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We recently published an update to our 50-state Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker.

Please see HERE. This is updated weekly.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the major updates from around the country:

  • The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Georgia, Illinois,

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently updated its “Guide to COVID-19 Related Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]” to include wage and hour issues arising out of employer-mandated COVID-19 tests or vaccinations.

On March 4, 2021, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) confirmed that an employer does not violate the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by requiring employees to receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine so long as the employer does not discriminate against or harass employees or job applicants on the basis of protected characteristics, provides reasonable accommodations related to disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices, and does not retaliate against employees who engage in protected activity, such as requesting an accommodation. While this guidance arguably protects employers against FEHA claims, employers should not take the DFEH’s guidance as permission to mandate vaccines in other contexts, and it is not yet clear whether employers can safely mandate vaccines approved only under Emergency Use Authorizations by the Food and Drug Administration.

If employers can legally mandate vaccines, the question becomes whether employers must pay for the time spent being vaccinated. Now, the DIR has weighed in on employer obligations to pay for tests and vaccines when mandated by the employer.

For ease of reference, the FAQ is copied here.

    1. Is my employer required to compensate me for the time spent obtaining a COVID-19 test or vaccination?

If the employer requires an employee to obtain a COVID-19 test or vaccination (see Department of Fair Employment and Housing FAQs for guidance on the types of COVID-19 tests an employer may require and on vaccination), then the employer must pay for the time it takes for the testing or vaccination, including travel time.


Continue Reading California Requires Employers to Compensate Employees for Time Spent Obtaining a COVID-19 Test or Vaccination

For the last year, employers have faced unprecedented challenges navigating the impact of the pandemic. Keeping up with scores of new laws, evolving standards, shelter-in-place orders (see our tracker here), quarantine restrictions and more has meant no rest for the weary. And, in the backdrop, there’s the looming threat of employment litigation arising from

We recently published an update to our 50-state Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker.

Please see HERE. This is updated weekly.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the major updates from around the country:

  • The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Delaware, Nebraska,

Companies understand the benefits of bringing people together, and prior to COVID-19 many invested in new spaces in major cities to attract talent and encourage collaboration. Now that many workforces are operating remotely, how can employers instill company values and culture, maintain the employee experience, and effective and collaborative teams? How does the possibility of

Texas is now open for business–100% and without masks. On March 10, 2021, Executive Order GA-34 went into effect, lifting the COVID-19 mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%. Except for indoor arenas and K-12 schools, Mississippi has followed suit. Other states have also recently eased mask mandates, increased occupancy limits on restaurants and bars, and rolled back restrictions on stadiums and theaters, while warnings from US infectious-disease experts abound.

It may be tempting for businesses to fully open as COVID-19 restrictions–some of which will soon see their one year anniversary–are pulled back. What should employers keep top-of-mind if the COVID-19 health and safety restrictions in their state or locality are loosened or rescinded?


Continue Reading Masks Up or Down: What Employers Should Consider as States Roll Back COVID-19 Restrictions

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to put the final nail in the coffin on two Trump era rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that were favorable to employers. On March 12, 2021, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division published in the Federal Register both a proposed rule to rescind the Trump administration’s rule on joint employer status under the FLSA and a proposed rule to withdraw the Trump administration’s rule on independent contractor status under the FLSA. In both cases, the DOL is seeking public comments for 30 days (until April 11, 2021). Neither of these proposed rules comes as a surprise to those keeping tabs on the Biden administration’s agenda, but the DOL has not proposed any new guidance, leaving employers wondering what comes next.

Continue Reading The DOL Proposes to Nix the Trump Administration’s Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Rules

[T]he reason diversity and inclusion and equity of thought drives innovation and creativity is because innovation and creativity aren’t born out of sameness, they’re born out of differences; but people will not share their differences unless they experience belonging.”

Ritu Bhasin

In this video, Baker McKenzie’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Anna Brown, moderates a

We recently published an update to our 50-state Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker.

Please see HERE. This is updated weekly.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the major updates from around the country:

  • The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Alabama, Colorado,

The CDC has issued long-awaited guidance on what fully vaccinated individuals can and can’t do, in the workplace and elsewhere. On March 8, 2021, the CDC issued its Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, its first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. On the same day, the CDC posted an accompanying webpage entitled “When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated,” detailing what has and hasn’t changed for people who are fully vaccinated.

What should employers keep top-of-mind given this new guidance?

  1. Fully vaccinated employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic

According to the CDC, employees are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series (like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines), or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine).

Fully vaccinated employees who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 but who are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19 following the exposure, because risk of infection is low in a fully vaccinated person.

However, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated employees who do not quarantine still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should follow standard protocol: isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19 (including being tested for the virus, if indicated), and they should inform their health care provider of their vaccination status.


Continue Reading The CDC Issues Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People