The CDC Says that Fully Vaccinated Workers Do Not Need to Wear Masks – Sort OfIn an effort to motivate more Americans to take one of the COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC issued new Guidance yesterday that slightly loosens the restrictions on those of us who have been fully vaccinated. If you have been fully vaccinated (meaning that you have received both shots, if applicable), the CDC now says that:Continue reading “The CDC Says that Fully Vaccinated Workers Do Not Need to Wear Masks – Sort Of”
Month: March 2021
Keep an Eye on These Bills If You Use or Are Considering Using a Mandatory Arbitration Provision
As you know, several pieces of federal legislation aimed at limiting or eliminating altogether mandatory arbitration in the employment setting have been proposed, and failed in the past several years. In fact, several states: California, New Jersey and New York, have all passed state laws prohibiting mandatory arbitration of employment disputes. The Biden administration is going to make another run at passing this legislation at the federal level, and employers should stay abreast of the progress of these Bills.
Two of the more comprehensive and high-profile Bills filed to date are the FAIR Act and the PRO Act.Continue reading “Keep an Eye on These Bills If You Use or Are Considering Using a Mandatory Arbitration Provision”
U.S. Dept. of Labor Expands Unemployment Insurance Eligibility
On February 25th, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Guidance to state unemployment insurance agencies expanding the circumstances in which workers may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
The new Guidance expands eligibility to three categories of workers:
- Workers receiving unemployment benefits who had their continued regular unemployment benefits’ claims denied after they refused to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite not in compliance with coronavirus health and safety standards.
- Workers laid off, or who have had their work hours reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.
- School employees working without a contract or reasonable assurance of continued employment who face reduced paychecks and no assurance of continued pay when schools are closed due to coronavirus.
The new reasons are retroactive and will apply as if they had been included from the beginning of the PUA program. Individuals must self-certify that they are unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of identified coronavirus-related reasons during the applicable time period.
These new categories of eligibility will obviously create a good deal more work for the already overloaded state unemployment agencies. The DOL has indicated that it will provide state systems with funds to make necessary changes and time to update their systems to enable retroactive payment of PUA to eligible claimants. PUA is 100 percent federally funded, and administered by state agencies on behalf of the department’s Employment and Training Administration. This should be a great comfort to those of you who have been keeping up with the historic levels of fraud related to this program. (Scammers have taken $36 BILLION in fraudulent unemployment payments from American workers https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/05/scammers-have-taken-36-billion-in-fraudulent-unemployment-payments-.html)
Please, Please, Please Use Common Sense When Responding to an Employee’s Request for a Reasonable Accommodation
This case is a good example of just how expensive it can be when we don’t. The Plaintiff in this case, Mr. Burnette, worked in a call center for Ocean Properties. The call center was located in the clubhouse of a golf club. (Sounds a little sketchy right off the bat.) The public entrance to the club house, which Mr. Burnett had to use, had two heavy, wooden doors that pulled outward and then automatically closed. The area leading to the doors had a slight, downward slope away from the doors. Mr. Burnette was a paraplegic who used a wheelchair, and he had a very difficult time opening the doors by himself without rolling down the slope. In fact, after complaining several times and asking Ocean Properties to install push-button automatic doors, Mr. Burnette injured his wrist while trying to get through the doors by himself.Continue reading “Please, Please, Please Use Common Sense When Responding to an Employee’s Request for a Reasonable Accommodation”