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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 8, 2021 at 12:30 PM

In a year marked by federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies managed to finalize some non-pandemic legal developments in 2020: the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule and joint employer test both went into effect, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a handful of Obama-era precedents. With Joe Biden’s election as president in November 2020, the coming four years will likely bring some reversal of the impact of the Trump administration, particularly on the DOL and NLRB. The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was relatively busy for employment, including a major development for Title VII. Of course, much of the energy and resources of the federal agencies overseeing employment laws were spent on providing guidance to employers related to COVID-19 issues. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2021.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 8, 2021 at 12:30 PM

In a year dominated by the pandemic, 2021 updates to Missouri and Illinois law are overshadowed by COVID-19’s impact and related federal employment law developments. Illinois’ treatment of July as the new January adds to the relatively quiet start to 2021 while the state adapts to its new employment laws that went into effect July 1, 2020.

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By Lauren Daming on January 7, 2021 at 2:15 PM

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, represents a second-round stimulus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the CAA includes certain virus-related provisions, including stimulus checks issued to some individuals, the act allowed the mandatory leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to expire on December 31, 2020. As a result, employees are no longer guaranteed paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA unless their employers voluntarily agree to provide it. As an incentive for employers to voluntarily offer FFCRA leave, the act extends the availability of tax credits to employers related to employees who take qualifying leave under the FFCRA through March 31, 2021.   

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By Lauren Daming, Katherine Fechte, Lauren Harris, Jill Luft on April 2, 2020 at 4:30 PM

New Rules signOn April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor released a temporary rule issuing regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective immediately through December 31, 2020. Employers who have been wrestling with compliance with the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions will recognize much of the material in these regulations from the DOL’s informal guidance or from the CARES Act’s amendments to the FFCRA*. The regulations also include some helpful clarification:

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By Lauren Daming on March 25, 2020 at 10:40 AM

Magnifying glass looking at detailsThe Department of Labor (DOL) on March 24, 2020, released its first guidance explaining aspects of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL released fact sheets aimed at both employees and employers as well as a Q&A document and promised more guidance to come. The guidance discusses how employers and employees can “take advantage of the protections and relief” offered by the FFCRA’s Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Expanded Leave Act.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

2020 review concept. Hand flip wood cube change year 2019 to 2020 and the word REVIEW on wooden block on wood tableThe theme for last year’s federal developments was reversal of Obama-era rules. The Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board were especially active in this respect.

After a relatively quiet Supreme Court term for employment law in 2018-19, the stage is set for the court to rule in 2020 on highly anticipated topics. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2020.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

Map showing Illinois and Missouri highlightedWhile Missouri employers saw few legislative updates that will affect the state of employment law in 2020, the Illinois legislature had a busy year. Below is a look at some of the legislative highlights of 2019 and how they might affect your business in 2020.

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By Lauren Daming on October 17, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Employer browsing employee dataFor months, companies doing business in California have awaited clarity on the final contours of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Some employer questions were recently answered when California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released proposed regulations for the CCPA and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several CCPA amendments into law. One of those amendments, AB-25, exempts certain types of employee data from coverage under the CCPA.

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By Lauren Daming on September 24, 2019 at 3:00 PM

The word overtime is highlightedThe Department of Labor (DOL) announced its Final Rule updating the exemption threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on Sept. 24, 2019. The Final Rule raises the standard salary level threshold for “white collar” employees from the $23,660 minimum established in 2004 to $35,568, or $684 per week. Employees earning less than $35,568 a year must be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 each week. Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.

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By Lauren Daming on February 6, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Companies encouraged to revisit privacy policies in light of projected increase in litigation

Thumbprint getting scanned with a biometric scannerThe Illinois Supreme Court in January 2019 held that plaintiffs bringing claims under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) are not required to allege that they suffered any actual harm as the result of a violation of the act. Instead, it’s enough to allege that an employer or other entity simply violated BIPA’s notice, consent or disclosure requirements. The court’s opinion in Rosenbach v. Six Flags is expected to result in an increase in class action litigation under BIPA, which regulates how private entities use information based on “biometric identifiers” such as fingerprints and retina scans.  

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