Michigan Court of Appeals Maintains Status Quo Regarding Paid Medical Leave

On January 26, 2023, in the long-awaited opinion in Mothering Justice v. Attorney General, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled, in a 3–0 opinion, that the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) and Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, as implemented in March 2019, will remain in place.

San Francisco Passes Ordinance Requiring Private Employers to Provide Paid Military Leave

On January 20, 2023, San Francisco Mayor London Breed approved a city ordinance that will require large, private employers to provide differential paid leave for military reservists called up to active duty. The “Military Leave Pay Protection Act” adds Article 33Q to the city Police Code, and will make San Francisco the first major city in the United States to require that private employers provide differential paid leave to employees who are members of the military while they perform military service, the sponsor of the ordinance said when introducing it last year.

California Judge Temporarily Enjoins Implementation of FAST Recovery Act

On December 30, 2022, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the State of California—in particular, the California Department of Industrial Relations—from implementing the provisions of Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act).

Vermont to Launch Voluntary Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

On December 6, 2022, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced that the state will launch a voluntary paid family and medical leave program that will provide workers in the state with such leave insurance by 2025. With the move, Vermont joins its neighbor New Hampshire as the second state with such an innovative voluntary program two years after the two states had previously announced a similar joint program.

Massachusetts Unveils New Workplace Poster, Notifications for Employers

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) recently published a new workplace poster, notifications, and new rate sheets for all employers in the state for 2023 regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Employers are required to notify their employees of new contribution and benefits rates and new published notices.

Oregon, Colorado Declare Public Health Emergencies Triggering Leave Requirements

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza cases are surging across the United States while COVID-19 continues to spread. Faced with hospital beds filling up and experts warning that this could be one of the most severe respiratory illness seasons in recent years, two states—Oregon and Colorado—have declared public health emergencies that will impact state sick and family leave requirements as workers struggle with the illnesses or to care for sick children.

New York Enacts Law Prohibiting Discipline for Legally Protected Absences

On November 21, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill S1958A, which amends section 215 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) to enhance protections for employees who take legally protected absences. The law takes effect on February 19, 2023.

State Voting Leave Requirements: A Refresher in Preparation for the 2022 Midterm Elections

Millions of workers across the United States will be headed to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, for the midterm elections. With control of Congress up for grabs for the final two years of President Joe Biden’s first term, several close Senate races, five states considering ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana, and 36 states holding elections for governor, this midterm election is one of the most highly-anticipated in decades. Early voting numbers in some states already suggest there could be record turnout.

Québec Employers: The Rules for Injured Workers’ Temporary Assignment and Workplace Reintegration Have Changed

On October 6, 2021, the Act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime took effect. As indicated in the act’s title, its purpose was to modernize Québec’s occupational health and safety regime with regard to the prevention and compensation of employment injuries.

European Court of Justice Finds That There Is Not an Automatic Start of the Limitation Periods for Paid Annual Leave Days

Paid annual leave days in Germany have been the subject of several recent decisions by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), with the Luxembourg-based judges regularly opposing previous case law of the Federal Labor Court regarding paid annual leave. The ECJ’s concerns have centered on the forfeiture provisions in Germany’s Federal Paid Leave Act, among other things.

Colorado Gears Up for Sweeping New Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

Colorado employers may want to begin preparing for the implementation of Colorado’s new state-run Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. While Colorado voters approved Proposition 118 nearly two years ago, which set the path for implementation of the FAMLI program, employers and employees will not feel its effects until January 1, 2023. However, due to the impact FAMLI will have on the employment leave landscape, employers may want to begin educating themselves and their employees now on its requirements, as compliance will require cooperation across multiple departments.

Governor Newsom Signs COVID-19 Sick Pay, Small Business Relief Bill

California is extending COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) through the end of 2022 under a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 29, 2022. Assembly Bill (AB) 152 will also set up a program to provide grants of up to $50,000 to qualified small businesses to cover costs incurred for COVID-19 SPSL.

Job Resignations, Vacation Days, and Redundancy Pay: Employment Law Surprises From Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia

Employment laws in every country have anomalies that can catch employers off-guard because they do not seem to make sense—until you look under the surface. Three examples of this are from Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia, involving rules governing voluntary employment resignations in Italy to vacation leave accruals in the Netherlands to surprising redundancy pay entitlements in Australia. Here is a quick look at some fascinating features of these countries’ laws.

Fourth Circuit Reinstates Employee’s Claim That Social Media App Messages Provided Sufficient Notice of a Medical Absence

On August 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in Roberts v. Gestamp West Virginia, LLC, that an employer’s “usual and customary” notice procedures relating to absences extended beyond the company’s written policies and potentially included social media messages between an employee and manager.

California Governor Marks Labor Day 2022 by Signing FAST Recovery Act Into Law

On September 5, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom marked Labor Day 2022 by signing Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act), into law. The new law creates the Fast Food Council within the California Department of Industrial Relations, which is tasked with setting minimum standards for fast-food industry workers related to wages, health and safety conditions, security in the workplace, the time off from work for protected purposes, and protections from discrimination and harassment.

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Tosses Challenge to Employer Jab or Swab Mandate

On August 26, 2022, Chief U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed a putative class action representing approximately 100 healthcare company employees brought against their employer, Geisinger Clinic. In the suit, the employees challenged their employer’s policy requiring employees to either be vaccinated for COVID-19 or agree to regular testing and quarantining. In dismissing the complaint, the court rejected the employees’ religious discrimination, constitutional, and state law claims, calling the employees’ evidence “a collection of distorted statements and anti-vaccine hocus-pocus.”

Changes to Employee Paid Sick Leave Provisions in the Canada Labour Code

Significant changes are coming to the employee paid sick leave regime under Part III of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) that will affect employers with one hundred or more employees in federally regulated industries such as banking, aviation, telecommunications, and inter-provincial transportation. Currently, these changes are set to become effective on December 1, 2022.