2020 has been a roller coaster ride for employers and employees. Collectively, we have survived shutdowns, furloughs, sickness, re-opening, and now managing a back to school season like nothing the country has seen in the past. Look back at the last six months to hear lessons learned from the pandemic and key points of the FFCRA and the CARES that apply in the days ahead.
The COVID-19 outbreak rendered many workplaces dormant, but frontline workers in the grocery, delivery, and medical fields have felt the effects of the massive influx in demand for their services caused by the pandemic. There have been employee protests, threats to strike or sick-out, demands for hazard pay and enhanced workplace safety measures. This program addresses both unionized and non-unionized workforces and shifts in bargaining power and the rise in union organizing. What does all this mean with a National Labor Relations Board under the Trump administration that prior to COVID-19 was issuing more employer-friendly decisions?
Many employers are addressing whether to reduce the amount of work and headcount of their workforce. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, employers who acted without carefully evaluating their options and decisions in how they reduced hours and positions, as well as how the decisions were communicated to employees, could face years of legal challenges on top of economic issues. Our panel discusses ways to reduce your legal exposure in these unprecedented times. Topics include:What is a furlough, and what are ways to implement one or more? What are alternatives to reductions in force? What are the types of separations that trigger federal and state WARN, and what are the potential penalties? What should be in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice? COVID-19 and the “unforeseeable business circumstance” provision of WARN. Can an employer do something post-furlough besides a RIF if revenue hasn’t resumed? Severance and release agreement best practices
The application of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employee leaves of absence was a conundrum for employees and employers alike even before Coronavirus times. On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), to provide relief to American workers of certain covered employers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This new law requires covered employers to offer emergency paid leave in the form of a new mandatory paid sick leave benefit and expanded paid leave under the FMLA. Understand the new FMLA and paid sick leave provisions of the FFCRA and obtain practical counsel for navigating the requirements of the law and address questions.
Two experienced attorneys on opposite sides debate hot topics in wage and hour law, including: Work from home issues and the impact for exempt & non-exempt employees; reducing the salary and modifying work for exempt employees; requiring use of paid leave/vacations; and more. Originally presented as part of the Employment Law Institute, available in its entirety as P9003-20U.
Ensure training, policies and procedures reflect the most recent developments in Illinois impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19, and what do you need to address outside of the pandemic that includes recent Illinois and local laws that have taken effect since 2019. The following should be on your radar: Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (effective 2020); Illinois Human Rights Act (recent amendments and developments addressing discrimination based on sexual harassment, disability, national origin/ancestry, retaliation); Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA); Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act – addressing equal pay (effective January 2019 and September 2019; Chicago Fair Work Week; Illinois Expense Reimbursement Act; and temporary measures to put in place given Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” Order. Laws in Illinois pertaining to paid leaves, unpaid leaves, unemployment compensation benefits, workers’ compensation, safety, and terminations
Review the Paycheck Protection Program's loan forgiveness application, the CARES Act and other COVID-19-related legislation. Get up to speed on late-breaking rules, including tax strategies to consider and refund opportunities to apply for, and strategies on how to deal with the PPP.