To paraphrase a popular quote: There are years when nothing happens and there are days (and weeks) when years happen.
The nonstop barrage of news, orders, and other materials continues making updating a blog on the subject feel hopelessly out of date the moment you click “Publish”.
So rather than any lofty posts this morning, I’m just going to highlight some resources for employers and what I’ve been participating in too.
- Late Tuesday, the US Department of Labor released guidance on interpreting the new coronavirus (COVID-19) leave laws. Key point? The new law goes into effect April 1, 2020 and not April 2 as most of us had assumed. My firm will be posting a full client alert later this morning at its resource page here.
- The Connecticut Department of Labor has been updating its FAQ for employers on the pandemic in a document. It was updated on Tuesday with some additional guidance. It’s a must-read for any employer here.
- This FAQ is also different from the FAQ being updated nearly daily from the State of Connecticut too. That also provides an additional resource to review.
- Each new day brings about new Executive Orders. The most recent ones have little to do about employers, but two changes are worth noting: a) One order (7K) now allows for “remote notarization” of documents; b) That same order calls for postponement of most workers compensation matters too. Schools are also officially closed (7L) through April 20, 2020.
- We’ve been getting questions about the DOL’s Shared Work program. I previously discussed it in a prior post here. It remains a useful option for employers that want to reduce the hours for a group of workers. While it technically has a 30 day waiting period, we’ve heard from the DOL that, after the 7 day comment period from employees, the DOL will process it ASAP; e-mail them for more information.
- The Shared Work program, it should be noted, differs from partial unemployment, which can also be used for an individual employee whose hours have been reduced from full-time. However, the benefits for partial unemployment are fairly low so be sure to understand the parameters of this program.
- The EEOC recently updated its website to provide some new guidance on the pandemic as well. It suggests, for example, that employers can now take the temperatures of employees without violating the ADA, clarifying a previous question.
- As I noted previously, I’m current sitting on the CBA Task Force to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many good resources now being made available; the CBA has created a resource page here.
- Both the federal and state courts in Connecticut yesterday started to pass rule changes that defer nearly all in-person court proceedings indefinitely and delay certain deadlines as well. If you have a case in the court system, odds are that a delay is going to be built in. Check with your attorney about the particulars for any case.
- Yesterday, Interlaw, Ltd., of which my firm is a member of, held an international video webinar featuring employment law attorneys from South Korea, China, Norway, UK, Germany and the United States discussing the impact of the pandemic on employers worldwide. I moderating the discussing and it was terrific to hear everyone’s perspectives. You can watch here.
- On Monday, I was able to join WNPR’s Where We Live to talk about the impact of the pandemic on Connecticut employers. You can find that discussion here as well.
- The Hartford Court published a Q&A with employee-side attorneys about the obligations that employers have and the rights that workers have as well. Key quote from plaintiff’s attorney Gregg Adler? He foresees a “ton of litigation about all of this on an individual and collective basis over time.” I think he’s right; employer beware.
- And finally, my friend Jeff Nowak, who runs the terrific FMLA Insights blog that I’ve highlighted before, produced a very informative program on the new leave laws yesterday. You can find the materials here. I highly recommend it.