Minors in the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, inconsistent reports claimed everything from children being immune to COVID-19 to children being more vulnerable to the virus to children acting as asymptomatic carriers. More recently, the CDC has reported that “[w]hereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group.” The CDC’s latest guidance states that not only can children contract the virus, but the “prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and duration of pre-symptomatic infection in children are not well understood.” It seems clear that like asymptomatic adults, asymptomatic children have not, at this time, undergone mass testing.

Arizona Governor Extends Stay-at-Home Order, But Non-essential Retailers May Take First Steps to Reopening

Only one day before Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order was set to expire, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-33. Governor Ducey announced the modified extension of the stay-at-home order at a press conference on the afternoon of April 29, 2020. Consistent with the previous order, Arizonans must continue limiting their time away from their homes, except for participating in “Essential Activities,” employment in “Essential Functions,” and utilizing services or products of “Essential Businesses.”

Is a Global Pandemic a De Minimis Hardship? EEOC Guidance on COVID-19 and Religious Accommodation

As government officials at all levels continue issuing guidance on best practices for employers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, some jurisdictions are taking the first steps to “reopen” their local economies. Before the coronavirus, employers were increasingly facing issues of religious accommodation requests to avoid influenza vaccines. As employees return to work undergoing temperature checks and possibly COVID-19 testing via swabs and blood draws, and healthcare professionals work to potentially develop a COVID-19 vaccine, employee religious accommodation requests will likely continue if not increase during this time of change.

Returning to Work in Arizona: What Employers Need to Do to Prepare

On March 30, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order. The order, which went into effect on March 31, 2020, is set to expire on April 30, 2020. While he has not officially released a return to work plan, Governor Ducey previously stated that he would act in Arizona’s best interest, and is considering three options: (1) allow the order to expire; (2) extend the order; or (3) extend the order with modifications.

California Prohibits Most “No Rehire” Provisions in Settlement Agreements

Employment litigation settlement agreements often include a mutually negotiated “no-rehire” provision by which the departing employee agrees not to seek employment with the company in the future. A recently enacted California law will require companies to refrain from including such provisions in most instances.

New Mexico Passes Ban-the-Box and Expungement Laws

On April 3, 2019, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law two bills related to criminal background checks that may affect employers operating in the state. The first is a ban-the-box law that prohibits private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application. The second allows certain individuals to petition the court for expungement of criminal records.

New Mexico’s Expanded Employment Protections for Medical Marijuana Users

In recent months, the New Mexico Legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for medical marijuana users. Recent changes to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, New Mexico’s medical marijuana law, expand the range of medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed and create new employment protections for employees who legally use medical marijuana.

Arizona Employers, Remain Vigilant! State Legislature Approves New Service Methods for Writs of Garnishments

The Arizona legislature recently passed a bill that would amend Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-1574 to change how writs of garnishments can be issued and served on garnishees, including employers. House Bill (HB) 2230 went to Governor Doug Ducey for signature on March 19, 2019, and he is expected to sign it soon.

Please Release Me: New California Civil Code Section 1542 Release Language Effective January 1, 2019

Given the litigious environment in California, employers operating in the state are in great need of enforceable general release terms in severance and settlement agreements. California employers entering into severance or settlement agreements will want to be aware of the amendment to California Civil Code Section 1542.

The Top Employment Cases of 2017 and a Sneak Peek at 2018

And the biggest employment case of 2017 . . . is not here yet. The reality: Everyone will be eagerly waiting another four to six months for the biggest and most-anticipated employment case of 2017: class action waivers. While the Supreme Court of the United States’ taking certiorari in January 2017 and likely issuing its decision in late 2017/early 2018—unequivocally the biggest thing 2017 will see, several other cases and developments so far in 2017 are worthy of discussion.

ICA Issues 18 New Pages of Paid Sick Leave FAQs: The Top 10 Highlights for Employers

On June 30, 2017—the day before Arizona’s new paid sick leave law went into effect—the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued 18 pages of new frequently asked questions (FAQs). Some of the FAQs merely restate the draft regulations, while others provide useful examples helping to give color to draft supplemental regulations recently issued.

Need Your Own Sick Leave Yet? ICA Issues Supplemental Draft Regulations on Arizona Paid Sick Leave

On June 27, 2017, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued supplemental draft regulations. The supplemental regulations tweak some of the draft regulations the ICA issued on May 5, 2017. Some supplemental regulations are entirely new and help clarify several important yet unanswered questions lingering in employers’ minds.

Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Part III: Record-Keeping, Shifting Employment Relationships, and Tips for Drafting Policies

Arizona’s new paid sick leave law—Proposition 206 or The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act—will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Since the law passed, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has crafted proposed regulations and a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs). This three-part blog series examines the intricacies of the ICA’s current proposed regulations and FAQs.

Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Part II: The “Same Hourly Rate,” Attendance, and Coverage Questions

Arizona’s new paid sick leave law—Proposition 206 or The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act—will go into effect on July 1, 2017. While we previously explained key components of the law, the Act left many important questions unanswered. Since the law passed, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has crafted a limited set of proposed regulations, which remain subject to review and approval by the state attorney general or the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.

Seventh Circuit Finds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII, SCOTUS Review Likely

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly anticipated en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, making the Seventh Circuit the first federal appellate court to find that sexual orientation is encompassed in Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964’s definition of sex.

Overview and Guidance on Final Joint Standards on Diversity and Inclusion

On June 9, 2015, several federal agencies jointly issued a policy statement on standards that companies could use to assess their diversity policies and practices, particularly for entities regulated by more than one agency. The Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued “Final Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies” as directed under section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Issuance of the Final Joint Standards followed a protracted two-year comment period. The Final Joint Standards, which were modified to some extent based upon the comments received, identify five categories for companies to assess their commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Final Joint Standards are entirely voluntary and do not create new legal compliance obligations—they are merely a “statement of policy.”

Transgender Issues in the Workplace: Navigating a Changing Legal Landscape

Legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity is popping up all around the country. From California’s Senate Bill 703 prohibiting state agencies from entering into certain contracts with contractors that discriminate between employees on the basis of gender identity in the provision of benefits, to the proliferation of cities and counties with nondiscrimination ordinances that protect transgender employees, more employers may be facing gender identity issues in the near future.