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Coronavirus Continues to Spread: What Employers Should Be Doing

February 27, 2020 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee

In light of the Coronavirus’s continued impact in the workplace, this post reviews the CDC’s newly issued guidelines for businesses, and dives deeper into how employers can lawfully navigate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), sick time laws, and other leave laws, while maintaining the safety of their workforce.
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NLRB Announces Final Joint Employer Rule

February 26, 2020 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon

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The Impact of the SECURE Act on Tax Qualified Retirement Plans

February 10, 2020 | Blog | By Alden Bianchi

On December 20, President Trump signed into law the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019,” known and referred to colloquially as the “SECURE Act.” The law’s stated purpose, among other things, is to increase the coverage of American workers in employer-sponsored savings arrangements. The new law generally affects retirement plans and programs that include employer-sponsored and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), among others. In this recently published issue of the Bloomberg Tax, Tax Management Memorandum, we explore the impact of the new law on employer-sponsored plans.
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Judge Kimberly Mueller of the District Court for the Eastern District of California today granted Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction against AB 51. Judge Mueller indicated in her order that she would issue a detailed ruling explaining her decision at a later date, but for now, the State of California is prohibited from enforcing California’s ban on the arbitration of employment claims. Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis following Judge Mueller’s upcoming written decision.
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The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China, which has spread to the United States with new cases being reported every day, has the global community on high alert. While employers would be wise to leave the containment and treatment of the virus to medical experts, disease outbreaks present a unique set of employment law issues for many businesses, especially for those that require international travel as an essential job function for their employees.  This post addresses some of the employment issues raised by the Coronavirus outbreak.  (Note: we recognize events on the ground are fluid, and therefore will update this post as necessary.)
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Under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, M.G.L c. 175M (“MAPFML”), employees and other covered individuals in the Commonwealth will be entitled to a generous set of new paid family and medical leave benefits and rights beginning January 1, 2021. While no benefits are available under the MAPFML until 2021, the Commonwealth is requiring employers to file quarterly employment and wage detail reports and make quarterly contributions to fund MAPFML benefits far in advance of 2021. More specifically, the first quarterly reports and contributions to the Commonwealth’s MAPFML fund (i.e. to cover the period from October 1 to December 31, 2019) must be remitted on or before January 31, 2020. In light of this approaching deadline, the following are the key steps relating to these quarterly reporting and contribution requirements.
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California’s Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration Stayed for Now

January 10, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Audrey Nguyen

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After being in effect for a year, California’s groundbreaking gender parity law for public company boards, while under legal attack, has not (yet) been enjoined in a similar manner to other recent creative California regulatory initiatives (notably the law banning independent contractors in the state, part of which have now been enjoined by various courts, as well as California’s attempt to ban arbitration provisions, which has now been enjoined in its entirety). Given that the gender parity law has survived to date, a brief review of its status is in order.
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California AB 5’s Impact on Board Directors and Advisory Members

December 20, 2019 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Audrey Nguyen

AB 5’s elimination of independent contracting as we know it in California will have significant legal consequences for businesses doing business in California. While we believe board directors will escape its reach, businesses with advisory boards should proceed with caution. Effective January 1, 2020, AB 5 will presume that every California worker is an employee unless the hiring entity establishes that the worker meets the three criteria of the so-called “ABC” test, or the worker satisfies one of the law’s exemptions.
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Under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, M.G.L c. 175M (“MAPFML”), employees and other covered individuals in the Commonwealth will be entitled to a generous set of new paid leave benefits and rights beginning January 1, 2021.
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The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued a coordinated set of final regulations (“final rules”) permitting employers to, among other things, make individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRAs) available to their employees for the purposes of purchasing individual market health insurance coverage
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New York Paid Family Leave in 2020

November 8, 2019 | Blog | By Michael Arnold

The arrival of the holiday season means that 2020 is just around the corner.  In anticipation of the new year, employers should take time to review upcoming changes to the requirements of the New York Paid Family Leave Law (NYPFL or PFL) and ensure compliance with any leave requests that may soon come their way.
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In addition to death and taxes, there’s one more certainty in life -- that California’s General Assembly will keep employment lawyers in business. In September and October, California enacted a pair of ground-shifting new laws that practically scream “NO” to employers. These new laws are causing employers to scramble.
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The D.C. council is considering legislation that would prohibit the use of non-compete provisions for entry level and moderate-income employees, and would apply to D.C. workers that earn up to three times the minimum wage, currently equal to $87,654 annually.   
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UPDATE: Court Extends EEO-1 Component 2 Collection Deadline

November 4, 2019 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon

The EEOC announced a new deadline by which employers should submit their Component 2 data: November 11, 2019.  The EEOC requested that the court confirm this deadline, by which time the EEOC anticipates to have reached or exceeded its target percentage of a 72.7% response rate.
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The California Consumer Privacy Act – A Brief Guide for Covered Employers

October 29, 2019 | Blog | By Cynthia Larose, Jennifer Rubin

The California Consumer Privacy Act becomes effective on January 1, 2020 with an amendment that impacts California employers. Covered businesses should, of course, already be in the process of preparing CCPA privacy notices and disclosures. And while the amendment carves out some of the direct CCPA provisions applicable to California employers, employee data – and how it is handled – should also be on every covered employers’ to do list.
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California Prohibits Mandatory Employment Arbitration

October 25, 2019 | Blog | By Audrey Nguyen, Jennifer Rubin

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed AB 51 into law, which means that effective January 1, 2020, employers will (purportedly) be prohibited from requiring employees to consent to mandatory arbitration of employment claims. Here is what your business needs to do now:
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New York recently extended its protections of the New York City Human Rights Law to non-employees, including contractors and freelancers, following in the footsteps of New York State, which recently amended its Human Rights Law in a similar manner.  The new law will go into effect in January 2020.  We wanted to highlight an important development that arises out of the change in this law. 
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Calculating overtime pay for tipped employees working in multiple positions at different rates in a single workweek can be confusing. So confusing, in fact, that we discovered that even the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) was getting it wrong in guidance published on its website. Before reviewing what DOES did wrong, let’s briefly review the key principles to keep in mind when calculating overtime pay for tipped and non-tipped employees in Washington, D.C.
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This week, Law360 published an article by our colleague and thought leader Jen Rubin that reflects on progress toward gender parity arising out of the #MeToo movement.
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