Labor and Employment

Complying with State and Federal labor and employment laws, both current and those being enacted in direct response to COVID-19, that impact employer rights and obligations as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Workplace health and safety under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (including recently issued updated guidance to better prepare workplaces for the COVID-19 outbreak) and other laws, rules and regulations designed to safeguard employees and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including implementing, in accordance with applicable State and Federal law, Center for Disease Control guidance and other public health protocols and guidelines, telework arrangements, travel restriction guidelines, employee exposure and sickness protocols and additional infection prevention measures.
  • Complying with all pertinent State, Federal and local wage laws, including payment obligations to exempt and non-exempt employees during business slowdowns or closures (including requiring use of vacation or leave without pay during business closures), imposing restrictions on employees' ability to work, requiring or encouraging employees to telework and obligations imposed by collective bargaining agreements.
  • Complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act, including applicability to COVID-19 exposed and infected employees or employees with COVID-19 exposed or infected family members, employees caring for children home from school or child care, requesting employees to self-quarantine, seeking medical information from employees before returning to work, modifying paid sick leave policies.
  • Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and corresponding State regulations following COVID-19 Pandemic Designation, including protocols for seeking employee temperatures and inquiring regarding employee health conditions or symptoms.
  • Complying with the New York Paid Family Leave Act for workers who take leave to care for a family member infected with COVID-19.
  • Implementing work-force adjustments in compliance with New York and Federal WARN Acts.
  • Advising with respect to New York State unemployment insurance rights and obligations, including consideration of New York's Shared Work program.
  • Analysis of COBRA obligations related to the continuation of health insurance for covered employees as a result of termination, layoff or a reduction in hours.
  • Determining whether self-insured health care plans subject to ERISA may impose cost-sharing requirements with respect to COVID-19 testing and screening.
  • Determining whether, under New York workers' compensation law, an employee’s contracting of COVID-19 may be compensable to the employee.
  • 401(k) and 403(b) Plan considerations, including employee communications and hardship withdrawals to cover COVID-19 treatment or expenses and losses due to COVID-19.

Compliance with privacy and data protection policies and regulations, including privacy issues facing employers that provide self-funded or self-administered health benefits to their employees and, therefore, must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy rule.

Labor and Employment Coronavirus Client Alerts