Recent Blog Posts
- Ontario Court of Appeal Limits Severability of Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts On June 16, 2020, the Court of Appeal for Ontario handed down a decision that will have a profound impact on the enforceability of termination provisions in Ontario employment agreements. In Waksdale v. Swegon North America, Inc., the Court of Appeal held that if the termination provisions governing “cause” of an employment contract violate the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), those provisions are not severable and the entire termination provision of the employment agreement is void and unenforceable.
Factual Background &... More
- Employers Must Accommodate Some Workers’ Opioid Use and Treatment While the country remains focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. employers cannot ignore the ongoing opioid epidemic or how it may affect their workforces. On August 5, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released new guidance addressing the rights of opioid users in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The two question-and-answer documents clarify that while current illegal drug use is not protected, employees who “are using opioids, are addicted to opioids, or were addicted to... More
- COVID-19 Pandemic Introduces New Options for Digital Nomads As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected employers and employees across the globe. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, governments have implemented measures to address the economic impact of the pandemic, including job retention schemes and promoting remote work. Many employers have reconsidered the need for employees to return to the office at all. In response, Barbados and Estonia have taken a dynamic approach to these changes and have introduced digital nomad visas that allow individuals to live in... More
- Getting Back to Work: What Employers Should Keep in Mind About Industry-Related Requirements for Returning to Work Following Shutdown As employers begin to develop and implement plans for reopening and staff return to the workplace, they should be mindful of industry-specific requirements and guidance, which may apply where they operate. Following are some examples that typify the sorts of industry-related requirements various states and municipalities have implemented:
Connecticut’s reopening requirements for hotels and restaurants overlap, but are not identical. For example, both hotels and indoor sections of restaurants may welcome guests at up to 50 percent capacity, and both require... More
- UK Update: What Employers Need to Know About the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many employers and employees throughout Europe. Since mid-March 2020, the Government of the United Kingdom has implemented several measures and guidance to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to other European jurisdictions, one such measure is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), designed to help employers retain their workforce. Currently, the CJRS provides partial subsidized wages to approximately 7.5 million UK employees across 935,000 employers. Recently, the UK... More
- Massachusetts Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave Releases Proposed Amendments to State’s PFML Law As we have previously reported, since June 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (the “DFML”) has proposed and adopted several “technical changes” and clarifications to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (the “PFML”). Our analysis of these proposals and revisions may be found here, here, and here. As part of the ongoing “technical changes,” the DFML recently published new proposed amendments (“New Proposed Amendments”) to the regulations governing the PFML (the “Regulations”). The New Proposed... More
- India Update: Indian Government Institutes Community and Workplace Safety Guidelines for Phased Re-Opening Following the COVID-19 Lockdown As we previously reported, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government invoked special provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (the “DMA”) to implement a series of orders under the DMA (“Orders”) imposing a nationwide lockdown. The Indian national lockdown went into effect on March 25, 2020 and was extended several times, until May 31, 2020.
The initial lockdown Orders included strict directives for employers. The employment provisions of the orders (the “Employment Provisions”) prohibited employers from terminating any... More
- Global Re-Opening: Considerations When Employees Return to the Workplace As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the global workplace and international employer-employee relations. Over the past several months, many countries have enacted nationwide orders requiring billions of people to stay at home in an effort to reduce transmission of COVID-19. While some countries remain locked down, others, have recently initiated progressive measures to re-open businesses and return employees to the workplace, with varying degrees of success:
Germany: On April 27 Germany began allowing shops as large as... More
- Texas Employees Refusing to Return to Work from COVID-19 Related Reasons May Still Be Eligible for Unemployment Benefits As we previously reported, on Monday, April 27, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Phase One of his much anticipated plan to reopen Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. In response to this plan to reopen, at limited capacity, retail establishments, restaurants, movies, shopping malls, libraries and museums, starting on May 1, 2020, many Texas workers are weighing the option of returning to work and earning a paycheck against the potential risks of exposure to COVID-19 and forfeiting unemployment... More
- Texas Governor Issues Executive Order to Begin Phase One of Reopening Texas: What Employers Need to Know On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Gregory Abbott announced Phase One of his much anticipated plan to reopen Texas, while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Governor Abbott accompanied his announcement by issuing Texas Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas (“Report”), and Executive Order No. GA-18 (“EO GA-18” or “Order”), pursuant to which all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries are allowed to reopen on Friday, May 1, 2020, with a 25% occupancy limitation. Within shopping... More