Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows of my love of the New York Yankees. So much so that a few months back I did an entire employment law post on Derek Jeter’s contract.

He’s the quintessential Yankee and, from an employment law perspective, an ideal to aspire to. No matter the illness or injury, he reports to work, keeps his head down low and performs on the field. Day in and day out.   I don’t think the Yankees are going to run into much trouble with him. 

But I’ve tied the Yankees into prior posts as well, writing about non-disparagement clauses that the Yankees were considering, and how a Yankees conversation with a juror might be not get a case reversed

So, it should come as no surprise that I would have a continuing interest in the Yankees as this post-season progresses and figure out a way to tie it into this blog.

Now, I did spent college in Philadelphia so one might think that I go easy on that town. After all, a town with cheesesteaks (Pat’s or Geno’s — doesn’t matter to me and Abner’s still works too — see picture) and Rocky can’t be all that bad.

But baseball is baseball. And the World Series is no time for sympathy.

So when Jon Hyman, a Phillies Phanatic and the writer of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, approached me about a friendly wager for the World Series, it was an easy call.  You can read Jon’s post about the wager here

The wager is simple: Whoever’s team loses the World Series has to write a post on his blog praising the winning team (with an employment law spin, of course). 

I have discussed office pools and wagering in Connecticut, particularly in the context of sports events, and you can find those posts here

Now, I share with you an interesting comparison: The Phillies were the first major league team to record 10,000 losses making them  the biggest losers in all of baseball (so says USA Today).  The Yankees, on the other hand, have won 40 American League Pennants and 26 World Series. 

So, may the best team win.  And I look forward to pointing readers to a flattering post about the Yankees on Jon’s blog sometime next week. 

Today (April 30th) was filled with more news for employers and, for the first time in a while, some of it was hopeful.

Governor Ned Lamont gave the broad outline of a plan to reopen the state (as I predicted early this morning) though the plan’s details depend on control of the pandemic.

What we do know is that if certain trends continue, some businesses will be allowed to reopen on May 20th including some retail (smaller stores), restaurants (outdoor seating only),, offices (with work from home still recommended), nail and hair salons, and some outdoor areas of museums and zoos.

Lamont has indicated that masks will be required for most activities at this first stage.  Which additional businesses will be permitted to open and when is still very much to be decided.  No doubt that day camps and pools will be heavily discussed as numerous parents rely on such camps to watch their kids during the summer months.

As of publication, the exact details of the reopening hadn’t been released yet.  As we get closer to this opening time, my colleagues and I will likely produce a webinar and additional articles so stay tuned.

Here’s what else should employers know:

  • My colleague Peter Murphy has provided this must-read summary at the Employment Law Letter blog of some new DOL guidance about how the CARES Act impacts non-profits and municipalities and unemployment claims.  One key point: Reimbursing employers who had hoped that the state would only bill them for half of a claimant’s amount are going to be disappointed. According to the DOL’s guidance, however, reimbursing employers must pay the full amount due in order to be eligible for reimbursement: “Upon payment from the reimbursing employer of the amount owed in lieu of contributions, the state may reimburse the employer for up to one-half of the amount of compensation paid by the state attributable to service with the employer.”  The Connecticut DOL has confirmed to us that, regardless of whether the reimbursing employer pays monthly or quarterly, the employer must pay its bill in full before reimbursement can be processed.  The reimbursement will apply to all claims during that period, however, and not just COVID-related claims.
  • The Connecticut DOL has updated its FAQ to provide additional guidance on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that temporarily expands unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility to self-employed workers, 1099 “employees”, “gig” workers, workers in jobs not covered by regular unemployment benefits, and independent contractors impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
  • In addition, the CTDOL has completed setting up for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), with payments of the $600 supplemental benefit going out this week. Once a claimant begins to receive this federal weekly payment, they can expect a subsequent lump sum payment for all retroactive weeks within the next two weeks. Retroactive payments will date back to all eligible claim weeks that were filed since the FPUC program was enacted on March 29, 2020.​
  • Finally, as a reminder, my firm has been updating its Coronavirus Resource page on a daily basis with free information for every type of business.

Let’s hope the pandemic numbers continue to improve in the month of May and we can start to see some reopening of businesses.