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The Laboring Oar Blog

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The Laboring Oar® is Greenberg Glusker's employment blog created with the intention of providing the latest employment and labor law trends and updates to help clients remain informed in an ever-changing, dynamic world.

DIR Issues FAQ’s to Give Employers the ABC’s Re: the ETS

If you are trying to fight off the effects of COVID-19 variants in the workplace, the Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) has offered up a bit of alphabet soup in the form of updated ETS FAQ’s, more formally known as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency...
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Reminder: CalSavers Compliance Deadline on June 30, 2022 for Employers with 5-50 Employees

The deadline for California employers with between 5-50 employees to either register for, or opt out of, the  CalSavers Retirement Savings Program  is quickly approaching. As we explained in a previous  blog post , CalSavers is a new, automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA program, designed to expand access to...
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The Feds Say Me Too! In Limiting the Use of Employment Arbitration Agreements

California courts and legislature have been pummeling employers’ ability to require comprehensive arbitration agreements. Well, the federal government has now joined in. In an astounding rare example of legislative bipartisanship, both Congress and the Senate approved the passing of the federal Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment...
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Vaxxed and Unmasked in Los Angeles County

In light of the decreasing rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Los Angeles County is relaxing its current mask mandate. Pursuant to the revised Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Order (the “Revised Order”), effective at 12:01 am on Friday, February 25, 2022, businesses may elect to allow workers...
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A New Variant of California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law Emerges — What Employers Need to Know

On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 114, California’s 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law. Under the new law, employers with 26 or more employees are obligated to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons (“2022 SPSL&rdquo...
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Employers’ Struggles with Religious & Disability Accommodations from COVID-related Policies

The science, guidance, and regulations related to workplace safety policies for the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing (goodbye federal vaccine mandate!). As employers struggle to keep up, they are confronted with the decision of what safety policies to adopt, including, for many, whether to require their employees be vaccinated against...
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SCOTUS Blocks OSHA ETS

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from taking effect for the foreseeable future. The ETS required employers with 100 or more employees to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing policy...
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Happy New… COVID-19 Guidance to Employers Regarding Isolation and Quarantine Periods

If you are looking for a silver lining in the giant Omicron clouds hovering (and surging) over us, we are happy to confirm that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), the California Department of Public Health ("CDPH"), and California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health ("Cal/OSHA") are finally...
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AB 654: Clarification of employers' notification, reporting requirements after COVID-19 exposure in the workplace

Assembly Bill 654, which became effective October 5, 2021, makes notable revisions to an employer's COVID-19 exposure notification and reporting requirements. Last year's AB 685, which was effective January 1, 2021, provided that employers must notify certain employees (including employees of certain subcontractors) when (1) the employees are exposed...
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OSHA ETS Vaccine Mandate Back In Effect (For Now)

Mere moments after we published our most recent client alert, E.L.F. on a Digital Shelf: Employment Law Facts, a Summary of California’s New 2022 Employment Laws , on December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the nationwide stay on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA...
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E.L.F. on a Digital Shelf: Employment Law Facts, A Summary of California’s New 2022 Employment Laws

In preparation for 2022, California employers have an abundance of new laws with which to comply. Below are the highlights curated by our Employment Law Group.  SB 331: The “ Silenced No More ” Bill, Prohibits Confidentiality of Alleged Unlawful Acts in NDAs and Settlement Agreements SB 331, which takes...
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Have Vaccine ‒ Will Mandate?

The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced on August 23, 2021, that Pfizer is the first COVID-19 vaccine receiving full FDA approval. This is a procedural moment of clarity for which employers across the country and especially in California have been waiting. For several months prior to...
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John Hancock, Meet the Digital Age

Best Practices When Obtaining Employee E-Signatures on Arbitration Agreements
Traditionally, a signature affixed to a document indicates that the person who “squiggled” on the document understands and agrees to the terms of the document. However, an electronic signature may not be as easy to authenticate. A California Court of Appeal recently held that an electronic signature did not establish...
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Do You Know WHO is Changing Their Mask Guidance?

The World Health Organization (“WHO”) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (“DPH”) have issued new mask guidance in light of the spreading COVID-19 Delta variant, which is more contagious than other strains of the virus.  On June 25, 2021, Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for...
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Ready, Set, Re-open!

Cal/OSHA Finally Unmasks Revised COVID-19 Prevention Standards for California Employers
With the re-opening of California businesses on June 15, 2021, Los Angeles County “retired” its safety protocols for most industries.  Unfortunately, while businesses opened their doors to the public, California employers remained confounded regarding their obligations to employees when Cal/OSHA announced it would maintain mask mandates despite contrary guidance...
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LA County Issues New Return-to-Work Orders

A Simple 25-Page Order (Plus 32 Different Appendices) Guiding the Reopening of Businesses
This alert is for employers with office worksites in Los Angeles County. Effective May 6, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” entitled the “Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID-19” order. And if you think...
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Cal/OSHA Evolves with COVID-19: CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS MUST ALSO

From January 1, 2021, until January 1, 2023, Cal/OSHA has been empowered to issue citations more quickly for serious violations related to COVID-19. Employers throughout California are starting to feel the sting of the heightened Cal/OSHA regulations related to COVID-19 through employee class actions and Private Attorney General Actions...
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New COVID-Related Sick Leave Obligations for California Employers

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (SB95), which adds sections 248.2 and 248.3 to the California Labor Code, extending and expanding COVID-related sick leave obligations for all California employers of 26 or more employees. The law, known as the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law...
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DFEH Issues Pointed Guidance About Making Vaccines Mandatory for Employees

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has updated its  COVID-19 guidance (effective 3/4/21, replacing its previous version from 7/24/20). Use Caution If You Are Considering Making Vaccines Mandatory The DFEH now says employers may require employees to receive a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccination. We suspect...
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Accidental Joint-Employment Relationships: Getting More Than You Bargained For

Whatever your business—design, production, talent management—you likely focus on your actual core strengths and subcontract labor through outside vendors for work like security, janitorial maintenance, website design. While one of the key advantages of such outside vendors is keeping your own employment workforce lean and manageable, an unfortunate and...
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Make Sure You’re in Good Form!

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has issued some new state forms for employers to provide to employees in 2021.  Please be sure to update any new-hire or other personnel checklists that you might have.* New DFEH Toolkit for California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) Leave and Pregnancy...
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