Practical Tips for Complying With New Cal/OSHA Emergency COVID-19 Standards Increasing Employer Obligations

Exclusion from work, paid time off and rigorous testing requirements. These issues and more came to a head for California employers on November 30, 2020, after the California Office of Administrative Law adopted the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) emergency temporary standards. While many California employers have already implemented COVID-19 plans fulfilling previous requirements for reopening under state and local government orders, the new Cal/OSHA standards vary significantly from what businesses have likely executed to date. We examine the highlights as well as which internal policies and processes affected employers should revisit.

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Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Introduce New Restrictions in Response to Rising COVID-19 Infections

Pennsylvania

On November 17, 2020, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued two new orders in response to rising levels of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. These orders (1) place certain restrictions on individuals traveling into Pennsylvania, and (2) provide increased and more detailed requirements related to the use of face coverings in the Commonwealth.

The travel order requires that all travelers entering Pennsylvania from other countries and states, whether a returning resident or a visitor, must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. If the traveler cannot obtain a negative COVID-19 test, he or she must quarantine for 14 days upon his or her arrival in Pennsylvania or until he or she obtains a negative COVID-19 test result, whichever is earlier. The travel order takes effect on November 20, 2020. Importantly, this order does not apply to individuals who are travelling to or from Pennsylvania for work or medical reasons.

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Will Remote Work Outlast COVID-19?

In the last eight months, we’ve all become used to working from home, and remote work is likely to remain prevalent for many workers moving forward. The media keeps reporting that some firms have no plans to return to the office. Some companies are planning not to renew their leases and move to full-time remote working.

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New Statement of Changes to U.K. Immigration Rules, Including the New Post-Brexit U.K. Immigration System

On 22 October 2020, the United Kingdom government issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules that will come into force for visa applications submitted after 9 a.m. on 1 December 2020. Under the new rules, the visa application process for European Union (EU) and non-EU-nationals will be the same. Additionally, four new routes to obtaining a visa have been added, as well as numerous changes to other routes and concessions for the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Now What? COVID-19 + Flu Season

Many workplaces are likely to see a rise in flu activity at the same time as an increased rate of COVID-19 infections. The paramount concern for all employers should be keeping sick workers out of the workplace. Now is the time to get ahead of the questions that are likely to arise. The CDC’s and other guidance will certainly continue to evolve, and it is important to continue to monitor developments and adjust policies accordingly. However, having a plan in place will bode well for employers and employees alike and will provide a solid starting place to incorporate new guidance as it is issued.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

EEOC Pushes Back EEO Data Collections Until January and March 2021

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will delay the opening of the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 (Employer Information Report), the 2020 EEO-3 (Local Report) and the 2020 EEO-5 (Elementary-Secondary Staff Information Report) until 2021, in light of COVID-19. Accordingly, EEO-1, EEO-3 and EEO-5 filers should begin preparing to submit data in 2021.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.