Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Jackie Marks

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Jun 18 2020
COVID-19DisabilityEmployee BenefitsSafety and Health  

WASHINGTON: Governor extends protections for high-risk workers

On June 9, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee extended the protections for employees who are at a higher risk to contract COVID-19 (coronavirus), specifically those aged 65 and over and those with certain chronic underlying health conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The original proclamation expired…

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May 21 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

Q&A: Dropping below 50 employees impacts FMLA calculations

Question: Due to the recent economic downturn related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), we temporarily laid off a number of employees. Do we count them for purposes of determining if we’re a covered employer (with at least 50 employees) under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? If we drop below 50…

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May 14 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

DOL updates FFCRA paid leave FAQs, May 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its frequently asked questions on paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL added questions #89 to 93. As we previously reported, the FFCRA applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. These new FAQs address COVID-19 leave questions related to domestic…

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May 07 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

WASHINGTON: Governor announces phases for reopening state

On May 4, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee extended the Stay Home — Stay Healthy order through May 31, 2020, and issued the state’s Safe Start plan that sets out the criteria for reopening Washington in phases so as to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (coronavirus). Phase 1 of reopening began May…

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Apr 30 2020
COVID-19  

CDC updates list of possible COVID-19 symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its list of possible COVID-19 symptoms. Previously the agency had listed only fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The new list of symptoms expands “shortness of breath” to include difficulty breathing and adds the following six symptoms: chills, repeated shaking with chills,…

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Apr 14 2020
COVID-19Employee BenefitsLeave Laws  

ALERT: High-risk employees in Washington may take protected leave

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has amended his Stay Home – Stay Healthy order to permit protected leave for employees who are at a higher risk to contract COVID-19 (coronavirus), specifically those aged 65 and over and those with certain chronic underlying health conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The amended order, which was…

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Mar 27 2020
DisabilityLeave LawsWage and Hour  

WASHINGTON: Paid Family and Medical Leave law amended

On March 25, 2020, Governor Inslee signed an amendment to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) program (SHB 2614). This bill doesn’t have anything to do with the current pandemic. Instead, it makes technical corrections to the WPFML program, to ensure the intent of the original bill is intact. The…

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Jan 14 2020
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and Health  

OSHA updates standards on amputation hazards in manufacturing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a directive on December 10, 2019, updating its National Emphasis Program (NEP) focusing agency inspections on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. These updates don’t create any new requirements for employers but focus agency enforcement on these hazards. Among other steps, the directive allows area…

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Jan 02 2020
Q&ADisabilityTermination & Resignation  

Q&A: Mandatory EAP referral doesn’t mean you perceived disability

Question: We have an employee who is acting strangely, including making paranoid comments about coworkers sabotaging her work. I investigated, but found no evidence to support her allegations. The employee continues to complain. Can we require her to contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and attend any counseling sessions recommended…

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Oct 23 2019
 

New Form W-4 coming for 2020

The IRS will issue a newly revised Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, to be used beginning in 2020 to reflect changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and help employees improve withholding accuracy. The redesigned form will no longer use withholding allowances to establish income tax withholding but…

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