COVID-19 and Maryland Unemployment

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
03/27/2020
A record 3.3 million people applied for unemployment last week, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report. The sky-high numbers are no surprise as the COVID-19 pandemic forces employers to make difficult decisions about how to cease, suspend, or continue operations under extraordinary circumstances. The State of Maryland recently relaxed its standards for benefit eligibility and updated its FAQs about COVID-19 and Maryland's Unemployment...
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COVID-19 and the ADA

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
03/26/2020
The EEOC issued on March 19, 2020 an FAQ entitled What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19 that contains important guidance for employers adjusting to the new reality presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act continue to apply, they do not prevent compliance with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or state and local public...
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DOL Q&A On Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/25/2020
The Department of Labor has issued guidance in the form of a Q&A regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The DOL has also issued a Field Assistance Bulletin regarding the “temporary non-enforcement period.” The guidance provides some clarification regarding the new leave law, including:  Effective Date:  The paid leave provisions are effective April 1, 2020.  The Act was supposed to go into effect April 2 --...
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Hot Off The Press - New Paid Leave Notice Posters

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/25/2020
The Department of Labor has released its Families First Coronavirus Response Act posters.  There are two posters: Employee Rights:  Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA and Federal Employee Rights:  Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA Remember to print and post the applicable notice conspicuously at your worksite no later than April 1,...
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President Trump Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/19/2020
The U.S. Senate today passed, by a vote of 90-8, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the amended version).  The President has signed the Act into law.  The Act will be effective in 15 days -- April 2, 2020 -- and sunsets on December 31, 2020.  The Act amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and mandates paid sick leave for coronavirus-related absences. Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act  FMLA...
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House Amends Coronavirus Paid Sick Leave and Job Protection Legislation

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/17/2020
The U.S. House of Representatives has Amended the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The revisions, which significantly alter the bill, are outlined below.  One might wager that the legislation is likely to be amended again -- but the casinos are closed. Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act  “Qualifying need related to a public health emergency” is revised to mean leave for an employee to care for an...
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Maryland DLLR Issues Guidance on COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
03/17/2020
The Maryland Department of Labor has posted a Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 And Unemployment Insurance Benefits.  Below are the FAQ highlights: Employee Quit Due to COVID-19 An employee who quits work because they are sick due to COVID-19 will not be eligible for unemployment benefits because the employee is not able and available to work, as required for eligibility. Employee Quarantine An employee who is in mandatory...
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Families First Coronavirus Response Act -- Paid Sick Leave and Job Protection

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/15/2020
The U.S House of Representatives has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), which, among other things, expands the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and provides paid sick leave in an effort to confront the coronavirus.  The Senate is expected to approve the measure soon.  The Act will take effect not later than 15 days after enactment. With respect to the FMLA, the Act (if approved by the Senate) expands...
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Furloughs During Economic Downturns: A Reminder of the Wage & Hour Rules

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
03/13/2020
Late yesterday afternoon, I received a call from a client that was eerily reminiscent of the calls I often received during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The call went something like this: “Eric, because of the impact COVID-19 is having on our business, we are considering furloughing staff. What are the wage and hour implications of furloughs?” After receiving that call, I dusted off some of the guidance I had given 11 years ago and am sending...
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