The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) amended its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (NY WARN) regulations, which took effect on June 21, 2023. Both NY WARN and its federal counterpart require covered businesses to provide advance notice of closures and layoffs to the Commissioner of Labor and affected employees. The NY WARN regulations are more expansive than the federal WARN regulations, defining “covered business” as any private business employing 50 or more full-time employees in New York. As outlined below, it also has stricter notice requirements.
In May, the UK government passed three family-related Acts that employers should be aware of: the Neonatal Care Act; the Protection from Redundancy Act; and the Carer’s Leave Act. UK courts have also made notable rulings on noncompete restrictions, and COVID-19-related health and safety detriment claims.
On 19, July 2023, the UK government released its second Statement of Changes of 2023 that include changes to the Ukraine Scheme Visa, the Visa Nationals List, the EU Settlement Scheme Route, the Student Visa Route, among others.
On December 31, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), as previously summarized, expire after being in place since November 2020. On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards (Cal/OSHA) Board voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 regulations to replace the ETS.
The new regulations are set to take effect in January 2023 after the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) completes its review. Once finalized, the new regulations will remain in effect for two years (but the recordkeeping requirements will remain in effect for three years).
The non-emergency regulations contain some of the same requirements as the ETS, but they also include new provisions. According to Cal/OSHA’s updated Fact Sheet, the new provisions are intended to be easier for employers to follow and allow for greater flexibility if changes are made pursuant to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.
U.K. courts have faced novel employment questions regarding whistleblowers, discrimination over personal beliefs and whether long COVID can be a disability. Employers in the United Kingdom should keep a note of these recent rulings to inform their own policies.
On August 26, 2022, the Eleventh Circuit held that President Biden likely exceeded his authority by issuing the federal contractor vaccine mandate and affirmed the district court’s injunction prohibiting the federal government’s enforcement of the mandate against the plaintiffs. But the court also determined that the nationwide injunction — which applied to any contractor anywhere in the United States, plaintiff or not — was a “drastic form of relief.” Accordingly, the court vacated the district court’s injunction to the extent that it bars enforcement of the vaccine mandate against contractors who are not parties to the lawsuit.