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August 4, 2020

The new, stricter Massachusetts travel ban took effect on August 1.  

What you should not do: You should not tell your employees that they cannot travel to higher risk states for personal reasons.

What you can do: You can implement an up to date CDC screening and follow COVID-19 OSHA, CDC guidelines and comply with state travel bans. Employers can also strongly discourage their employees from taking...

August 4, 2020

In April, the New York Attorney General sued the Department of Labor over the DOL’s April 1 rule that told employers how to implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act  (FFCRA) on the theory the rule "unlawfully narrows" the number of people who are covered by the emergency paid leave law.

The rule defines the limits of who qualifies for paid leave and the suit challenged four parts of th...

July 30, 2020

Governor Baker’s new Executive Order  imposes strict rules governing travel to Massachusetts from places other than “lower risk states.” Effective August 1, all visitors entering Massachusetts (including returning residents, students, and international travelers) from anywhere other than New England, New York, New Jersey, or Hawaii will be required to complete a Travel Form, and quarantine fo...

July 29, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Revenue Procedure 2020-36 to implement the 2021 index adjustments for certain Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) contribution percentages used to determine affordability under the employer shared responsibility mandate.

Background. Under the ACA, contribution percentages are used to determine: (i) whether an Applicable Large Employer (“ALE”) is subject to the ACA’s...

July 22, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.

This temporary guidance was set to expire July 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days.

Th...

July 2, 2020

On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Governor Baker mandated effective Friday, July 3, 2020, that all travelers arriving to Massachusetts from other states are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.

This order excludes travelers arriving from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, or New Jersey.

The order also excludes workers designated by the federal government as “essential...

June 26, 2020

Employers and workplaces that are operating remotely may follow the DHS news release that announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

In May, the Department of Homeland...

June 22, 2020

On June 17, 2020, the EEOC determined a difference between testing for current COVID infection and testing for antibodies. Though testing for current infection is acceptable and making decisions on allowing employees to work based on their current infection status is permissible, testing for antibodies and requiring that as a criteria for returning to work is not permissible. The approach consider...

June 17, 2020

Back in October we highlighted that the Supreme Court would be hearing three cases (two of which are consolidated) to determine whether Title VII protections do extend to sexual orientation, gender identity and transgender status as protected classes.

On Monday June 15, the Supreme Court issued the decisions in these cases and clarified Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment...

June 15, 2020

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), fees are assessed for some self-insured health plans. The Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee (CERF) is designed to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 designed to fund medical research that will provide patients, their caregivers, a...

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