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September 3, 2020

On August 27, The Department of Labor threaded a needle with some very fine distinctions in it's latest updates to their FFCRA FAQ page as it regards the current start of the school year and the applicability of the FFCRA's Family Leave. (Answers #98, 99, 100)

FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If a school offers both in-person and on...

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 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 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...

May 28, 2020

The CARES Act creates a conundrum with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness incentives. Employers may find it difficult to get hourly employees to return to work following furloughs and layoffs because sometimes employees can receive more money from unemployment benefits by staying home than by working.

Massachusetts may allow benefits, even if work is affirmatively offe...

May 14, 2020

While we remain focused on the response to and consequences of COVID-19, there are other important developments to remain aware of.

On May 8, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) published proposed amendments to the Paid Family and Medical Leave regulations which codify prior guidance regarding covered contract workers, clarify the requirements for private plan exemptions...

May 13, 2020

From the start we’ve been discussing the idea that the response to COVID-19 is an evolving one.  This remains true. In that context, the government response has been largely to administer new laws and the applicability of existing laws through “Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQ”) or via guidance. 

Guidance does not have the same authority as regulation or rules: Guidance is supplemental materi...

April 30, 2020

In this post, we discuss taking proactive steps to considering what considerations to take into account while coming out of "Stay at home" orders, the COVID related safety issues with OSHA, and updates to the EEOC position on COVID testing.

Reopening Business.  The Federal government has started to discuss what coming out of the Coronavirus lockdown will look like, after having issued a three...

February 24, 2020

Come next January, the Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave law continues its implementation as paid family leave benefits will be available to support workers who take leave in order to bond with a new child  and paid medical leave benefits will be available to support workers who take leave as a result of personal serious health conditions.  

With this phase of implementation also com...

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