OSHA – The agency issued long-awaited workplace safety standards that were expected to cover most workplaces; however, the new rules and guidance only pertain to employers in the healthcare sector. In short, the standards mandate that employers maintain social distancing protocols, make sure that patients are properly screened for virus symptoms, and that workers are provided paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from vaccine side effects as an incentive to get the shot. The labor community has voiced its displeasure that the agency did not release standards that applied more broadly covering most businesses, including restaurants. More details.
Federal Relief – Industry-backed legislation to replenish the Restaurant Relief Fund with $60 billion in additional funding was introduced this week. The program was allocated over $28 billion but funds were depleted within a few weeks. The bill’s backers say that the initial tranche of funding fell well short of the need with operators applying for over $75 billion in funding. More details.
Paycheck Protection Program – The New Hampshire legislature advanced legislation to the governor’s desk to exempt forgiven PPP and EIDL loans from the calculation of gross taxable income. The governor has stated that he will sign the bill. More details.
California – The standards board for California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) continues to send confusing signals to the employer community. The board reversed itself this week (not for the first time) suspending new rules that would have required employees – even those who have been vaccinated – to continue wearing masks indoors if they are around other workers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. The agency’s standards board had initially voted last week to reject the new rules, citing confusion and complaints about the proposal but after deciding the imperfect new rules are better than the current ones – which requires all employees to wear masks even if everyone is vaccinated – the board passed the proposed rules in a second vote. They have now suspended that decision. Withdrawing that worksite rule allows the board to consider changes more in line with the governor’s desire to quickly reopen at its June 17 meeting and potentially have them go into effect by month’s end. More details.
Paycheck Fairness Act – The U.S. Senate voted against taking up a bill that would have made it easier to sue employers over pay discrimination, curb the ability of companies to retaliate and beef up enforcement of existing laws, including a new requirement that businesses submit detailed pay data to the federal government for use in policing pay discrimination laws.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
New Hampshire – The house passed legislation freezing the cash wage for tipped employees at $3.27/hr. The legislation is preemptive, in anticipation of possible federal minimum wage legislation mandating a $15/hr national wage.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Maine – Legislation passed both the house and senate establishing a paid leave study commission to determine the efficacy of establishing a state program.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Oregon – The governor signed child care legislation requiring employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ work schedule availability based on child care needs.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Connecticut – The house failed to take up senate-passed legislation requiring large employers (at least 250 employees, including franchise systems) to provide 14 days advance notice of work schedules before the adjournment of the legislative session.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Connecticut – In the final hours of the legislative session, both the senate and house passed amended “right to recall” legislation which is now headed to the governor’s desk for his expected signature.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Connecticut – The senate unanimously passed house-approved legislation to bolster the state’s insolvent unemployment fund. Among the changes were increases in the taxable wage rates and freezes to the maximum weekly benefit for at least the next four years. The governor has announced his intention to sign the bill.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Oregon – The house passed senate-approved legislation protecting employees against retaliation or discrimination if the employee takes part in protected labor activities such as organizing. The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk for her signature.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Colorado – The governor signed legislation prohibiting a third-party food delivery service from advertising or delivering from a retail food establishment without a written agreement.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Nevada – The governor signed legislation requiring a third-party food platform to enter into agreement with a food business before arranging delivery of orders from that business or listing the business on an application or website.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
Oregon – The governor signed legislation requiring a third-party food platform to enter into agreement with a food business before arranging delivery of orders from that business or listing the business on an application or website.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
New York – The governor extended his current executive order allowing cocktails to-go and home delivery of alcohol until July 5, in part to capture the July 4th holiday.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe
New York – The state liquor authority adopted new rules that will require restaurants with a liquor license to add up all the fees a delivery company charges them each year to ensure that they don’t exceed 10 percent of the restaurant’s annual revenue.To Access Align's Analysis: Log In or Subscribe