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ON-DEMAND INSIGHTS

Retroactive Change to California's Pay Premium Calculation

Retroactive Change to California's Pay Premium Calculation

July 28, 2021 at 12:58 PM - employee policies,

On July 15, 2021, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision which will have a significant impact on the way employers must pay hourly/non-exempt employees for missed meal periods, rest periods, and heat illness recovery periods. In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the Court held that such payments must be made at the “regular” rate of pay, not the base hourly rate. The court’s decision also will have a retroactive effect, meaning that employers must immediately change payroll practices and potentially pay employees back wages for the last four years.

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Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees: Just Because You Can (Maybe), Doesn’t Mean You Should

Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees: Just Because You Can (Maybe), Doesn’t Mean You Should

June 17, 2021 at 1:22 PM - employee policies,

As discussed in an earlier post, adopting a mandatory vaccination policy for employees is not a simple decision. Among the many factors to consider is the potential risk of legal action arising under federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or the National Labor Relations Act, as well as state-law challenges alleging public policy violations or wrongful termination of employment. Recently, some employers have decided to require COVID vaccines for employees, citing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Updated Guidance in support of this policy.  Many other employers are still considering how to proceed. Despite the EEOC’s position that an employer may enact a mandatory vaccination policy for all of its employees physically entering the workplace, mandatory vaccine policies are not without risk of unintended, negative consequences for the organization.

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Massachusetts’ New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

Massachusetts’ New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

June 8, 2021 at 11:00 AM - paid leave,


On May 28, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law providing job- protected, emergency paid sick leave for COVID-related illness, quarantine and vaccinations (“COVID-19 Sick Leave”) for all employees in the Commonwealth.

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Connecticut Follows Trend in Banning Hair Discrimination in the Workplace

Connecticut Follows Trend in Banning Hair Discrimination in the Workplace

April 16, 2021 at 12:55 PM - employee policies,

On March 4, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law House Bill No. 6515, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnic hairstyles historically associated with race. Known as the CROWN Act (which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), the law amends Connecticut’s anti-discrimination law to define race as “inclusive of ethic traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Under the new law, "protective hairstyles" include "wigs, headwraps and hairstyles, such as individual braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros and afro puffs." 

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California Employers: Meal Period Rounding Is Not Permitted

California Employers: Meal Period Rounding Is Not Permitted

March 3, 2021 at 5:02 PM - employee policies,

Time rounding is common practice used by employers of hourly employees to simplify their payroll calculations. Although this practice is legal, federal and state guidelines do exist on how to fairly round “hours worked” by employees. Recently, the California Supreme Court offered additional parameters on the use of time rounding, holding that such practices are not permissible in the context of providing non-exempt (hourly) employees their 30-minute unpaid meal periods.

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Sexual Harassment in the Remote Workplace

Sexual Harassment in the Remote Workplace

February 17, 2021 at 1:47 PM - harassment prevention training,

In this new era of remote working, employers may think that the risk of sexual harassment is no longer a major concern, and therefore, prevention training should not be a high priority. Unfortunately, this reasoning relies on misconceptions about harassment and can lead to serious problems for an employer, including challenging employee relations issues, disruption of business operations, embarrassing news coverage that can damage an organization’s brand and bottom line, and costly litigation and liability under federal and state anti-harassment laws.

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OSHA Releases COVID-19 Guidance for the Workplace

OSHA Releases COVID-19 Guidance for the Workplace

February 10, 2021 at 2:01 PM - employee policies,

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance to employers in the form of best practice recommendations for protecting employees from COVID-19. Intended only for workplaces outside the healthcare industry, OSHA’s “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” focuses on the creation of a COVID-19 prevention program which prioritizes employee involvement, communication and training.

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Can Employers Mandate Vaccinations for Employees?

Can Employers Mandate Vaccinations for Employees?

October 19, 2020 at 2:12 PM - employee policies,

Protecting the health and safety of employees is a high priority for most employers. Every year, as flu season approaches, many consider adopting a mandatory vaccine policy to help prevent the spread of the flu in the workplace. And now more than ever, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue is top of mind for both employers and employees as the world awaits news of an approved vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While employers may view that future vaccine as the linchpin in their plans to resume pre-COVID workplace protocols, simply mandating it for employees may not be feasible.

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