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Arbitration Agreements, Masks, and Supplemental Sick Leave

by Jennifer Shaw | | March 10, 2022

Ok. I am WAY behind writing about recent employment law developments.  I don’t know where the days (or nights!) go…

So, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.” The Act amends the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to render unlawful pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements for sexual assault and sexual harassment claims. What does this mean for you?  If you have an arbitration program in place, you will need to update your arbitration agreement.  Yes, call your lawyer.
  • If you don’t have an arbitration program in place, you may want to implement one, depending on the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana. The Court will hear oral argument on March 30, 2022, to determine whether the FAA requires enforcement of workplace arbitration agreements containing a waiver of claims under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). If the Court sides with employers, this decision will be a game changer. We expect the Court to act before it recesses early this summer.
  • The Centers for Disease Control recently issued new guidance that relaxes face covering requirements for indoor workers. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) subsequently lifted the requirement that unvaccinated employees wear masks indoors. (There are different rules for schools and healthcare settings, among others.) In addition, Governor Newsom issued a new Executive Order eliminating the masking rules in Cal/OSHA’s ETS applicable to unvaccinated individuals. Employers will now follow CDPH and local masking guidance.  Of course, employees may still wear masks at their option, and are required to do so for a total of 10 days if they are exposed to COVID-19.
  • Please distribute a compliant COVID-19 supplemental sick leave policy that complies with SB 114.  (See prior posts.) Several of clients are in trouble for failing to follow the new rules, and it’s not pretty.

Keep your eyes open for upcoming developments.  And, be sure and check out our Public Seminar schedule here. We are offering some cool classes and intensive workshops!

Hope to “see” you soon!


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