Yesterday, I was able to participate in a webinar for various Fairfield County chambers of commerce on very latest for employers on the CARES Act and more.
Senator Chris Murphy joined the webinar for the first part and noted that a new stimulus package is already being discussed even while we evaluate the existing one. His office has been providing daily updates with several helpful links for businesses.
Also on the webinar, a representative from the CT Small Business Development Center provided a very helpful summary of the loans available for businesses, including the latest on Paycheck Protection Program. All of the SBDC’s guidance is available free here.
My thanks to the City of Stamford for the invite to participate in the webinar. But that’s not everything that has been going on.
Here’s what else you need to know:
- The CDC issued new guidance yesterday about how essential workplace employees can continue to work even after an exposure to COVID-19. The guidance suggests that so long as the employee remains asymptomatic and other precautions are taken, the employee can remain in the workplace. I’ll confess that the guidance feels a bit odd because it’s been widely reported that some people with COVID-19 can remain asymptomatic and yet capable of spreading the illness.
- Also for essential businesses, my colleague Peter Murphy and I have prepared a recap of the state’s new “Safe Workplace” rules that must be put into place immediately.
- The CHRO has updated its website with some information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Business with the agency is still continuing, albeit at a slower pace. Here is the update from the agency.
Until further notice, all in person meetings and hearings with the CHRO and the Office of Public Hearings are being cancelled. Mediations or fact-finding conferences may take place over the phone or via video conferencing where possible. If you have an in-person meeting scheduled with the Commission, please contact the assigned agency staff member regarding its status. Contact via email is preferred. If you are unsure who the assigned staff member is, please contact the CHRO unit the matter was filed with.
If you would like to file a CHRO complaint, the intake appointment will take place over the phone or through video conferencing where possible.
If you require an extension related to Covid-19 for a matter pending before the agency, the Commission will try to accommodate your request. To request an extension, please contact the assigned agency personnel or unit.
- The EEOC is also changing the way it does things; it is temporarily halting “right to sue” letters, which normally start the clock for an employee filing a lawsuit. According to Bloomberg, the agency has stated: The EEOC appreciates that some people whose charges are currently before the EEOC may be worried that they might have to choose between jeopardizing their safety and protecting their rights. The change comes at the request of numerous employee-rights groups.
- My colleagues at Shipman & Goodwin have written an excellent update on how employers can help employees work securely at home. It’s particularly important when the amount of employees teleworking has increased significantly.
- Lastly, I’ll be participating in a webinar for the Hartford County Bar Association next week on employment law considerations under the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch for details in an upcoming post.
For those that are taking a day or two off for Easter or Passover, I wish you all a Happy Easter and Happy Passover.