Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (JD Supra United States)

4661 results for Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (JD Supra United States)

  • Beltway Buzz - June 2021

    Workforce Update. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics released its May 2021 jobs report on June 4, 2021. According to the report, American employers added 559,000 jobs in the previous month.

  • Surprise Flip Flop at Cal/OSHA Standards Board: Motion to Adopt Sweeping Changes to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Passes

    On June 3, 2021, the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) was initially unable to pass the proposed changes to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)  after a daylong online hearing with more than 500 individuals logged on to the meeting and 5 hours of public comment. The Standards Board had previously decided...

  • Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave: What Employers Need to Know

    On May 28, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act providing for Massachusetts COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave.” The act requires eligible Massachusetts employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to employees who meet certain criteria, with reimbursement by the Commonwealth.

  • Louisiana Court Rules Jones Act Claim for Mental Injury Can Proceed in Light of Noose in Maritime Workplace

    Recently, the Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit, in Thompson v. Cenac Towing Co., L.L.C., analyzed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in a company’s favor after a noose-like rope was found hanging in a maritime workplace and held that the trial court had improperly weighed the credibility of the plaintiff’s testimony, resulting in the reversal and remand of the case. Although...

  • Texas Firearm Carry Act of 2021: Can Employers Bar Employees From Carrying Guns Onto Work Premises?

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 (House Bill 1927) into law. Texas will join several other states that have enacted or plan to enact similar permitless, “constitutional carry” statutes in support of the individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Washington Staffing Agencies and Worksite Employers Must Now Train Temporary Employees on Workplace Safety Hazards

    On April 14, 2021, Washington governor Jay Inslee signed into law Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1206, creating new requirements for staffing agencies and worksite employers utilizing temporary employees to provide training on workplace safety and health hazards. Under the new law, worksite employers must notify staffing agencies about the anticipated job hazards temporary employees will likely...

  • The IRS Giveth and Then Giveth Again: New DCAP Guidance Provides Welcome Tax Relief

    Participants in dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs) will get the best of both worlds (at least in 2021) under new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In another of what appears to be a seemingly endless list of unexpected events that have occurred since early 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS in Notice 2021-26 clarifies rules relating to the tax treatment...

  • Oregon Enacts New Modifications to Noncompete Law for 2021

    On May 21, 2021, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 169, making substantial changes to the statute that limits noncompetition agreements with Oregon employees, Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 653.295. The changes apply to any employee noncompetition agreement entered into on or after the effective date of the act.

  • Virginia Overtime Wage Act: How Employers Can Prepare for the July 1 Effective Date

    The Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA), Va. Code § 40.1-29.2, becomes effective July 1, 2021, and will significantly alter employers’ wage and hour obligations in Virginia. At first glance, the VOWA appears to track federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Beltway Buzz - May 2021 #4

    EEOC Releases Vaccine Guidance. On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued much-needed guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. According to the guidance...

  • EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Vaccination Incentives, Reasonable Accommodation, and Other Issues

    On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated the vaccination section (section K) of its “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” The update clarifies a number of vaccination issues with which employers have grappled without any official guidance to advise them.

  • Michigan’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules: Major Changes to Take Effect Soon

    On May 24, 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced important changes to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) emergency COVID-19 rules, “Emergency Rules for Coronavirus Disease 2019.” Governor Whitmer also announced that the draft permanent MIOSHA COVID-19 rules have been rescinded in their entirety, and the public hearing to discuss those rules...

  • OSHA Revokes Guidance on Recordability of COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions

    On May 21, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revoked recent enforcement guidance issued to clarify the recordability of situations where employees suffered adverse side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination. The original guidance, in a nutshell, states that if an employer requires its employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, the adverse reaction is...

  • The New York HERO Act’s Proposed Amendments: What Employers Need to Know

    On May 5, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act), which mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections for all airborne infectious diseases. This action was quickly followed by the New York State Assembly’s May 10, 2021, and the New York State Senate’s May 14, 2021, introduction of identical bills to amend certain...

  • Beltway Buzz - May 2021 #3

    The Biden Administration at 100 Days. President Joe Biden recently marked his 100th day in office, and labor and employment policy changes have been at the forefront of his administration’s agenda. The enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act, passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842) in the U.S. House of Representatives, rescission of the independent contractor rule...

  • Virginia’s Recreational Marijuana Legislation and New Employee Medicinal Use Protections

    On April 21, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law House Bill No. 2312 and Senate Bill No. 1406, moving the date of recreational marijuana legalization in Virginia up to July 1, 2021. The legalization movement, which has increased in momentum in the Commonwealth since Democrats gained a majority in the legislature, culminated in February 2021, when the General Assembly passed...

  • Unemployment Insurance System Update, Part III: Additional States Opting Out of Federal Unemployment Benefits

    Twenty-two of 27 Republican-led states have announced that they will end enhanced federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits early. Of those, four (Arizona, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma) will offer additional monetary incentives for individuals to return to work.

  • Oregon Health Authority Issues New Vaccine Guidance - ‘Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals’

    On May 18, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a new guidance titled, “Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals,” adjusting the applicability and enforcement of current state guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. Here are the key provisions of the new interim guidance...

  • The New IRS COBRA Subsidy Guidance: Key Takeaways for Employers

    The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) implemented a 100 percent COBRA subsidy for certain qualified beneficiaries beginning on April 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2021. On May 18, 2021, more than a month into the subsidy period, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2021-31.

  • 100 Days of the Biden Administration, Part II: Key Labor and Employment Policy Developments

    In its first 100 days in office, the Biden administration has advanced its policy priorities, many of which have involved repealing the policy accomplishments of the previous presidential administration. The Biden administration can be expected to advance its own proposals soon.

  • Cal/OSHA Standards Board Reschedules Vote on COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Revisions

    On May 20, 2021, the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) decided to table the expected vote on Cal/OSHA’s revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Instead, the Standards Board requested that Cal/OSHA draft a new proposed regulation for the Standard Board’s consideration during a special June 3, 2021

  • Santa Clara County’s New COVID-19 Rules: Employers Must Obtain Vaccination Status, Report Positive Test Results, and Enforce Mask Use

    On May 18, 2021, Santa Clara County, California, issued a health order that both relieves employers of some earlier COVID-19–related requirements and imposes new obligations on employers, particularly with respect to employees’ vaccination status. Santa Clara County also issued the “Mandatory Directive on Use of Face Coverings” and the “Mandatory Directive For Unvaccinated Personnel.” The health...

  • Cal/OSHA Requests Standards Board to Skip Vote at May 20, 2021, Meeting

    On May 19, 2021, on the eve of a vote by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt proposed substantial changes to the existing Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), Deputy Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (commonly known as “Cal/OSHA”) Eric Berg asked that the Standards Board not vote the next day, on May 20, 2021, to adopt Cal/OSHA’s...

  • Agencies Issue FAQs on Required Comparative Analysis of Nonquantitative Treatment Limitations

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021 had far-reaching effects on employee benefit plans. One of the more onerous changes introduced by the CAA relates to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). MHPAEA requires that group health plans offering mental health and substance use disorder benefits (MH/SUD benefits) provide those benefits on no less generous terms...

  • 100 Days of the Biden Administration, Part I: Key Labor and Employment Policy Developments

    April 30, 2021, marked President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office, and his administration has wasted little time advancing its policy priorities. At this moment, the administration is focusing most of its attention on repealing much of the policy accomplishments of the previous administration but can be expected to advance its own proposals in short time.

  • Minor Increases to Certain HSA and HDHP Limits for 2022

    On May 10, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the 2022 health savings account (HSA) annual contribution limit and the 2022 high deductible health plan (HDHP) definitional limit per Internal Revenue Code Section 223. Under Revenue Procedure 2021-25 the limits for 2022 are as follows...

  • WARNing - Burdensome New Jersey WARN Act Amendments May Soon Become Effective

    There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel for New Jersey employers, as the state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decline and Governor Philip Murphy continues to ease restrictions on businesses. But this good news comes with a dose of serious bad news for New Jersey employers too.

  • ERISA Cybersecurity Lessons for Employers

    Retirement plans are increasingly subject to cybersecurity issues, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is taking notice. On April 14, 2021, the DOL published cybersecurity guidance “for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants on best practices for maintaining cybersecurity, including tips” for hiring service providers and online security tips for participants.

  • Unemployment Insurance System Update, Part II: States Opting Out of Federal Unemployment Benefits

    Since the beginning of May 2021, multiple states have announced their intent to opt out of enhanced federal unemployment benefits. To cease participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefit programs, a state must provide at least 30 days’ written notice to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

  • Unemployment Insurance System Update, Part I: Is Comprehensive Reform Coming?

    On April 28, 2021, President Joe Biden unveiled a proposal to permanently expand unemployment benefits in his most recent economic package, the American Families Plan. The proposed expansion of unemployment benefits is in addition to the $2 billion already allocated to unemployment “system modernization, equitable access and fraud prevention” from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

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