Here is installment 13 of our series on COVID-related employment law issues. See the other installments on the blog here.
The EEOC has updated its COVID-related guidance here. In particular, note Section G, which is the agency’s view that employers cannot discriminate against older workers merely because they are more at-risk for COVID-19 and its complications.
The City of Los Angeles has added a provision regarding reinstatement of furloughed / laid off employees in certain industries. You can review it here. The covered employers include certain hotels, airport businesses, and janitorial services among others. The ordinance in essence requires covered employers to offer reinstatement to covered workers who were laid off / furloughed after March 4, 2020.
Congress amended the Paycheck Protection Program, the forgivable loan program generally available to employers with fewer than 500 employees. The new law changes a number of rules regarding loan forgiveness and timing. Read the law here. For explanations in lay terms, here is a recent article.
As we have previously noted, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose enacted special paid sick leave provisions, essentially extending the federal FFCRA paid sick leave benefit to larger employers not covered by the federal law. San Francisco’s ordinance was set to expire this month but SF extended the deadline here. San Jose’s and Oakland’s ordinances expire at the end of 2020 currently.
Finally, as employers are re-opening and people are coming back to work, please ensure to check each county’s potentially different requirements regarding matters such as occupancy, required PPE, and the like. Employees may obtain legal protections if they refuse to work on the ground that employers are not in compliance with federal, state, and local rules. Be careful out there.