Coronavirus Context

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions taken across the board by federal, state and local governments as well as businesses, sports leagues, educational institutions and others, ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ seems to involve the recently declared pandemic in some shape, manner or form. Historically, we have tried with…

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Paid Sick Leave Mandates

US House leadership has introduced legislation that was to be voted yesterday that in the face of the coronavirus, would mandate paid sick leave for all Americans, among other provisions. As to the sick leave mandate, the initial draft of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act would mandate up to 14 days of paid sick…

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Paid Sick Leave Without the Mandate

Regardless of the prospect of government mandates, a number of private businesses have recently decided for their own reasons (coronavirus or otherwise) to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees.  Darden Restaurants, parent company of the Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille and other brands, announced this week that it will now provide paid…

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NJ Senate Passes Plastic Bag Ban

Resurrecting an issue that has popped up around the country over the past few years, the state senate last week passed legislation that would outlaw single use plastic bags as well as paper bags in New Jersey.  The legislation, SB 865, which requires a warning for first offenses, but then provides for a fine of…

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DC Council Pushing Cash-out Option

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus and cancelled events all across the country as well as ‘social distancing’ and business hardships resulting from the pandemic, the DC city council is advancing an ordinance that mandates additional benefits for employees in firms with 20 or more workers.. The Transportation Benefits Equity Act, proposed by councilmembers Charles…

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San Francisco Approves Vacancy Tax

Voters in San Francisco last week approved Proposition D, a ballot question that will punish commercial property owners with an additional tax for property left vacant for more than 6 months. The new tax measure, which required a two-thirds vote to be enacted was supported by over 69% of the voters in the City by…

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Maine Latest to Consider Overtime Adjustment

Maine lawmakers held a work session yesterday on a bill that would dramatically increase the overtime threshold in the state. LD 402 would guarantee overtime pay for all Maine workers earning less than $55,000 per year, a significant increase over the current threshold of $36,000 per year. The bill, currently pending in the Committee on…

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AFL-CIO Supports and Opposes Federal Help

The old adage that ‘it depends on whose ox is being gored’ sprung to mind when we read the position of the AFL-CIO relating the coronavirus economic recovery steps floated by the Trump administration this week. True to form, the national federation of organized labor was totally supportive of proposed emergency paid leave benefits for…

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Strong Economy – Through February Anyway

We all know how the economy has tanked over the past week or so as a result of the coronavirus, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it was still going gangbusters through February. The BLS reported the addition of 273,000 new non-farm jobs in February with the unemployment rate remaining steady at…

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The Coronavirus & Employment

As more news of the coronavirus spreading across the globe is reported, it seems timely to review some of the information available about Covid-19 (the formal name for the virus) and what steps employers should consider taking to protect themselves, their employees and their business to minimize the risk of contagion. In that regard, we…

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