Recent Blog Posts
- House Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act After repeated introductions over the course of several years in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, on September 14, 2020, the House passed HR 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”). The stated purpose of the legislation is to “eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” If passed by... More
- Australia’s High Court Rules on How to Count Personal Leave Entitlement Under the Fair Work Act On August 13, 2020, 11 years after the enactment of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “FW Act”), Australian employers received guidance from the High Court regarding how to count the entitlement to “10 days” of personal leave per year of employment, as required under Section 96 of the FW Act.
The High Court determined that employees’ leave entitlement is equivalent to the average of employees’ “ordinary hours” of work over the course of a two-week period (i.e., 1/26th of... More
- Rule 2: Keep Your Mask On – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19 Part 2 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.
Who would have believed that months into this global pandemic, after the innumerable and unspeakable loss to human life, to global economies, and to our own sense of selves and normalcy – that the relatively straightforward issue of whether to wear a mask to curb the spread of this virus would remain such a hot button topic. And yet, here we are.
- Luxembourg Employers Face Additional Obligations During Heat Waves in the Midst of COVID-19 On August 8, 2020, in response to local meteorology reports of expected temperatures of above 95°F, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health announced a “red alert warning,” and implemented a Heat Wave Plan. The Heat Wave Plan (i) advises that older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illnesses may be affected by such high temperatures and (ii) offers personal check-in and hydration services by the Luxembourg Red Cross and home care agencies. All such visits must adhere to COVID-19 safety procedures.
Additionally, the... More
- 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