Employment & Labor

Phase I of reopening St. Louis City and St. Louis County began May 18. Both St. Louis City and County have general and business-specific operating standards for certain businesses to reopen or continue operating, while others will remain closed for now. St. Louis City Order No. 8 and Phase I Reopening Standards and Guidance Established by Order No. 8 are available here. St. Louis County’s COVID-19 Safe Operating Protocols are available here.…
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order on April 1 designed to protect health care providers from litigation arising out of COVID-19 cases. How does it do so, and how well would it work in practice if a lawsuit were filed?  The Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act notes that statewide public health emergencies require “an enormous response” from different levels of governments working alongside private and public health care providers. As such, the order attempts to “promote the public health, safety and welfare of all citizens by broadly protecting the health care facilities and health care professionals in…
Before getting started on the blog entry of the day, I did a webinar the other day for the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts on Internet accessibility and on effective communications. We also talked about other matters as well. It was the first time I did a webinar using the zoom platform. I found it worked well so long as I had the ability to dial in and use my Bluetooth so the sound could go directly to my hearing aids. One of the questions that came up was this: employer of less than 15 employees; in a state with…
Contributed by Carlos Arévalo, May 18, 2020 How cities, counties and states are actively enforcing their COVID-19 orders is all over the map, but criminal and/or civil penalties are on the books in some areas.  For example, last Friday, May 15, the Illinois Governor directed the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to add an emergency rule called “Pandemic or Epidemic Respiratory Disease – Emergency Provisions.”  The emergency rule authorizes IDPH to “take means it considers necessary to restrict and suppress dangerously contagious or infectious diseases, especially when existing in epidemic form.”  This specifically includes the power to seek…
Contributed by Rebecca Dobbs Bush, May 18, 2020 Late Friday, May 15th, the SBA released long overdue guidance on how to determine and apply for forgiveness of loans received under the Paycheck Protection Program. The application and corresponding instructions can be found here on the SBA website. Within the application and instructions, several common questions have finally been answered: How do we calculate payroll costs?  Do we go by pay period date or pay date?  What if the 8-week covered period doesn’t match up with our payroll? A payroll cost must be either incurred OR paid. Initially, the CARES…
Contributed by guest author Andrew Podgorny, May 15, 2020 On May 13, 2020, the SBA and Treasury issued additional guidance with respect to the necessity certification that borrowers must make when applying for a PPP loan. FAQ #46 provides a safe harbor for borrowers receiving loans which are less than $2 million and also indicates that, in the event the SBA determines that a borrower receiving a loan in excess of $2 million lacks an adequate basis for making the necessity certification, such borrower will be afforded the opportunity to repay the loan. Specifically, FAQ #46 states: Question: How…
Are you an employer covered by the the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and do you use temp employees? I’ve got something to share with you. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been giving presentations to employers on the FFCRA [who hasn’t!?!] and have counseled them on their FFCRA obligations with respect to the temp employees whose services they use (from the temp agencies that employ them). Using the FMLA classic regulations as my authority, I’ve counseled these employers that they are not on the hook to provide paid sick and paid FMLA leave to these temp employees so…
Disclaimer: We are not experts in health or policy and make no guarantees as to the accuracy or timeliness of the details on this page. This page is for informational purposes only. See our full COVID-19 disclaimer for more. If your business has hit trouble because of the pandemic and you need guidance, the attorneys at G & G Law have assembled a toolkit of accessible, easy-to-digest information that answers many common questions we’ve received from our clients. You can read more about it and purchase it here. This is a guest post from our good friend Kate Scully…
Synopsis: Managing a New WC/OD World After Covid-19 Passes—A “How To” on Defending Work Injuries/Exposures for Employees Who Will Continue to Work From Home.   Editor’s comment: I feel confident Covid-19 is cresting and going back down to the point it will soon disappear from our lives. Yes, some of that sentiment may be “hopeful thinking” by me. What I do feel we are going to experience is lots of workers are going to try to remain at and work from home. I assure my readers if your account/company has folks working from home, they can and will receive WC/OD…
April 21, 2020:  A settlement valued at $2,125,000 has been research with Rosebud Restaurant Group.    Following briefing on Defendant’s motion to dismiss which challenged the constitutionality of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and submitting mediation statements, the Parties participated in significant arms-length settlement negotiations and reached a Settlement of the putative class action lawsuit filed in Chicago, Illinois. The settlement administrator will notify class members through mail to notify them of their rights. Judge Moreland’s Preliminary Approval Order is available to download here. The post $2,125,000 Class Action Settlement Reached With Rosebud Restaurant Group (Cook County, Illinois) appeared…
One thing I have noticed with the pandemic is that legal bloggers have shifted what issues they are talking about to anything related to Covid-19. That said, there are other issues besides Covid-19 going on. For example, service animals and emotional support animals in housing. I am aware of reports from those in university towns where off campus complexes catering to students are faced with a significant number of tenants in the complex claiming their animal is an emotional support animal. What is such a landlord to do? As already mentioned here, the latest circular from the Department of…
Running a small business is no easy task. Not only do you need to offer a unique product or service, abide by all tax laws, and cover the cost of your overhead, but you must also ensure your employees are happy. To accomplish this, you need to know how to pay them properly. For most employees, this means offering them competitive hourly wages. Regarding sales staff, however, there are generally two types of compensation: salary and incentive, and determining which one is right for your business can be a tough choice. Laws May Dictate Your Decision Ideally, you want to…
With its latest Q&A set, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance on calculating paid leave and computing employees’ regular rate of compensation, and it also clarified issues arising from prior Q&As. It is a particularly good time to review the guidance, as the DOL announced the end of its non-enforcement period of the paid leave provisions under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).…
Contributed by Kelly Haab-Tallitsch, May 11, 2020 On April 29, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury Department issued guidance extending certain timeframes related to employee benefit plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The agencies acknowledge that plan sponsors, participants and beneficiaries may have difficulty meeting the standard timeframes due to the national emergency and the extensions are intended to help maintain group health plan coverage. Relief for Participants and Beneficiaries A joint final rule issued by the DOL and Treasury provides that all group health plans, disability plans, other employee welfare benefit plans subject to the…
Business owners are anxious to reopen their doors and revive their sales.  But there are concerns that the proper precautions be taken to protect their employees and customers, at a time when no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 appears imminent. As governors and mayors begin to ease restrictions on businesses, previously shuttered retailers, restaurants and others have another concern that could hold them back from reopening just as surely: whether and to what extent they can be held legally liable for employees or customers who contract coronavirus. Continue reading
Contributed by Michael Wong, May 8, 2020 During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen multiple shifts in views by the public and employees.  Initially, the issue was what to do if an employee requested a face mask. However, businesses are now facing different questions: Can you require employees to wear a face mask? Can you require customers or members of the public to wear a face mask when coming into your business? What most do not realize is that both of these questions raise potential ADA issues. EMPLOYEES – The short answer is, YES.  A business can require its…