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By Scott Cruz on April 21, 2021 at 2:15 PM

A new Ordinance in the city of Chicago will prohibit Chicago employers from firing or disciplining workers who leave work to get a COVID-19 vaccine during the workers’ normally scheduled work hours. The Chicago City Council unanimously approved the Ordinance on April 21, 2021, and the Ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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By Scott Cruz on March 17, 2021 at 3:45 PM

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Among its many provisions, the ARP addresses paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and payroll tax credits for providing such paid leave.

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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 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 Dennis Collins on December 21, 2020 at 10:45 AM

On December 16, 2020, the EEOC issued an update that addresses the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations and questions they may raise under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). If an employer elects to administer a COVID-19 vaccine or contract with a third party to do so, the employer must meet certain requirements under federal anti-discrimination laws.

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By Scott Cruz on September 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised FFCRA regulations that clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, specifically the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). 

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By T. Christopher Bailey, Scott Cruz on July 30, 2020 at 9:00 AM

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers find themselves facing new challenges. Recognizing that the “new norm” has led to workplace circumstances not previously considered, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance to address several wage and hour and leave-related scenarios employers may face. Highlights from the new guidance include:

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By T. Christopher Bailey on June 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees may be entitled to up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, of which 10 weeks are paid to care for a child based on the closure of the child’s school or place of care. When the spread of COVID-19 accelerated in March, most schools and daycares closed, creating problems for many parents who relied on these facilities to care for their children while the parents worked. As the summer months approached, a new question arose: whether parents would be entitled to paid leave under the FFCRA in the event a child’s summer camp, summer enrichment program or other summer activity closed — or never opened — for COVID-19 related reasons. Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides insight in answering this question.

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By Jill Luft on May 21, 2020 at 11:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued revised enforcement guidance addressing when an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a recordable illness on the OSHA Form 300 under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. (See Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), May 19, 2020.) Effective May 26, 2020, all covered employers[1] are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if it the case is confirmed to be COVID-19, is work-related, and involves one or more of OSHA’s general recording criteria (e.g. the illness results in the employee’s death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness, or the employee has a significant illness diagnosed by a licensed health care professional).

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By Amy Blaisdell on May 19, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT

Phase I of reopening St. Louis City and St. Louis County began May 18. Both St. Louis City and County have general and business-specific operating standards for certain businesses to reopen or continue operating, while others will remain closed for now. St. Louis City Order No. 8 and Phase I Reopening Standards and Guidance Established by Order No. 8 are available here. St. Louis County’s COVID-19 Safe Operating Protocols are available here.

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