Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts by Jon Benson

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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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Aug 06 2020
Q&ALabor Relations  

Q&A: Untangle abusive employee conduct and protected activity

Question: One of our employees posted an abusive and profane message about their supervisor on social media, complaining to coworkers about pay and working conditions. Can we discipline this employee? Answer: Maybe, if you would discipline other employees for using such language at work. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects…

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Jun 18 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

EEOC updates COVID-19 guidance

EEOC updates COVID-19 guidance The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated its technical assistance guidance regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).These new FAQs clarify and update the agency’s guidance on several COVID-19-related issues. No protection for shielding high-risk family members: The guidance clarifies that there’s no protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for an…

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Jun 04 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CDC issues guidance on reopening office workspaces

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published detailed guidance for employers on reopening office buildings. The COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings webpage includes specific steps and tips for employers planning to reopen office buildings. The CDC guidance is organized into the following six categories: Create a…

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May 07 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

CDC issues guidance on cleaning businesses and public spaces

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued detailed instructions on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes to help keep them free of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Much of the focus revolves around developing and implementing plans to maintain spaces in a clean and hygienic…

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Apr 23 2020
COVID-19  

OREGON: Unemployment “waiting week” may be paid retroactively

Although the Oregon Employment Department believes it isn’t feasible to update its computer systems to waive the normal one-week waiting period to obtain unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Oregon Governor Kate Brown says she’ll work with the department to make it happen. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES…

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Apr 16 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

OREGON: COVID-19 workplace safety spot checks are coming

Oregon OSHA recently announced it will begin spot-checking businesses for compliance with social distancing and other safety measures related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is in addition to the more thorough on-site inspections initiated by the agency. The on-site inspections will be driven by complaints from employees, who, as we previously…

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Apr 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Harassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Be careful about treating “high risk” employees differently

Question: Can we exclude employees from the workplace if they’re at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older workers or workers with underlying medical conditions? Answer: In general, no. If your reason for keeping employees away from work is based solely on their membership in a high-risk group based on…

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Apr 03 2020
COVID-19  

Check WARN Act requirements even for short-term layoffs

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many companies are making difficult decisions about layoffs in the face of an uncertain future. Short-term layoffs don’t trigger the 60-day notice requirement under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), but if a layoff extends past six months, it could…

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Mar 27 2020
COVID-19Leave Laws  

Small employers now need to learn about FMLA administration

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 1, 2020, expands the definitions of eligible employee and covered employer under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in a way that will affect employers who previously were too small to be covered by the FMLA.…

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