Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Sep 17 2020
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Address wildfire smoke in safety protocols

Question: Our company is located in an area that has been recently inundated with wildfire smoke. What are some things we can do to help ensure our employees are taking their safety and health into consideration while performing their work activities? Answer: As an employer, you’re required to ensure the health and…

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Sep 17 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

DOL revises and reaffirms FFCRA rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued four revised FFCRA rules, effective September 16, 2020, and updated its FAQs to reflect these revisions. These revised rules are in direct response to a federal court decision that invalidated the previous versions of these four DOL rules on August 3, 2020.…

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Photo of Sean Brown
Sep 17 2020
COVID-19Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 temporary worker housing rules updated

On September 10, 2020, Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and the Department of Health (DOH) extended and modified existing COVID-19 (coronavirus) safety rules for temporary worker housing (TWH) in the agriculture industry. As a reminder, the larger framework for agriculture COVID-19 safety compliance in Washington continues to be Proclamation 20-57.1, and…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Sep 17 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

OREGON: OFLA sick child leave for school closures now permanent

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has made permanent its rule that employees can use the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)’s sick child leave provisions for leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to a statewide public health emergency. As we previously reported,…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
Sep 17 2020
COVID-19Leave LawsSafety and Health  

CALIFORNIA: Bill expands COVID-19 PSL to all California employees

On September 9, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation (AB 1867) that ensures all California employees can take up to an additional 80 hours of paid sick leave for their own health concerns related to COVID-19, if they weren’t eligible for such leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).…

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Photo of Jon Benson
Sep 08 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

The FFCRA and kids’ return to school: What you need to know

Just in time for fall school schedules, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently added three new FAQs on whether employees are entitled to take paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as schools reopen for in-person or virtual instruction. These new FFCRA FAQs (#98-#100) clarify that…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Sep 08 2020
COVID-19Hiring  

Form I-9 remote inspection extended again, through September 19, 2020

The federal Department of Homeland Security has again extended its temporary relaxation of the standards for physically inspecting a new worker's employment eligibility documents when completing the Form I-9. This is the fourth 30-day extension of the relaxed standard, with the new expiration now September 19, 2020. As we originally reported, Homeland Security relaxed the requirement for…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Sep 08 2020
COVID-19  

Homeland Security extends H-2A ability to switch employers

To prevent potential food shortages related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Department of Homeland Security has extended its authorization for foreign temporary and seasonal agricultural workers validly in the United States in H-2A status to switch employers as soon as the new employer submits its own H-2A petition. The workers therefore don’t have…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
Sep 08 2020
COVID-19Leave LawsWage and Hour  

CALIFORNIA: Sonoma County latest to enact emergency EPSL

On August 18, 2020, Sonoma County was added to the list of California localities to enact supplemental emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) related to COVID-19. The urgency ordinance took effect immediately and is set to expire on December 31, 2020 (unless extended), expanding EPSL to employees working in the unincorporated…

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Photo of Sean Brown
Sep 03 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: Interpretive guidance updated for ag COVID-19 safety

On August 28, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released updated interpretative guidance accompanying the current COVID-19 safety requirements for agriculture on which we recently reported. Washington’s employers in the agriculture industry have endured a steady stream of additional requirements and changes around COVID-19 (coronavirus) safety. The good news is the new…

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