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AFL-CIO Demands OSHA Action on Coronavirus Protections

With states now beginning to draw down their quarantines, many employers are looking to reopen their businesses, some earlier than their employees feel comfortable with. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued some guidance on protecting employees from the coronavirus, it has largely been industry specific, particularly focusing on healthcare workers. In response to concerns from its members, the AFL-CIO has filed an emergency action in federal court, demanding OSHA take action to protect workers from coronavirus exposure at work. Continue reading “AFL-CIO Demands OSHA Action on Coronavirus Protections”

OSHA Addresses Employees Afraid to Return to Work

With coronavirus quarantines beginning to wind down across the country, many businesses are eager to reopen and begin attracting customers. However, employees have been generally less enthusiastic about returning to work, fearing they will be exposed to the coronavirus while on the job. Considering this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to employers on how to handle this thorny issue. Continue reading “OSHA Addresses Employees Afraid to Return to Work”

EEOC Issues Guidance on Returning to Work After Quarantine

With many states now beginning the process of winding down their quarantine, many businesses that have been shuttered are now looking at reopening and inviting their employees back to work. However, reopening after the pandemic carries with it many questions, including what obligation employers have with respect to protecting their employees. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance, telling employers how best to reopen for business. Continue reading “EEOC Issues Guidance on Returning to Work After Quarantine”

NY AG Sues Department of Labor Over FFCRA Rule

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Labor (DOL) alleging they created a rule that violates the plain text and meaning of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the rule creates overly broad categories excluding certain workers from paid sick and family leave and has imposed conditions on certain benefits without a statutory basis. The lawsuit could affect thousands of employees in New York, and potentially millions around the United States. Continue reading “NY AG Sues Department of Labor Over FFCRA Rule”

Ten Percent of American Workers File for Unemployment in Three Weeks

In less than a month, more than a tenth of the American workforce has been forced out of their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The job losses represent the single greatest increase in unemployment since the housing bubble burst in 2008, with jobless numbers expected to increase to as high as 20%. Despite some efforts by federal and state legislatures to curtail the effects, workers are feeling the job losses hard, and it’s not clear when people will be able to return to work. Continue reading “Ten Percent of American Workers File for Unemployment in Three Weeks”

DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, bringing with it a slew of changes to various labor laws. Among the most significant of these changes were those rules regarding intermittent leave and telework, two practices that are substantially more important now that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Employers who intend to have their employees work from home, as well as employees intending to work from home, should familiarize themselves with these provisions to understand how they might affect their business. Continue reading “DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework”

New York Passes Paid Quarantine Compensation Law

New York State has passed a law guaranteeing pay and job security for employees forced to quarantine themselves as a result of the coronavirus. The law comes as many New Yorkers are forced to work from home, and many others are left jobless due to quarantine procedures. The purpose of the new law is to protect people’s jobs and incomes at a time when it’s unclear how many businesses will be able to open again once the threat of the coronavirus passes. Continue reading “New York Passes Paid Quarantine Compensation Law”

Employers Ask Employees to Work from Home Due to Coronavirus

Many employers like having their employees work in an office, even when it isn’t strictly necessary. It allows them to keep their resources and personnel in one place, and it allows them to oversee and control their employees’ activities more efficiently. With concerns about the coronavirus growing, however, more employers are looking at the benefits of having their employees work from home. Continue reading “Employers Ask Employees to Work from Home Due to Coronavirus”

Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize

Employees at Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding website, have voted to form a labor union, becoming the first white-collar employees in the tech industry to do so. The union consists of a collection of accountants, content directors and software designers who sought better pay and working conditions from their employer. While the first of its kind, the Kickstarter union may be a sign of things to come in the tech industry. Continue reading “Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize”

NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban

Many employers have attempted to initiate rules against employee cell phone use during work hours to curtail texting, using social media, or browsing the internet. Given the importance of the devices in most peoples’ day-to-day lives, courts have generally frowned upon broad bans on cell phone use. However, in at least one narrow case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been willing to approve an employee cell phone ban. Continue reading “NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban”