Georgia Joins The Growing List Of States With A COVID-19 Liability Shield In Place

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
08/07/2020
Late Wednesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation that adds Georgia to the list of states limiting liability as to claims brought against businesses by customers, employees, and members of the public who contract or allege exposure to COVID-19.  The new law became effective immediately and will expire July 2021.  Georgia joins Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming in enacting virus-related...
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Federal Judge Expands Coronavirus Leave Availability

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
08/04/2020
This past April, the Department of Labor issued temporary regulations regarding paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The regulations addressed many issues raised by the FFCRA and answered or provided clarification on a number of COVID-leave-related topics.  On August 3, 2020, a federal judge in New York invalidated some of the DOL’s regulations and as a result has expanded FFCRA leave.  New York v. United...
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OSHA Updates and Removes Guidance From Its COVID-19 FAQs

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
08/04/2020
As an increasing number of states, local governments, and private employers are mandating that employees, particularly those who work indoors and in close proximity to other employees, wear masks covering the mouth and nose to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, last Friday, OSHA updated its frequently asked COVID-19 questions and answers.  As to wearing cloth masks, OSHA stated unequivocally that workers who wear cloth masks to prevent...
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Virginia COVID-19 Worker Protection Rule Takes Effect

On July 27, Virginia became the first state in the United States to implement a COVID-19 workplace safety rule.  The new rules require employers covered by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program to immediately comply with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state-issued regulations. The standard applies to most Virginia workplaces, including retail employees, office workers, and persons...
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CDC Issues New Guidance On Cloth Face Coverings and Face Shields

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
07/14/2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") has issued new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings, including recommendations for when face coverings may not be appropriate in the workplace.   The CDC guidance supplements  OSHA's 'Frequently Asked Questions" on the use of cloth face masks that were published in early June. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings "are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory...
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OSHA Publishes Faqs For Workplace Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/07/2020
Before the July 4th weekend, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published frequently asked questions  and answers about best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  The FAQs cover topics from cleaning and disinfecting to personal protective equipment.  The answers include links to relevant OSHA publications like OSHA’s Guidance on Returning to Work and an...
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DOL Clarifies Rules for FFCRA Usage Due to Summer Camp Closure

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
06/30/2020
This past Friday, the DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (No. 2020-4) that clarifies circumstances under which an employee may take leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) due to closure of a summer camp or other program. As a refresher, the FFCRA requires most employers with fewer than 500 employees to offer paid leave for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes situations where an employee is unable to...
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EEOC Clarifies That Employers Cannot Require Antibody Tests For Employees Returning To Work

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
06/22/2020
As businesses begin the challenge of reopening and ensuring the safety of employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic , the EEOC issued important guidance last week regarding the use of antibody testing.   Antibody tests look for signs in the blood to determine whether the person being tested was ever infected with COVID-19—even if that person never showed symptoms.  While antibody tests do not test for immunity, they may...
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EEOC's Updated COVID-19 Guidance: Employees Not Entitled To Accommodations Because They Live With High-Risk Individuals; Treat Older Workers Equally Despite Risk

In an updated guidance on COVID-19, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, the EEOC has clarified an employer need not accommodate an employee's request to telework who is not high risk but lives with high risk individuals.  The EEOC has also clarified that companies may not mandate exclude older workers and pregnant employees from the workplace even though public health authorities advise they are a higher risk group for severe...
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EEOC, DOL, and OSHA Activity For Employers To Note

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/09/2020
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has delayed the submission of this year's EEO-1 forms until March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Each year, employers must submit demographic workforce data by March 31 for the prior calendar year.  The EEOC determined to collect both 2019 and 2020 data in March 2021 given the challenging compensation data of these past few months. The Department of Labor (DOL) published updated COBRA...
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