SimplyHR: Employment and Labor Blog

On Election Day, November 3, 2020, voters will cast their ballots on who will be the next president of the United States, as well as other federal, state and local positions and referendums. Because of the increase in early and mail-in voting this year due to COVID-19, many voters likely will have voted prior to the polls officially opening in Illinois at 6 a.m. on Election Day. However, not everyone will have taken advantage of early voting opportunities, and some will still wish to vote on Election Day. Under Illinois’ voting law, (10 ILCS 5/17-15(a)), employers must provide certain employees
Continue Reading Paid Time Off to Vote: Illinois Employers’ Obligations to Employees on
Election Day

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised FFCRA regulations that clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, specifically the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). 
Continue Reading DOL’s Latest Revisions Clarify Employer Responsibilities Under FFCRA

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers find themselves facing new challenges. Recognizing that the “new norm” has led to workplace circumstances not previously considered, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance to address several wage and hour and leave-related scenarios employers may face. Highlights from the new guidance include:
Continue Reading DOL Issues New FLSA, FMLA and FFCRA Guidance in Response to COVID-19

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees may be entitled to up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, of which 10 weeks are paid to care for a child based on the closure of the child’s school or place of care. When the spread of COVID-19 accelerated in March, most schools and daycares closed, creating problems for many parents who relied on these facilities to care for their children while the parents worked. As the summer months approached, a new question arose: whether parents would be
Continue Reading Summer camp closed due to COVID-19? Employees may be entitled to paid leave under FFCRA

Firing an employee for being gay (i.e. sexual orientation) or transgender (i.e. gender identity) is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a ruling issued June 15, 2020.
Continue Reading Title VII prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ employees, Supreme Court
rules: Key Takeaways for Employers

The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2020, and has the potential to cause headaches for some organizations that have employees working in Chicago. Here’s a look at what employers in seven key industries – building services, health care, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail, and warehouse services – need to know about the ordinance.
Continue Reading Chicago employers: Here’s what to know about the new Fair Workweek

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued revised enforcement guidance addressing when an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a recordable illness on the OSHA Form 300 under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. (See Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), May 19, 2020.) Effective May 26, 2020, all covered employers[1] are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if it the case is confirmed to be COVID-19, is work-related, and involves one or more of OSHA’s general recording criteria (e.g. the illness results in the employee’s death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment
Continue Reading Understanding OSHA’s new guidance for employers in recording cases of

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.
Continue Reading St. Louis City and County roll ahead with first phase of reopening

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).
Continue Reading DOL gives additional FFCRA guidance on calculating paid leave, hours worked
and rate of pay

Almost two weeks after the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), many employers are still not certain what information and documents they should obtain from employees who request emergency paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave. To recap, there are six reasons an employee can take emergency paid sick leave.
Continue Reading FFCRA documentation requirements for employers: What to ask for, what to
document, and what to keep    

On April 9, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its updated Technical Assistance Questions and Answers titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” addressing several questions that have arisen since the beginning of this national emergency and reminding us that even during a pandemic, employers need to be cognizant of their obligations under the ADA and other EEO laws. A summary of the questions and answers is provided below. A more comprehensive guide from the EEOC can be found in “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace
Continue Reading EEOC addresses ongoing questions about COVID-19, the ADA and other EEO laws

Attempting to further clarify the confusion faced by employers following passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its fourth set of Q&As (#60-79) to help with implementation. The DOL issued its first set of Q&As (#1-15) on March 24, 2020 (read more here), followed closely by its second set (#16-37) and third set (#38-59) on March 26 and March 28, respectively (read more here). The DOL also released a temporary rule issuing regulations applicable to the FFCRA on April 1 (read more here).
Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor issues additional FFCRA guidance

On April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor released a temporary rule issuing regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective immediately through December 31, 2020. Employers who have been wrestling with compliance with the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions will recognize much of the material in these regulations from the DOL’s informal guidance or from the CARES Act’s amendments to the FFCRA*. The regulations also include some helpful clarification:
Continue Reading What’s new in the DOL’s temporary regulations implementing the FFCRA?

As claims for unemployment rise, Missouri and Illinois have eased the typical restrictions for unemployed workers to obtain benefits. Coupled with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which is being administered by the states and is summarized here, both employers and employees are seeing some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Missouri and Illinois ease unemployment benefit requirements

As employers gear up for the coming workweek in which April 1 falls, now is a good time to highlight three U.S. Department of Labor publications issued last week regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).*   The DOL’s second and third sets of FFCRA Q&As Two days after issuing its first set of Q&As (#1-15) relating to the implementation of emergency paid sick leave and paid expanded FMLA leave (read more here), the DOL published its second set of Q&As (#16-37) on March 26. On March 28, the DOL published its third round of Q&As (#38-59). These most
Continue Reading Focal points of the DOL’s second and third Q&A sets and (very) temporary
grace period for good-faith violations of FFCRA