Skip to main content

COVID-19 Viewpoints

Filter by:

Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
Governor Cuomo has announced new guidelines allowing travelers to New York to sidestep the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period by obtaining a series of negative COVID-19 diagnostic test results before and after arriving in New York. Previously, the State mandated a 14-day quarantine for travelers from an evolving list of “high-risk” states that had a high rate of COVID-19 positive testing per capita. Now, the new framework applies to travelers from all states in the U.S. except those that are contiguous with New York (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont), which are already exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement.

The new protocol became effective Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

New York Issues Tax Guidance for COVID-19 Telecommuters

November 2, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance has finally provided guidance regarding telecommuting tax liability for nonresident employees working outside of New York because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In short: employees telecommuting because of COVID-19 will generally still be required to pay New York taxes on income they earn.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

COVID-19 Telecommuting Tax and Leave Issues for Employers

October 20, 2020 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee, Michael Arnold

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many employer telecommuting arrangements remain in place, with several large corporations opting to extend these arrangements well into 2021. The benefits of such arrangements have been clear for many employers during the pandemic, including that they permit continued productivity while keeping employees safe. However, the longer that employees remain out of the office, the more telecommuting-related issues arise, including with respect to taxation of employee income and leave requirements, which we discuss below.
Read more
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
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
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
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

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

OSHA Updates COVID-19 Recordkeeping Guidance

June 3, 2020 | Blog | By 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
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
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
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
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

New York State Releases Reopening Guidance for Phase 2 Businesses

May 31, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold, Jessica Catlow

New York State has issued industry-specific interim guidance for “Phase 2” businesses, which includes a number of “minimum requirements” certain businesses must meet before reopening their workplaces in light of COVID-19. The new Phase 2 guidance provides specific guidelines relating to office-based jobs (excluding medical offices); real estate services; select in-store retail; commercial building management; retail rental, repair and cleaning services; and vehicle sales, leases and rentals.  Importantly, this new guidance applies to “non-essential” businesses in these industries where regions are permitted to reopen, as well as “essential” businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.  As various regions begin progressing through the reopening phases under the New York Forward initiative, businesses should become thoroughly familiar with these new obligations and begin taking steps toward achieving compliance.
Read more
This advisory discusses regulatory and investment community developments related to human capital management and provides suggestions for companies newly focused on HCM.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) released interim guidelines addressing COVID-19 antibody testing. The CDC expressed concerns about the current accuracy of antibody testing and advised businesses against using the results of antibody testing (also known as serologic testing) to make any decisions about returning workers to the workplace.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
On Friday, May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.Sh Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application. The application is accompanied by instructions on how to complete the application. Together, the application and the instructions answer a number of ambiguities about whether and how an employer will be able to receive forgiveness of all or a portion of a loan received under the PPP.
Read more
Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Part Ten of the COVID-19 Roadmap Series: Workplace Communications and Trainings

May 20, 2020 | Blog | By Tyrone Thomas, Danielle Bereznay

In the final part of our Roadmap Series, as employers prepare to transition to on-site operations for segments of their staff, we discuss considerations for COVID-19 related communications to the workforce. We also address the importance of conducting workplace trainings for managers and staff that address new regulatory considerations for workplace safety, telecommuting arrangements, health screenings, and leave and accommodation requests to prepare for the “new normal.”
Read more
Sign up to receive email updates from Mintz.
Subscribe Now