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As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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Posts in Employee Benefits.
Summer Camps Closed Due to COVID-19? DOL Issues Additional Guidance for FFCRA Leave Eligibility

With the arrival of summer the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued some additional guidance last week to clarify when an employee may take leave under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for the employee’s child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program for COVID-19-related reasons. The new guidance adds some gloss to the partial answer previously provided by the DOL earlier in the month, when it addressed the availability of FFCRA leave in the context of pending school summer closures, which you can read about here.

Can Virginia Employees Still Get Paid Leave Under the FFCRA After Businesses Reopen and Schools Close?

As Virginia businesses are beginning to reopen for work under Governor Ralph Northam’s Order easing many COVID-19-related business restrictions, most public and private school systems in the Commonwealth are beginning to wind down the school year and close for summer break. The dichotomy of openings and closings raises a key question for many workers with school-age children (and their employers): Am I able to continue to qualify for paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and emergency family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)?

Government Enacts Stimulus Package with Extensive Benefits for Employers and Employees

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is the third major piece of legislation to address the coronavirus crisis. The unprecedented $2 trillion relief bill provides, among other things, stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment insurance, student loan and retirement account rule changes, and massive loans for businesses (some of which are forgivable). 

COVID-19 FAQS for Employers

As most everyone in the world by now is aware, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping the United States and rocking the economy. The federal government and nearly all 50 states have declared states of emergency. Many schools and businesses are closed or operating remotely. The pandemic creates unique issues for employers and employees alike. The following FAQs focus on the legal obligations of employers related to COVID-19.

Marijuana & the Workplace

As state laws and public opinion regarding marijuana continue to evolve, employers are confronting a variety of uncertainties about their drug policies. This article discusses marijuana laws and the ramifications of such laws for employers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

When and where is marijuana use legal?

As of February 2020, 32 states and D.C. permit marijuana for medicinal purposes, and 11 states and D.C. permit marijuana for recreational purposes. 

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect on February 11, 2018

On January 12, 2018, Maryland became the latest state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, when the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill last year. The bill - known as the Healthy Working Families Act - will become law on February 11, 2018, unless the General Assembly acts to delay its implementation.

Employment Law Under the Trump Administration

Like it or not, Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America.  Now that the initial shock has worn off, it’s time to evaluate how federal employment laws, regulations, and enforcement may shift under the Trump Administration. 

While President Trump has not spoken at length regarding employment law since taking office, his pro-business philosophy and nomination of Andrew F. Puzder, a former restaurant executive, for Secretary of Labor (Puzder later withdrew his name from consideration) suggests that the Trump Administration will be significantly more employer-friendly than the Obama Administration

Paid Leave Law in Montgomery County Maryland Is Expanded to Include Paid Parental Leave

On October 1, 2016, Montgomery County, Maryland (the “County”) joined the growing list of jurisdictions requiring paid sick leave for employees of all entities doing business in Montgomery County. The County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (“Paid Leave Law”) is applicable to all employers doing business in the County.

This week, the County Council unanimously approved an expansion of the Paid Leave Law, effective as of November 1, 2016, to allow employees to use paid leave for the birth of a child or for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. Employees will also be permitted to use paid leave to care for a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed child within one year of birth, adoption or placement of the child. The bill “is an important expansion of the [Paid Leave Law],” according to Tom Hucker, its lead sponsor, “to allow parents the flexibility to use their leave to spend time with their children.”

You can read an in-depth review of the Paid Leave Law here.

President Obama to Order Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contract Workers

Federal contractors take notice: on Labor Day 2015, in a display of solidarity with workers and organized labor, President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring paid sick leave for employees of federal government contractors. By some estimates, the executive order is likely to affect more than 300,000 employees of federal contractors who presently receive no paid leave benefits. The executive order, which will take effect in 2017, mandates that employees who work on federal contracts receive one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. That works out to about seven days of paid leave per year for the average worker.

Predictably, the executive order, which President Obama was to have signed at a breakfast gathering of the Greater Boston Labor Council, is being applauded by organized labor groups. The executive order is the latest move by President Obama to expand entitlements and protections for federal contract workers. With other recent executive orders, he raised the minimum wage, expanded the availability of overtime for federal contract employees and expanded employee protections against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Legal Implications of Take Your Dog to Work Day for Your Business

Take Your Dog to Work Day ("TYDTWDay"), sponsored by Pet Sitters International, is Friday, June 26, 2015. Every year, more than 10,000 companies participate, to celebrate dogs and encourage adoptions from local shelters.  This event also presents a great opportunity to partner with a local animal rescue, such as Arlington Chamber members Homeward Trails Animal Rescue and theAnimal Welfare League of Arlington.

If your company is considering allowing pets for the day, there are some legal implications to consider.