsidered the portions of the Temporary Rule that the District Court held were invalid. It reaffirmed the regulations in part, revised the regulations in part, and provided further explanation of its rationale for its regulations.

Read More >> The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Revised FFCRA Regulations in Response to District Court Decision