L&E Global
We are pleased to present you with the L&E Global Employment Law Tracker for May 2020, our monthly bulletin specifically designed to help employers stay up-to-date on the latest global workplace trends.
L&E Global, together with our member firms, are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis for the latest workplace law developments, in order to respond effectively to the needs of our clients and to help see them through this unprecedented threat to the global economy.
L&E Global launches dedicated microsite: Coronavirus in a Flash
In the context of this global public health and sociodynamic crisis, we recently launched our dedicated CORONAVIRUS IN A FLASH microsite, a virtual COVID-19 crisis resource centre for employers affected by the pandemic. Please bookmark the site in your browser.
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ArgentinaAustraliaBelgiumBrazilCanadaChileChinaEuropean UnionFranceGermanyIndiaItalyJapanLuxembourgMexicoThe NetherlandsPolandPortugalQatarRomaniaSpainSwitzerlandUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited States

ARGENTINA • Allende & Brea

Temporary Prohibition of Dismissals due to COVID-19 Emergency Applies to Employees in Trial Periods

Labour Court found that, although there is a principle of freedom of contract, with the consequent right to terminate employment without cause and without paying compensation during the trial period, in the extraordinary context of the COVID-19 emergency, the protection of employees must prevail. » Read More

SRT issues Protocol with Recommendations for Prevention of COVID-19

The Crisis Committee of the Superintendent of Occupational Risks (hereinafter “SRT”), prepared a Protocol for the prevention of COVID-19, which includes recommendations and prevention measures designed to face the gradual normalisation of the SRTs tasks, anticipating the cessation of social, preventive and compulsory isolation, ordered by the Executive, and seeking the application of the recommendations issued by the health authority. » Read More

Extension of Prohibition of Dismissals and Furloughs

Decree 487/2020 has extended the prohibition on dismissals, as well as the prohibition of furloughs on grounds of force majeure, or lack or reduction of work, until 30 July 2020. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Argentina, please contact Nicolás Grandi (Partner) of Allende & Brea at ng@allendebrea.com.ar or visit www.allendebrea.com.

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AUSTRALIA • Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Full Bench decision finds that delivery drivers on ‘Uber Eats’ platform are not employees

A recent Full Bench decision of the Fair Work Commission has found that an Uber Eats delivery driver was not an “employee” of Uber or its affiliated companies, and therefore was not entitled to an unfair dismissal remedy under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In reaching this decision, the Full Bench considered the control that delivery drivers have over their hours of work and the work they accept, the fact that delivery drivers could also work for competitor food delivery companies, and the absence of a requirement that delivery drivers wear uniforms or use Uber logos. This decision is now the highest Australian authority on whether workers in the gig economy are classified as employees. » Read More

COVID-19 and Your Business

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly impacted Australian workplaces. Almost 90% of Australian businesses are expected to be impacted by COVID-19 in the coming months. Many employers are looking at significant changes to their workforce in response to COVID-19. As such, we recommend that employers consider implementing certain measures in accordance with their legal obligations. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Australia, please contact Michael Harmer (Partner) of Harmers Workplace Lawyers at michael.harmer@Harmers.com.au or visit www.harmers.com.au.

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BELGIUM • Van Olmen & Wynant

Social Elections Officially Postponed due to Coronavirus

The Act of 4 May 2020 confirms the suspension of the social elections procedure and postpones the election dates to November 2020. » Read More

Corona Parental Leave

The current COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that combining work and the care for young children is far from easy. In order to tackle certain of the accompanying difficulties, the Council of Ministers reached an agreement on the so called “corona parental leave”, wherein employees can request to reduce their work performance if they have at least one child who has not yet reached the age of 12 years (e.g. 21 years for children with disabilities). This scheme also applies to adoptive and foster parents. » Read More

Reopening The Economy: The Belgian Exit Strategy and the Guidelines to Reopen Your Company

On 24 April 2020, the Belgian government announced its exit strategy to reopen the Belgian economy and society in May and June. The exit strategy occurs in different phases. These phases will start on the condition that the statistics regarding COVID-19 are favourable. More specifically, the experts and the government will constantly evaluate the situation, mostly by analysing the intake of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. If this intake number is not low enough, a new phase can be postponed or existing measures can be reversed. None of the dates mentioned below are set in stone. This article will focus on the details of this strategy which are important for employers. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Belgium, please contact Chris Van Olmen (Partner) of Van Olmen & Wynant at chris.van.olmen@vow.be or visit www.vow.be.

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BRAZIL • TozziniFreire Advogados

Effects of Tribunal’s Decision on COVID-19 and Occupational Diseases

In a judgment concerning whether an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis will be automatically treated as an occupational disease, it was decided that cases of contamination by COVID-19 will not be considered occupational, since, as a rule, there is no presumption of a causal link between the disease and the professional activity performed. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Brazil, please contact Mihoko Sirley Kimura (Partner) of TozziniFreire Advogados at mkimura@tozzinifreire.com.br or visit www.tozzinifreire.com.br.

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CANADA • Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti

Can the Emergency Response Benefit be “Topped Up”?

The Federal Government has made it clear that supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) plans will not interact, to any extent, with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). However, employers will be able to top up employees’ CERB payments, without registering a SUB Plan, by an amount of up to $1,000.00 in each of the specified eligibility periods. » Read More

Reopening Ontario – Stage 1: Select Businesses Reopen May 16 and 19

On 14 May 2020, the Ontario Government announced that as part of Stage 1 of its reopening Ontario plan, certain retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers will be permitted to open, or expand their services, on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The Government also announced that additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday,16 May 2020 at 12:01 a.m. » Read More

Emergency Student Benefit Act Receives Royal Assent

Since our last update (of 24 April 2020) Parliament passed An Act respecting Canada emergency student benefit (coronavirus disease 2019) (CESB Act). The CESB Act finalises the details of benefits available to eligible students otherwise ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI) and are unable to work due to COVID-19.. » Read More

The Perils of Unpaid Overtime: Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

In a recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that the defendant bank breached the overtime obligations prescribed by federal labour law, as it failed to properly record actual hours worked and made overtime compensation contingent on pre-approval. This decision underscores the importance of ensuring that hours of work are properly recorded, and that overtime is paid in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Canada, please contact Robert Bayne (Partner) of Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti at rbayne@filion.on.ca or visit www.filion.on.ca.

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CHILE • Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos

Special Law enacted to Protect Jobs during the COVID-19 crisis

In the context of the COVID-19 emergency, a special law was passed in April 2020 to protect job positions (the “Law”). Under this Law, which will be in force for 6 months, companies can apply to suspend labour contracts (rather than terminate the contracts) as well as reduce salaries and working time arrangements, and employees can receive subsidies from the statutory unemployment insurance system. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Chile, please contact Ricardo Tisi (Partner) of Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos at rtisi@cariola.cl or visit www.cariola.cl

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CHINA • Zhong Lun Law Firm

Shanghai Releases Guiding Opinions for Labour Disputes influenced by the COVID-19 crisis

The Shanghai High People’s Court and the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau jointly released guiding opinions for courts of all levels in Shanghai, to hear labour dispute cases influenced by the COVID-19 crisis. » Read More

Special Law Enforcement Inquiries aim to Improve Order in the Human Resources Market

A new Circular requires the Human Resources and Social Security departments, and Market Regulation departments in various provinces, to launch special law enforcement inquires in order to rectify illegal actions that infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of both employers and employees. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in China, please contact Carol Zhu (Partner) of Zhong Lun Law Firm at carol.zhu@zhonglun.com or visit www.zhonglun.com.

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EUROPEAN UNION • Van Olmen & Wynant

CJEU interprets Exclusion of Homosexual Candidate-Employees by Potential Employer as Discrimination

In a judgement of 23 April 2020, the Grand Chamber of the CJEU confirmed the interpretation that an Italian lawyer, who publicly claims to never employ homosexual persons in his firm, can be condemned because of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in European Union, please contact Chris Van Olmen (Partner) of Van Olmen & Wynant at chris.van.olmen@vow.be or visit www.vow.be.

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FRANCE • Flichy Grangé Avocats

Appellate Court restricts Amazon’s Operations pending Implementation of COVID-19 Protection Measures

The Versailles Court of Appeal confirms the decision limiting the activities of Amazon France, pending a risk assessment with the works council, in order to implement COVID-19-related health and protection measures in the workplace. » Read More

Employers granted option to pay exceptional Purchasing Power Bonus to those who worked during COVID-19 epidemic

The possibility of paying the exceptional “purchasing power bonus” that was put in place last year, has been renewed for 2020. Furthermore, employees who worked on site during the coronavirus pandemic are now eligible for the bonus. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in France, please contact Joël Grangé (Partner) of Flichy Grangé Avocats at grange@flichy.com or visit www.flichygrange.com.

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GERMANY • Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law

Government reacts to COVID-19 crisis

The German government has taken various measures to respond to the corona crisis. An overview of the most important employment law-related changes in connection with COVID-19 provides, among others, that the economic consequences shall be reduced as much as possible. » Read More

Wearing Face Masks in the Office

Face masks can contribute to the control of the coronavirus. Can employers prohibit the wearing of masks at the workplace or are they obliged to make the wearing of masks compulsory? » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Germany, please contact Dr. Tobias Pusch (Partner) of Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law at pusch@pwwl.de or visit www.pwwl.de.

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INDIA • IndusLaw

Standard Operating Procedures to Restart Aviation Industry

In March 2020, the Government of India initiated a nationwide lockdown, limiting movement of the general public as a preventive measure to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have since been revised, just recently in early May, to stipulate that the lockdown would cease on 17 May 2020. Following this announcement, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued a Circular outlining the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Exit Strategy for Airports, Airlines and Passengers. Given the extent of the COVID-19 crisis, these SOPs are a step in the right direction with an aim to reduce the risk of the further propagation, while enabling the restart of aviation in India. These guidelines, along with new processing and distancing requirements, will most likely necessitate the reduction of flight handling capacity of the airports until such norms remain in place. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in India, please contact Avik Biswas (Partner) of IndusLaw at avik.biswas@induslaw.com or visit www.induslaw.com.

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ITALY • LabLaw

The so called ‘April Decree’ would Extend the Ban on Dismissals for Workers affected by Coronavirus

While the initial ban (under Law Decree n. 18 dated 17 March 2020, which entered into force on the same day) sought to prevent employers intending to commence with collective dismissals, or individual dismissals due to objective justified reasons (i.e. economic reasons), was intended to last for a period of 2 months, whereas the draft of the new ‘April Decree’ includes provisions that would extend the ban on dismissals for an additional 5 months. The Italian parliament is presently discussing the draft of the April Decree. Should the decree be approved in its current form, the likely outcome is that it will spark debate concerning its compliance with Italy’s Constitution. » Read More

COVID-19 e-book – Health Emergency and Personnel Management in Italy

LABLAW is pleased to offer its professional insights on the e-book COVID-19: Health Emergency and Personnel Management in Italy, which provides an update on the most recent regulations concerning the management of the workforce in Italy. This e-book has been updated to include the many changes to workforce management in Italy brought about by the “Cura Italia” decree as well as the DCPM – Decreto del President del Consiglio dei Ministri of 26 April 2020, which implemented the new rules of Phase 2 for the easing of the pandemic lockdown. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Italy, please contact Luca Failla (Partner) of LabLaw at l.failla@lablaw.com or visit www.lablaw.com.

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JAPAN • Atsumi & Sakai

Japan: COVID-19 and Employment Law – Some Key Questions

The sudden onset of the Covid-19 emergency has caused significant disruption across swathes of the Japanese economy and raised novel and urgent questions for employers as they seek to handle the challenges they face, whilst balancing the protection of their business and their obligations to their workers. This memorandum briefly addresses a number of key employment law issues and questions. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Japan, please contact Tatsuo Yamashima (Partner) of Atsumi & Sakai at tatsuo.yamashima@aplaw.jp or visit www.aplaw.jp.

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LUXEMBOURG • KLEYR | GRASSO

COVID-19 - Suspension of Deadlines for Public Contracts

The general measures for suspending time limits during a state of crisis adopted by the Grand-Ducal regulation of 25 March 2020, have just been supplemented by specific measures applicable to public procurement. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Luxembourg, please contact Christian Jungers (Partner) of KLEYR | GRASSO at christian.jungers@kleyrgrasso.com or visit www.kleyrgrasso.com.

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MEXICO • De La Vega & Martinez Rojas S.C.

COVID-19 as an Employment Disease

In addition to the mechanism implemented in the workplace by both the Government and companies, in order to protect employees from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) issued an ordinance regarding the criteria necessary to determine that COVID-19 is an employment-related disease, contracted by exposure, whether in or out of the workplace, and as a result of the activities carried out by the employee. » Read More

COVID-19 fosters Digital Offices

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, companies will have to rethink the way in which they conduct labour relationships and make their hiring models more flexible in order to resume activities. The home office mode was widely adopted during the health emergency, but it will also remain as one of the main alternatives for companies in the return into the new normality. Employers will therefore consider migrating to a concept known as Smart Working, a model that incorporates technology in order to facilitate connectivity outside the office and demands better work management. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Mexico, please contact Oscar De La Vega (Partner) of De La Vega & Martinez Rojas S.C. at ODelaVega@dlvmr.com.mx or visit www.dlvmr.com.mx.

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THE NETHERLANDS • Palthe Oberman

Employment Law Chronicle 2020

The Employment Law Chronicle provides an overview of developments in Dutch employment law between 1 January 2019 and 1 March 2020. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the Netherlands, please contact Christiaan Oberman (Partner) of Palthe Oberman at oberman@paltheoberman.nl or visit www.paltheoberman.nl.

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POLAND • Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm

Chief Labour Inspector’s guidelines regarding Safe Return to Work

As with many other European countries, Poland has made a concerted effort to revive the economy and social life, after almost two months of stagnation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. At the same time, both public and private entities are trying their best to assure that the slow return to “normal” will be as safe as possible. Therefore, on 6 May 2020, the Chief Labour Inspector in Poland issued new guidelines regarding the safe return to work for employers, entrepreneurs and other entities organising work in order to reopen their businesses. » Read More

Amendment to the COVID-19 Act introduces new Working Conditions related to Employing Foreigners

The lower house of parliament in Poland (the Sejm) adopted a bill of 14 May 2020, instituting changes related to employing foreigners, the most important of which concern the possibility of altering the working conditions of foreigners in the event of the employer taking advantage of the co-financing provided for in the Act, without the obligation to obtain additional documents legalising their work. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Poland, please contact Prof. Arkadiusz Sobczyk (Partner) of Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm at arkadiusz.sobczyk@sobczyk.com.pl or visit www.sobczyk.com.pl.

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PORTUGAL • Morais Leitão

Temporary Framework for COVID-19 State Aid Expanded

As there may be a need for Member States (MS) to provide public support in the form of equity, hybrid capital instruments and/or other non-equity measures which increase the capacity to take on debt, such as subordinated debt, the Commission (COM) proposed to include these measures in the temporary framework (TF). However, as these instruments are more valuable for recipients and tend to have a greater magnitude, and are typically granted to fewer undertakings, they are, from the viewpoint of the COM, more distortive of competition than the other types of liquidity aid foreseen under the TF, and therefore require qualified limitations and conditions. The resulting complexity of discussions between COM and MS is indicated by the fact that, although the consultation was initiated on 9 April 2020, it took until 8 May for the amendment to be adopted. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Portugal, please contact Pedro Pardal Goulã (Partner) of Morais Leitão at pgoulao@mlgts.pt or visit www.mlgts.pt.

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QATAR • Clyde & Co

Immigration Update on COVID-19 Measures

Visa waiver holders permitted to stay in the country. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Qatar, please contact Sara Khoja (Partner) of Clyde & Co at sara.khoja@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.

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ROMANIA • Magda Volonciu & Asociatii

Romania is Now under a State of Alert following the State of Emergency that ended on 14 May

The State of Emergency that was first declared on 16 March 2020 by the President, ended on 14 May. The next day however, the National Committee for Emergency Situations declared a National State of Alert, which was supplemented by new legislation on measures that can be taken during the State of Alert. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Romania, please contact Magda Volonciu (Partner) of Magda Volonciu & Asociatii at magdavolonciu@volonciu.ro or visit www.volonciu.ro.

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SPAIN • Suárez de Vivero

Support Measures adopted for Vulnerable Workers, Families and Groups affected by COVID-19

Due to the emergency situation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish Government recently adopted a series of measures to support vulnerable workers, families and groups affected by this crisis. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Spain, please contact Iván Suárez (Partner) of Suárez de Vivero at isuarez@suarezdevivero.com or visit www.suarezdevivero.com.

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SWITZERLAND • Humbert Heinzen Lerch

Coronavirus Rules Apply to the Temporary Home Office

Thousands of employees are currently working from home at the behest of employers, raising questions about the costs involved, health protection measures and reasonableness. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Switzerland, please contact André Lerch (Partner) of Humbert Heinzen Lerch at Lerch@hhl-law.ch or visit www.hhl-law.ch.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES • Clyde & Co

Presidential Directive introduces new COVID-19 Emergency Measures

Under this new Directive, employers may introduce a number of emergency measures, without the employee’s consent, and with five days' notice. Also, provisions regarding workplace health and safety will not apply during the Emergency Period (effective from 21 April 2020 until 31 July 2020). The cancellation of a residence visa of terminated employees may be deferred and any COVID-19-related sick leave taken during the Emergency Period will not be counted towards the employee’s sick leave entitlement; meanwhile, the employer should pay sick pay at 100% of the employee's daily wage. » Read More

Latest Circular aims to Stabilise Workforce Conditions in the Private Sector during COVID-19 crisis

Newly released Circular No. 4 of 2020, concerning the stability of the national workforce conditions in the private sector, during the period implementation of precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, restricts the ability to restructure UAE national workforces, by requiring employers to undertake specific measures in order to re-organise. » Read More

COVID-19 Curfew Measures

Dubai eases its 24-hour curfew, just as a daily curfew is imposed nationwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Arab Emirates, please contact Rebecca Ford (Partner) at Clyde&Co at Rebecca.Ford@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.

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UNITED KINGDOM • Clyde & Co

COVID-19 Update on Employee Holiday Issues

The government has published new guidance on holiday entitlement and pay, providing some clarity on many of the issues employers have been asking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the guidance has no force in law (and an employment tribunal would not be required to follow it when deciding holiday disputes) it is nevertheless useful for employers to bear in mind when approaching holiday issues. In this article we look at some of the frequently asked questions that employers have about employee holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new guidance in mind. » Read More

COVID-19 – Life and Employment after Lockdown

The whole country is waiting for lockdown to be relaxed and to better understand what our “new normal” will look like. Keeping the workplace safe will be at the forefront of people’s minds as we come out of lock down. And with rumours that there has been a rise in health and safety cases referred to the employment tribunals this April, employers will be keen to ensure that risks are managed carefully. This article considers the key issues employers need to be thinking about to keep their workers safe. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Kingdom, please contact Robert Hill (Partner) at Clyde & Co at robert.hill@clydeco.com or visit www.clydeco.com.

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UNITED STATES • Jackson Lewis

Presidential Proclamation Suspends Entry by Certain Immigrants for 60 Days during COVID-19 Crisis

A temporary suspension of entry by certain employment-based, family-based, and other immigrants has been enacted. In this article, we present analysis of the presidential proclamation suspending immigration to the United States. » Read More

EEOC Releases Guidance on Workplace Reasonable Accommodations in New COVID-19 World

In late-March and April 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released guidance addressing various questions with answers concerning COVID-19 and related workplace disability-related issues. A few of the questions relate to the anticipated gradual return to the office of employees temporarily working remotely due to the pandemic as the crisis subsides. » Read More

Universities Sued for Closing Campuses Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

Students at the country’s colleges and universities are challenging their institutions’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis in putative class-action lawsuits seeking reimbursement for tuition, room and board, and more following campus closures due to COVID-19. » Read More

CDC Issues Guidance on Preparing to Reopen Workplaces, Businesses, Schools after COVID-19 Shutdown

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new Guidance with detailed instructions on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes in preparation for reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United States, please contact John Sander (Principal) of Jackson Lewis at john.sander@jacksonlewis.com or visit www.jacksonlewis.com.

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