A Primer on Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

In 2019, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, which established a paid family and medical leave insurance (PFMLI) program for Oregon employees. On April 27, 2022, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) filed proposed administrative rules with the Oregon Office of the Secretary of State to detail the specifics of the program.

Cal/OSHA Updates COVID-19 ETS FAQs and Issues Fact Sheet for California Employers

On May 7, 2022, the day after the latest revision to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) went into effect, Cal/OSHA issued updated answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a fact sheet. The FAQs continue to evolve and change with each revision and readoption of the ETS. The FAQs now reflect the updated definitions, processes, and changes to the quarantine requirements for close contacts.

Maryland’s ‘Time to Care Act’—Frequently Asked Questions About Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits for Maryland Workers

Starting in 2025, Maryland workers may have an easier time making ends meet when they take otherwise unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Thanks to Maryland’s newly enacted Time to Care Act of 2022 (TTCA), Maryland workers will be able to apply for paid leave benefits from a state fund beginning on January 1, 2025.

Federal Court: Employee’s Self-Serving Testimony and Discovery Responses Did Not Satisfy Burden of Proof on Summary Judgment

In Buckmaster v. The National Railroad Passenger Corp. d/b/a Amtrak, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland addressed whether an employee had offered any evidence of discrimination or retaliation beyond his own speculative beliefs and personal disagreement with his employer’s legitimate business reason for terminating his employment.

No Vacation From Vacation Pay in Vacationland: Beware, Maine Employers!

In spite of significant opposition from Maine’s business community, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and leaders in the tourism, hospitality, and small business communities, Governor Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document (L.D.) 225, “An Act Regarding the Treatment of Vacation Time upon the Cessation of Employment” on April 7, 2022.

DOJ Emphasizes Need for Individualized Assessments in Finding Indiana Nursing Board Violated ADA

On March 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found the Indiana State Board of Nursing violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to allow a nurse taking medicine prescribed to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) from participating in the Indiana State Nursing Assistance Program (ISNAP).

Philadelphia Mayor Signs Bill Providing for COVID-19–Related Paid Leave

On March 10, 2022, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law the third iteration of the Public Health Emergency Leave law, which will guarantee up to forty hours of paid sick leave (COVID-19 leave) for eligible Philadelphia employees. The COVID-19 leave shall be provided to employees immediately without any waiting period or accrual requirements.

 

Employee’s Poor Performance Trumps FMLA Claim

On March 9, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an employer-friendly decision in Anderson v. Nations Lending Corporation. Despite some facially bad facts—including that the employee was discharged only four days after returning from leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and subject to a supervisor’s comments about her being “sick a lot”—the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer.

COVID-19 Paid Leave Is Back in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia City Council recently passed a third iteration of the Public Health Emergency Leave law that will guarantee up to forty hours of paid sick leave for Philadelphia employees to recover from COVID-19 or avoid exposing others, to care for a family member with COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms that might jeopardize the health of others, to care for a child whose school or place of care has closed due to COVID-19, or to take time off to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot (and address any side effects related to such vaccination).

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act to End on March 15, 2022

On May 28, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law an act requiring eligible Massachusetts employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for COVID-19–related reasons. On September 29, 2021, Governor Baker approved an extension of the law, titled “An Act Providing for Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave,” and increased its funding.

Pittsburgh Expands Workplace Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

On December 6, 2021, then-mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, signed legislation amending the city’s workplace antidiscrimination ordinance to include victims of domestic violence as a protected class. Under the amended ordinance, employers with five or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on their actual or perceived status as victims of domestic violence and must attempt to reasonably accommodate such individuals, if needed. The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, which is tasked with enforcing the ordinance, also established and released employer guidance, shedding more light on these new requirements.

California’s New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law Passes Legislature and Awaits Governor’s Signature

On February 7, 2022, the California legislature passed legislation reviving COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL). The law creates new California Labor Code Section 248.6 and takes effect ten days after Governor Newsom signs the legislation, which we expect is imminent. It applies to all employers with 26 or more employees and will be retroactive to January 1, 2022.

Colorado’s Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirement Continues Into 2022

Nearly two years after declaring a public health emergency exists due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has extended that determination yet again. On January 14, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra announced the eighth consecutive renewal of the nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency.

California’s Governor Newsom to Bring Back COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On January 25, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom and California legislative leaders announced they have reached an agreement to require employers again to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL), which expired on September 30, 2021.

New York State Paid Sick Leave: Final Regulations Are Here

On December 22, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) published highly anticipated final regulations in the New York State Register regarding New York State Paid Sick Leave (PSL), which went into effect on September 30, 2020. These final regulations address comments received from the public following the issuance of proposed regulations published on December 9, 2020. The final regulations provide some additional clarification regarding the PSL and its requirements.

Minnesota Starts the New Year With New Rules: Lactation Breaks and Pregnancy Accommodations Law Takes Effect

As companies returned to work following the holidays, changes to Minnesota’s nursing mothers statute and pregnancy accommodations law (Minn. Stat. § 181.939) went into effect on January 1, 2022. Minnesota employers may want to take a moment to make sure their policies and practices are up to date.

New York City Law Grants Employees Paid COVID-19 Child Vaccination Leave

On December 24, 2021, New York City enacted a law (Introduction No. 2448-2021) permitting employees who are parents to take paid time off to accompany their children when they receive COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, the law allows these employees to take paid time off to care for their children if they experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Alabama DOL Publishes Emergency Rules for Handling Appeals to Employers’ Denials of Vaccine Exemption Requests

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 9, which restricts Alabama employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. SB 9 directs Alabama employers to “exempt vaccination as a condition of employment for any employee who has completed and submitted [an] exemption form” and “liberally construe [an] employee’s eligibility for an exemption in favor of the employee.”

Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program’s Applications Are Now Open

In a press conference on December 1, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont, along with Connecticut Paid Leave Authority Chief Executive Officer Andrea Barton Reeves, announced that the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is now accepting applications for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state’s new paid family and medical leave program.

Louisiana Workforce Commission Publishes Posters on Expanded Employee Pregnancy Accommodation Rights

Effective August 1, 2021, the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law was amended to expressly require Louisiana employers with more than 25 employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with limitations arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, provided that such limitations are known to the employers.

FMLA Interference: Court Finds Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss to Be Premature

In Smith v. School Board for the City of Norfolk, Virginia, et al., No. 2:21-cv-138 (November 5, 2021), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia refused to grant a motion to dismiss to the Norfolk School Board and individual defendants, finding that discovery was necessary to determine whether outreach to the plaintiff office manager while she was on leave under the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) constituted more than de minimis contact.

Colorado’s November 2021 Rulemaking: ‘Use It or Lose It’ PTO Is Finally Dead, and Other Highlights

On November 10, 2021, after a public hearing and comment submission period, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) published three final rules: (1) the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order #38 (COMPS 38), (2) the 2022 Publication and Yearly Calculation of Adjusted Labor Compensation Order (2022 PAY CALC Order), and (3) the updated Wage Protection Rules. All these rules go into effect on January 1, 2022, and have significant implications for employers doing business in the state.