Skip to main content

Employment, Labor & Benefits

Viewpoints

Filter by:

Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Updated: EEOC Issues ADA and Title VII Guidance for Employers on COVID-19

September 25, 2020 | Blog | By Brie Kluytenaar, Danielle Bereznay

Updated: The EEOC has provided employers with supplemental guidance on navigating the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing issues such as COVID-related harassment and screening employees who are reporting to work. The EEOC reminded employers that while the anti-discrimination laws, including the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, continue to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic, these laws do not interfere with, or prevent employers from following, the guidelines and suggestions issued by the CDC or state and local public health authorities regarding COVID-19.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Updated: Department of Labor Guidance for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

September 20, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay, Michael Arnold

The Department of Labor has again updated its guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"). 
Below we summarize the DOL’s interpretative guidance, and note in bold where the DOL has either reaffirmed or changed its guidance in light of the federal court decision.  As a reminder, the law expires on December 31, 2020. 
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

California Seeks to Expand its Board Diversity Mandate

September 9, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin

Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

AB 5 “2.0” – California Tweaks its Independent Contractor Ban

September 8, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Audrey Nguyen

California has amended its independent contractor law to make more jobs and professions exempt from the “ABC” test that AB 5 codified last year.  Governor Newsom signed the amendment into law on September 4, 2020. It becomes effective immediately. See the changes made to the law.
Read more
Case Study Hero Dismissal of Class Claims Against Eaglet on School Mintz

COVID-19, the New School Year, and Working Parents

September 8, 2020 | Blog | By Delaney Busch, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Arnold

The reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for working parents and the businesses that employ them. Not surprisingly, a one-size-fits-all approach for employers to appropriately manage working parents is likely difficult, if not impossible, to craft. In this post, we highlight some of the risks employers may face while offering some guidance regarding best practices to address these risks.
Read more
Viewpoint-Landing Employment Labor Benefits Mintz

Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Finalizes Revised Regulations: Here’s What You Need to Know

August 13, 2020 | Blog | By Patricia Moran, Natalie C. Groot, Emma Follansbee

Under the Massachusetts Paid Family 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 leave benefits and rights beginning January 1, 2021. On July 24, 2020 , the Department of Family and Medical Leave (the Department) issued updated MAPFML regulations effective July 24, 2020 (the “2020 Regulations”). These regulations make several key changes to the MAPFML regulations issued in 2019 (the “2019 Regulations”). In our companion post, we cover the key changes between the 2019 Regulations and the 2020 Regulations. This post examines, in depth, changes affecting the MAPFML “Private Plan” exemption pathway.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave 2020 Regulations – Focus on the Private Plan Exemption

August 13, 2020 | Blog | By Patricia Moran, Natalie C. Groot, Emma Follansbee

Under the Massachusetts Paid Family 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 leave benefits and rights beginning January 1, 2021. The Department of Family and Medical Leave (the “Department”) recently issued updated MAPFML regulations, effective July 24, 2020 (the “2020 Regulations”). These regulations make several key changes to the MAPFML regulations issued in 2019 (the “2019 Regulations”). In our companion post, we cover the key changes between the 2019 Regulations and the 2020 Regulations. This post examines, in depth, changes affecting the MAPFML “Private Plan” exemption pathway.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
A New York federal judge recently struck down certain aspects of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule and accompanying guidance interpreting leave entitlements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). This decision increases the number of employees eligible for COVID-19-related leave, and will require employers to revisit their leave administration policies and procedures. However, it’s is unclear at this time whether New York will request the Court impose a nationwide injunction or injunctive relief that extends only to New York employers.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Return to Work COVID-19 Testing Considerations

August 10, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay, Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

As employees increasingly transition back into the physical workplace, employers have begun to grapple with whether and how to deploy COVID-19 diagnostic testing as a return-to-work solution. Many employers want to avoid extended employee quarantine or isolation requirements that prevent their employees from returning to the office for weeks and disrupt their operations. But is this potential solution legal? And is it effective? Below we discuss practical considerations for employers considering a return to work COVID-19 testing strategy.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
A New York State Trial Court judge recently ruled that an agreement between a company and an employee to arbitrate sexual harassment claims was unenforceable due to 2018 amendments to New York State’s Human Rights Law, which prohibit such arrangements. The decision creates a split in authority, as a 2019 decision by a judge in the Southern District of New York – a federal court – upheld the enforceability of such arbitration agreements, ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts the New York statutory prohibition. This decision also now creates some uncertainty around the viability of arbitration agreements in New York where employees agree to arbitrate discrimination claims. We summarize the decision below.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
On July 6, Massachusetts moved into Phase III of its reopening plan, which allows many businesses and offices spaces to return to the physical workplace. With Phase III comes a new mandatory safety standard: screening employees for COVID-19 or close contact at the beginning of each shift. While the Office Spaces Safety Standards are geared toward office workplaces, we interpret this requirement to encompass an employer’s obligations to both employees and visitors to the office.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
As the national conscience has elevated after the death of George Floyd regarding social justice and racial equality, many employers have begun to self-reflect on their own standing with communities of color and the Black community specifically. For many companies, the diversity and inclusion function has taken center stage to process concerns, facilitate trainings and determine metrics for progress. The recognition that more needs to be done on racial equity inside and outside the workplace has led to a record number of companies providing recognition of Juneteenth – a historic day for many African-Americans celebrating the reading of federal orders in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which proclaimed slaves to be free.

Whether it is a company recognizing this event by initiating a new diversity action plan, facilitating a day of self-education and reflection on racial progress, or giving staff some form of PTO, here are some of my thoughts related to Juneteenth.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Temperature Checks May Add Privacy Notice Obligations for California Businesses

June 17, 2020 | Blog | By Natalie Prescott, Jennifer Rubin, Cynthia Larose

Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Supreme Court Rules That Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees

June 16, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

In a landmark opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from employment discrimination. The Court’s holding will have major implications for employers and LGBTQ employees in dozens of states where state and/or local law did not already prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

OSHA Updates COVID-19 Recordkeeping Guidance

June 3, 2020 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon, David Barmak

On May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") issued new interim guidance on recordkeeping for COVID-19 cases in the workplace.  Effective May 26, 2020, this guidance supersedes the April 10, 2020 guidance and supplements OSHA's March COVID-19 guidance on safeguarding the workplace against virus-related threats. We examine OSHA’s recommendations on both fronts in this post.
Read more
Bankruptcy & Restructuring Viewpoints Thumbnail

Top 10 Questions Human Resources May Have When Their Company is Filing for Chapter 11 Protection

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Andrew Matzkin, Kaitlin R. Walsh, William Kannel

Businesses in a wide range of industries may now be forced to consider bankruptcy given the unprecedented economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory is designed to provide a high-level view of issues to be considered by human resources when considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Read more
Coronavirus Molecule

Executive Compensation: Moving Forward in a COVID-19 World

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Song, Anne Bruno, Michael Arnold, Steve Gulotta, Andrew Bernstein, Alexandra Serre

Employers reacted in a variety of ways to cope with the unprecedented financial impact of COVID-19.  Employers must begin to shift their focus to whether their current executive compensation practices are designed with sufficient incentives to retain key employees and to spur recovery and sustained growth.  This post reviews the range of cost-cutting measures companies have enacted over the past few months, and provides guidance on executive compensation issues employers should consider as they move forward in a COVID-19 world.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Massachusetts Releases Reopening Plan & Business Requirements

June 1, 2020 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon, Andrew Matzkin

Massachusetts has unveiled its plan to reopen from the shutdown enacted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This plan was formalized on May 18th in Governor Baker’s “Order Implementing a Phased Reopening of Workplaces and Imposing Workplace Safety Measures to Address COVID-19” (the “Order”). The reopening plan is divided into four flexible phases, each lasting a minimum of three weeks, although a resurgence of the virus could necessitate a return to an earlier phase of the plan and extend the reopening timeline.

Many Massachusetts businesses now have concrete guidance on the measures they are required to complete before reopening their workplaces, and a tentative timeline on when they might be able to reopen. Businesses must meet the required Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces (the “Safety Standards”) in order to reopen. Currently, only the Phase 1 standards have been released, with the release of other phase standards to follow as the plan progresses. In addition, as the plan progresses, the requirements for businesses in earlier phases will likely be updated as the public health emergency develops. Businesses should track updates from Massachusetts authorities going forward, including guidance from local jurisdictions.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) issued updated guidance detailing steps employers and office building managers should take prior to reopening. This guidance follows the beginning stages of most states’ business reopening efforts. The guidance focuses on four major topics: Evaluation of the Workspace, Assessment of Risk, Implementation of Workplace Controls, and Education.  In short, the guidance encourages employers to evaluate and address potential COVID-19 related hazards, and provides steps businesses can take to minimize exposure or transmission once their doors are opened. This new guidance echoes and supplements the CDC’s previous interim guidance as well as OSHA guidance, particularly with respect to the implementation of hazard controls.[1]  We summarize significant portions of the CDC’s updated guidance in this post.
Read more
Sign up to receive email updates from Mintz.
Subscribe Now

Explore Other Viewpoints: