Contact HR On-Call
- EEO-1 Reporting for 2019 and 2020 Opens April 26, 2021
- Form I-9 Extension Granted for Remote Workplaces
- CDC Encourages Employers to Offer Paid Leave for Vaccine Recovery
- California: Public Entities May Still Be Subject to Civil Penalties in PAGA Claims
- California: Court Limits Class Actions for Independent Contractor Misclassification Cases
- San Francisco, CA: New COVID-19 Employee Protections
- San Francisco, CA: Annual Health Care Security Ordinance Reporting Postponed
- Connecticut: Discrimination Against Natural Hair Prohibited
- Allegheny County, PA: Paid Sick Leave May be on the Horizon
- Dallas, TX: Paid Sick Leave Permanently Blocked
- San Antonio, TX: Paid Sick Leave Preemption Upheld
- West Virginia: Enacts COVID-19 Shield Law
- Wisconsin: Employers Have Immunity from COVID-19 Liability
EEO-1 Reporting for 2019 and 2020 Opens April 26, 2021
After delaying data collection for over a year, the EEOC has finally announced the opening of the 2019 and 2020 data collection period. Employers will be able to submit EEO-1 Component 1 Data starting April 26, 2021 through July 19, 2021. EEO-1 reporting is required for all private employers with 100 or more employees, and federal government contractors with 50 or more employees and a $50,000 or larger federal contract. Covered employers will receive a notification letter with additional instructions on filing in mid-April.
Form I-9 Extension Granted for Remote Workplaces
On March 31, 2021, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced another extension of adapted remote verification rules for Form I-9 while employers are fully remote during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, physical inspection of identity and right to work documents is waived until the employer returns to the workplace or the extension expires. The latest extension will last through May 31, 2021.
CDC Encourages Employers to Offer Paid Leave for Vaccine Recovery
On March 19, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its page on workplace vaccination programs to encourage employers to provide paid sick leave for the purposes of COVID-19 vaccination recovery. The updated page discusses potential vaccine benefits for employers and employees, best practices for vaccination programs, and guidance on how to implement such programs in the workplace. The CDC notes that COVID-19 vaccines are not generally mandated, and that employers’ decisions to require vaccination may be influenced by state or local requirements. Broadly speaking, employers will still need to be mindful of medical or religious exemptions to comply with federal non-discrimination statutes.
California: Public Entities May Still Be Subject to Civil Penalties in PAGA Claims
On March 5, 2021, in Sargent v. Board of Trustees of California State University, the California Court of Appeal stated that public entity employers were not subject to civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) unless the underlying statute of the claim itself provides for recovery of civil penalties. Even though “default” PAGA-provided civil penalties ($100 initial/$200 subsequent) don’t apply to public employers because public employers are not “persons” under PAGA, it does not mean that public employers are completely immune from being subject to civil penalties in PAGA claims.
California: Court Limits Class Actions for Independent Contractor Misclassification Cases
On March 12, 2021, in Wilson v. The La Jolla Group, the California Court of Appeal stated that wage and hour claims are too individualized in independent contractor misclassification cases and therefore do not qualify for class certification. However, the court left the door open for possible class certification on wage statement claims, because the lower court did not sufficiently state a basis for its ruling.
San Francisco, CA: New COVID-19 Employee Protections
On March 7, 2021, the San Francisco COVID-Related Employment Protections Ordinance (CEPO) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of COVID-19 status for the next two years. Employers may not fire, threaten to fire, suspend, discipline, or take any other adverse action against an employee who is absent or unable to work, or who requests time off from work, because the employee tested positive for COVID-19 or is isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. Further, employers may not rescind an offer or decide not to employ or contract with an applicant who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. Employers must also display the CEPO poster in the workplace.
San Francisco, CA: Annual Health Care Security Ordinance Reporting Postponed
On March 24, 2021, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) issued new administrative guidance that postpones the annual reporting deadline under the Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) and Fair Chance Ordinance for year 2020 from April 30th to October 31, 2021. At the same time, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering legislation that would waive the requirement for employers to report for calendar year 2020 due to the considerable burden caused by COVID-19. Employers should look for more updates on this topic, and in the interim can download the new Administrative Guidance here.
Connecticut: Discrimination Against Natural Hair Prohibited
On March 4, 2021, Governor Lamont signed HB 6515, prohibiting employers from discriminating against natural hair styles by amending the state anti-discrimination statute’s definition. The amended definition of “race” includes “ethnic traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” This includes wigs, head wraps, and hairstyles such as braids, cornrows, locs, afros, and more. Employers should review workplace policies and train managing staff for compliance with the new rules.
Allegheny County, PA: Paid Sick Leave May be on the Horizon
Allegheny County recently passed a paid sick leave initiative, but it was vetoed on the basis that the Allegheny County Health Department should initiate the bill before the County Council votes on it so as to withstand any future legal challenges. The paid sick leave would have applied to employers with more than 25 employees and given employees 40 hours of paid sick leave. The legislation is expected to be resurrected later this year following proper protocols.
Dallas, TX: Paid Sick Leave Permanently Blocked
As of March 31, 2021, the Dallas paid sick leave law is permanently blocked from going into effect. A federal district court in Texas stated that the city’s law is preempted by the state’s Minimum Wage Act and is therefore unconstitutional. This is the first final ruling on the local paid sick leave laws in Texas; Austin and San Antonio’s paid sick leave laws are still holding under preliminary injunctions.
San Antonio, TX: Paid Sick Leave Preemption Upheld
On March 1, 2021, a Texas Court of Appeal upheld a preliminary injunction against San Antonio’s paid sick leave law stating that it was preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. This ruling came after San Antonio revised its ordinance to attempt to pass judicial review. The local sick leave law was set to take effect in 2019, but never did because of pending litigation. Employers should continue to look for updates on this issue.
West Virginia: Enacts COVID-19 Shield Law
On March 11, 2021, West Virginia enacted the COVID-19 Jobs Protection Act (SB 277) providing businesses and employers with liability protection from COVID-19 claims. Specifically, for employers, the Act limits remedies to COVID-19 employment injuries to workers’ compensation benefits. The Act also provides protections to businesses generally, except for knowingly reckless or malicious behavior. The Act is retroactive to January 1, 2020.
Wisconsin: Employers Have Immunity from COVID-19 Liability
On February 27, 2021, the Wisconsin legislature enacted Stat. § 895.476, which gives businesses and employers immunity from civil liability for death or injury to anyone caused by an act or omission related to COVID-19 exposure, except in the case of reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct. The immunity applies to lawsuits filed after February 27, 2021, for claims that accrued on or after March 1, 2020.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
© 2021 ManagEase