News Articles

New Covid-19 Vaccine Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released new Guidance on COVID-19 workplace safety protocols for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors. This Guidance accords with President Biden’s September 9, 20201 Executive Order. That Order applies to most (but not all) Federal contractors and subcontractors with new contracts, new solicitations, and extensions or renewals… Continue Reading »

President Biden Ramps Up COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements

Three major developments pertaining to COVID-19 in the workplace have just emerged from the federal government. These developments affect federal employees and contractors, as well as all private employers with 100 or more employees. First, on September 9, 2021, President Biden issued “Executive Order on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees.” This Executive… Continue Reading »

CDC Issues Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued public health guidance recommending that fully vaccinated individuals resume wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of “substantial or high transmission.” A county’s or parish’s transmission level is based on two metrics: new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and the… Continue Reading »

Department of Labor Releases Emergency Temporary Standard Regarding Covid-19 for Healthcare Workers

On June 10, 2021, the Department of Labor issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for controlling COVID-19 and protecting workers in healthcare settings. The ETS does not apply to any other industries. Healthcare employers will be required to provide masks, physical barriers, social distancing, and proper ventilation to protect employees from Covid-19. The DOL estimates… Continue Reading »

California Covid-19 Legislative Update

California’s Covid-19 related legislation did not end with 2020.  In the last 60 days, the State has passed at least two critical pieces of legislation affecting employers. Covid-19 Paid Sick Leave Employers with more than 25 employees (excluding independent contractors) are now required to provide employees up to 80 hours of Covid-related sick leave in… Continue Reading »

President Biden Signs Two Executive Orders in Support of Increased Union Organizing and Announcing $15 Minimum Wage for Certain Federal Contractor Employees

President Biden recently signed two Executive Orders with substantial implications for non-union employers, as well as for those employing workers on federal contracts and subcontracts. On April 26, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the “White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.”  The Executive Order requires the Task Force to create… Continue Reading »

EEOC Vaccine Guidance Update

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its first direct guidance for employers regarding COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are several key takeaways for employers under federal employment laws administered by the EEOC. They include the following: Mandating the vaccine and exceptions to… Continue Reading »

Expanded Leave Entitlements Under the California Family Rights Act

Expanded Leave Entitlements Under the California Family Rights Act Effective January 1, 2021, California employers with five or more employees will be required to provide family and medical leave pursuant to a newly enacted version of the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”).  Senate Bill 1383 also expands the definition of “family members,” allows leave to… Continue Reading »

California Enacts Additional COVID-19 Legislation Related to Employee Notice and Workers’ Compensation

On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills into law as part of his worker protection package.  The first, SB 1159, creates a “disputable presumption” for worker’s compensation purposes that certain employees who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work.   SB 1159 was implemented as an emergency measure and became… Continue Reading »

District Court Judge Vacates Portions of Final Rule Regarding The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Yesterday, a New York district court judge struck down portions of the Department of Labor’s Final Rule implemented to address the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The case was filed by the State of New York under the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations.  Rejecting… Continue Reading »

CDC Issues New Guidance Regarding Isolation and Precautions for COVID-19 Infected Individuals

On July 22, 2020, the CDC issued new guidance entitled “Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19.” The new guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html This new guidance is notable for employers. Previously, the CDC had indicated generally that individuals could potentially return to work and end isolation after 14 days following a… Continue Reading »

DOL Updates its Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)

In a July 20, 2020, update to the DOL’s guidance regarding the application and agency interpretation of FFCRA, DOL has added additional questions and answers (Nos. 94-97). The updated questions and answers can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions The questions and answers deal primarily with the interplay between the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions and return to… Continue Reading »

OSHA PUBLISHES SERIES OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING THE USE OF MASKS IN THE WORKPLACE

Last week, OSHA published six frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers related to wearing cloth face coverings in the workplace.  In addition to outlining the key differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators, theses FAQs provided the following guidance with respect to wearing cloth face coverings in the workplace: Employers are not required… Continue Reading »

EEOC UPDATES GUIDANCE ON COVID-19, THE ADA AND OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT LAWS

On June 11, 2020, the EEOC issued its latest update to an already-existing document entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, The Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEOC Laws.”  The full text of the guidance memo may be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.  Employers may easily determine the newer portions of the guidance, since the… Continue Reading »

SENATE PASSES HOUSE BILL LOOSENING PPP LOAN OBLIGATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS

On Wednesday evening, June 3, the United States Senate by unanimous voice vote passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 in the same form previously passed by the House of Representatives. The bill is expected to be promptly signed by the President (which may have already happened by your reading of this bulletin)…. Continue Reading »

OSHA CHANGES COURSE ON WHETHER EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE COVID-19 WORK-RELATEDNESS INQUIRIES

In OSHA interim guidance issued on April 10, OSHA drew a significant distinction between employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions, and employers in all other industries. Employers in the former sectors were directed to “continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 C.F.R. 1904,” which presumably would lead… Continue Reading »

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION RELEASES PPP LOAN FORGIVENESS APPLICATION FORM, WITH DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS

The SBA recently issued a “Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application” form, with accompanying “Application Instructions for Borrowers.” The instructions direct borrowers to submit the application directly to their lenders, which may also be submitted electronically. The form consists of four components: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form, (2) “PPP Schedule A” (in which… Continue Reading »

IMMIGRATION EXTENDS RELAXED FORM I-9 DOCUMENT REVIEW REQUIREMENTS AND RELAXES LIST “B” DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS

As businesses begin to re-open and re-hire, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has recently made some announcements regarding relaxed document requirements for the Form I-9 considering continued COVID-19 challenges. Relaxed I-9 Document Review Requirements Extended for Thirty Additional Days The DHS announced that it would extend for 30 days its revised requirements for reviewing… Continue Reading »

THE SBA HAS ISSUED ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE UNDER THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (“PPP”) REGARDING REPAYMENT

After warning companies who received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) to review their good-faith certifications of the necessity of such loans and providing a safe harbor period for the repayment of loans in Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) issued on April 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), issued additional guidance on May 13,… Continue Reading »

CHECKLIST FOR RETURN TO WORK WHEN STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS ARE LIFTED

As more state and local governments are loosening stay-at-home orders, and more businesses are seeking to return employees to work, myriad questions are arising about best business practices and legal compliance in conjunction with the reopening of the economy. In an attempt to help our clients, we have put together the following checklist of questions… Continue Reading »

NO EEO-1 REPORTING REQUIRED THIS YEAR!

In a Notice published on Thursday, May 7, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced it was delaying the anticipated filing deadline of the 2019 EEO-1 Report “due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) public health emergency.” More specifically, the EEOC stated that “[p]ending approval by OMB, the EEOC would expect to begin collecting the 2019 EEO-1… Continue Reading »

DOL AND IRS ISSUE RULE EXTENDING TIMEFRAMES FOR COBRA ELECTIONS AND PREMIUM PAYMENTS; NEW MODEL COBRA NOTICES ALSO PUBLISHED

On Monday, May 4, 2020, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service jointly published a Rule in the Federal Register significantly extending the periods of time in which employees may elect COBRA health insurance continuation coverage and begin paying their premiums in the midst of the continuing… Continue Reading »

SBA PUBLISHES ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS

On April 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration published an updated set of “Frequently Asked Questions” from both lenders and borrowers participating (or seeking to participate) in the loans offered under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program. Some of these same questions and answers had previously been published, many are rather technical in nature, and… Continue Reading »

EEOC PROVIDES UPDATED GUIDANCE TO EMPLOYERS FOR COVID-19 CONCERNS IN THE WORKPLACE

In March 2020, the EEOC released its guidance entitled “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” about which the Kullman Law firm has already reported. Recently, the EEOC provided updated guidance in several employment-related areas. This bulletin is a summary of the EEOC’s updated portions of the pandemic guidance. Disability-Related Inquiries… Continue Reading »

OSHA ISSUES ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE FOR RECORDING CASES OF COVID-19

On Friday, April 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an enforcement memorandum to its Regional Administrators and Compliance Officers providing interim guidance for the recording of occupational illnesses, specifically cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  While the stated purpose of the memo was to “provide certainty to the regulated community” about whether a… Continue Reading »

OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance Memoranda in Light of Respirator Shortages

In the last few days, considering the shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) that has resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued two enforcement guidance memorandums related to the use of respirators by healthcare and non-healthcare employers.  The guidance is directed to employers whose employees are required to… Continue Reading »

DOL Corrects Inconsistencies in FFCRA Regulations

In an effort to resolve a contradiction in the regulations, which was identified by The Kullman Firm earlier this week, the DOL today issued corrections to the FFCRA. Conflicting portions of the new law left employers unclear whether they could require employees to take paid leave under employer-provided policies concurrently with leave under the EFMLEA…. Continue Reading »

ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GUIDANCE ON UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS UNDER THE CARES ACT

On April 4, 2020, the Department of Labor issued “Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 15-20” to provide guidance on the unemployment compensation benefits provisions of section 2104 of the CARES Act.  The purpose of the letter is to provide guidance to states administering the federal portion of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which was provided… Continue Reading »

EEOC Q & A WEBINAR ON CORONAVIRUS ISSUES

The EEOC recently discussed twenty-two questions in a webinar concerning statutes enforced by the EEOC as they relate to employment issues caused by COVID-19. Much of the information shared has been addressed in previous EEOC guidance, but clients should find the webinar content useful, nonetheless.  As a prelude, the EEOC said it was not addressing any wage… Continue Reading »

OFCCP/COVID-19 NEWS: VERY LIMITED EXEMPTION FOR SOME NEW CONTRACTS, BUT AAP AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS CONTINUE FOR EXISTING CONTRACTORS

Like many other federal agencies, the OFCCP has leapt into the fray which is the COVID-19 pandemic. In its case, however, the OFCCP’s moves have been extremely limited. For example, Director Craig Leen has announced an exemption from affirmative action obligations for some new contracts “in view of the special circumstances in the national interest… Continue Reading »

DOL Updates Guidance on Interplay of Employer-Provided Leave and Leave under the EPSLA and EFMLEA

In a recent update to the DOL’s guidance regarding paid leave under the EPSLA and EFMLEA, which can be found here https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions, the DOL revised its responses to frequently asked questions pertaining to the interplay between employee leave under the EPSLA and EFMLEA and leave provided under employer policies.  The revised responses clarify a few… Continue Reading »

DOL ISSUES YET ANOTHER ROUND OF Q AND A’S FOR THE FFCRA

On Friday, April 3, the Department of Labor published a fourth iteration of “Questions and Answers” regarding the interpretation of the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If you have been following along with the earlier installments of these Q and A‘s, the new questions pick up with number 60, and continue through… Continue Reading »

IMMIGRATION COVID-19 UPDATES

In our continuing effort to keep our clients up to date on labor and employment law developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing the following information regarding changes to immigration related areas of the law: Use of Expired State Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards in the Form I-9 Process Immigration has issued the… Continue Reading »

SBA ISSUES INTERIM FINAL RULE ON PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM AND IRS PUBLISHES Q AND A’S ON FFCRA TAX CREDITS AND CARES EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

Continuing with our effort to keep clients of The Kullman Firm apprised of constantly-evolving legal developments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses should be aware that the Small Business Administration just published an “Interim Final Rule“ proposing regulations interpreting the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program. That Rule can be accessed at https://content.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP–IFRN%20FINAL.pdf… Continue Reading »

Highlights From The DOL’s FFCRA Proposed Regulations

Earlier this week, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued much-anticipated proposed regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The proposed regulations can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-07237.pdf and are expected to be published early next week.  Below, we have highlighted what we view as the most notable and/or significant clarifications of the new law. … Continue Reading »

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION ON PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS!

In a bulletin we published yesterday entitled PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM- IMMEDIATE HELP FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS, we discussed the topic of the cap of $100,000 in payroll costs (on an annualized basis per employee) for which an employer could seek a PPP loan beginning tomorrow, April 3. The “Borrowers Fact Sheet” we linked from the Treasury… Continue Reading »

DOL ISSUES TEMPORARY RULE FOR FFCRA

As referenced in previous bulletins, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) was required under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to issue regulations pertaining to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) on or before April 2, 2020.  In an effort to keep our… Continue Reading »

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM—IMMEDIATE HELP FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS

Beginning Friday, April 3, 2020, small employers—those with less than 500 employees– can apply for and receive loans to cover payroll expenses through Small Business Administration lenders.  Specifically, “payroll expenses” include: Employee wages/salary, including benefit costs and state and local taxes, up to a cap of $100,000 per employee on an annualized basis; Rent on… Continue Reading »