After two and a half years of promoting protocols aimed at reducing transmission of coronavirus, on August 11, 2022, the CDC eliminated its recommendation that people quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and updated other recommendations. In recognition of how vaccination, boosters, and improved treatments have the reduced risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, the CDC has “streamlined”  its guidance regarding what actions people should take to protect themselves and others if they are exposed to COVID-19, become sick, or test positive for the virus.  The CDC now recommends that instead of needing to quarantine, someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 only needs to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days.  During the 10-day masking period, individuals (regardless of vaccination status) should monitor their symptoms and get tested after five days, regardless of symptoms.

Continue Reading CDC Eliminates Quarantine Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure

Back in March 2021, when it wasn’t easy for many people to get an appointment for an inoculation against COVID-19, New York State created an incentive for employees to get vaccinated.  A new provision was added to the Labor Law, requiring employers to provide paid leave time to employees to obtain each dose. As we previously noted, this statute was intended to sunset on December 31, 2022. However, as this year’s busy legislative session wound down, a bill extending the provision was delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed off on a 12-month extension of the law’s effective date, through December 31, 2023. Thus, New York employers will be required to provide their employees up to four hours of paid time off for each COVID-19 shot through (at least) the end of next year.

Continue Reading New York State Tacks on an Extra Year to Its Paid Vaccination Leave Law

On June 7, 2022, the District of Columbia Council approved the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Support Act of 2022 (“Act”), which includes an increase to the number of weeks of paid leave available to eligible employees through the Universal Paid Leave Act (“UPLA”) (also known as “Paid Family Leave,” or “PFL”).  Generally, as we previously explained, PFL-eligible employees are those who spend at least 50 percent of their work time – whether full time or part time – in D.C.

Continue Reading UPDATE: Washington, D.C. Universal Paid Leave Increases Will Begin October 2022

On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that COVID-19 does not qualify as a “natural disaster” under the federal Workers’ Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, effectively foreclosing one important argument used by employers in defense of COVID-19-related WARN lawsuits.  As this is the only appellate court to affirmatively interpret WARN’s “natural disaster” exception, barring a split by other circuits, this case sets an important precedent in ongoing COVID-19-related WARN litigation, as well as WARN suits related to future pandemics.

Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Holds COVID Is Not a “Natural Disaster” Under the WARN Act

Over the past several years, workplace artificial intelligence (“AI”) tools have matured from novel to mainstream.  Whether facilitating attracting, screening, hiring, and onboarding job applicants or charting the career path or promotability of current employees, workplace AI tools will likely become more prevalent.  Legislators and administrative agencies have taken note and are in various stages of examining and regulating these tools, with the primary goal of ensuring that they do not violate federal and state laws prohibiting workplace discrimination.

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Guidance on the ADA & Employer Use of AI Screening Tools

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, New York City Mayor Adams signed the bill (previously described here) amending New York City’s new law that requires employers to list wage or salary ranges on job advertisements. Most significantly, among other changes, the amendment pushes the effective date of the law from May 15, 2022, to November 1, 2022.

Continue Reading NYC Mayor Signs Off: Amended NYC Pay Range Disclosure Law Will Take Effect November 1, 2022

Where is the impact of alleged employment discrimination? That is the question when evaluating whether a remote worker can assert claims under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), according to a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. Relying on state law, Judge Ramos concluded that the basis for subject matter jurisdiction has not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains grounded in New York’s “Impact Test,” meaning courts will look to where the impact of alleged discriminatory conduct was felt. Thus, regardless of whether an employer is located in New York, the anti-discrimination laws are intended to protect employees who live or work in New York.

Continue Reading New York’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Do Not Protect Out-of-State Remote Workers

On March 14, 2022, the EEOC issued a technical assistance document, The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Laws, which provides guidance as to ways equal employment opportunity laws enforced by the EEOC (“EEO laws”) may apply to caregivers. In conjunction with this, the EEOC added a Section I (“Caregivers/Family Responsibilities”)  to “What You Should Know About COVID-19,” its primary COVID-19 related guidance document. Enforcement guidance issued by the EEOC in 2007, previously addressed circumstances in which discrimination against caregivers might constitute unlawful disparate treatment. The EEOC has issued this new guidance in response to how the COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected employees with caregiver responsibilities.

Continue Reading A New Protected Class? Not Quite, but the EEOC Is Looking Out for Workers with Caregiving Obligations

The New York HERO Act website was quietly updated on the afternoon of March 18, 2022 to confirm that the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health has ended. This means the “activation” of HERO Act safety plans is over.

On March 17, 2022, the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the HERO Act ended. Private sector employers are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans.

Continue Reading New York HERO Act Designation Over, Six Months Later

Next month, New Jersey private employers will need to start informing drivers before using GPS tracking devices in the vehicles they operate. A new state law that becomes effective April 18, 2022, requires employers to provide written notice to employees before using “electronic or mechanical devices” that are “designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device.” The notification requirement applies to both employer-owned or -leased and personal vehicles.

Continue Reading Considering Tracking Employees in Vehicles? New Jersey Now Requires Employers to Provide Notice