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Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

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Michigan Governor Issues Executive Order Creating Protected Class of COVID-19 Positive Employees

In an apparent attempt to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, on Friday, April 3, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36, which provides protection to all employees who stay home when they are at “particular risk” of infecting others with COVID-19. While this latest Order is well-intentioned, as implemented it may create significant impediments for employers who are attempting to staff positions in critical industries, and particularly for private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees who are required to provide benefits under the recent federal paid leave laws. Read More ›

A Timely Reminder: Employee Complaints About Working Conditions Are Protected

As employee complaints about safety and the availability of personal protection equipment (“PPE”) mount, employers should remember that the law protects employees engaged in concerted action. Specifically, the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) protects the right of employees “to engage in... concerted activities for the purpose of... mutual aid or protection.” These protections apply to both unionized and non-unionized employees. Read More ›

In the Nick of Time: Department of Labor Issues Temporary Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, the DOL provided employers with further clarity on the FFCRA by publishing temporary regulations. These regulations will be effective from April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020—the same effective period of the FFCRA. Also relevant to employers, the IRS issued guidance regarding the FFCRA tax credit. As with our other alerts on the FFCRA, the following highlights key aspects of the new regulations: Read More ›

USCIS Extends Office Closures Until May 4, 2020

The USCIS has announced it will extend its suspension of in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) until May 4, 2020. It has also indicated it may extend these closures beyond that date if needed. USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services during these closures. Read More ›

New Wage and Hour Division Opinion Letters Provide Clarity on the FLSA “Regular Rate of Pay” Requirements

Though most employers are focused on COVID-19 issues, employers and the government are still multitasking and addressing other issues. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor is no exception.

Consequently, on March 26, 2020, the WHD issued three opinion letters offering interpretations of the Department’s final rule on the Fair Labor Standard’s Act (FLSA) regular rate requirements. All three involved different types of income and whether or not they must be included in the regular rate of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime pay. Read More ›

As Employers Work Towards Compliance, The Department of Labor Provides Third Guidance Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

It seems the DOL has stopped sleeping these days, but that means more guidance for employers. In its Qs&As 38-59 interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), the DOL shed light on the small business exemption, employees who can be exempted for the FFCRA leave provisions, and the interplay of the FFCRA and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FFCRA takes effect on April 1, 2020, so this guidance is, in a word, timely. Here are some highlights. (Dykema summarized Qs&As 1-14 on March 26, 2020, and Qs&As 15-37 on March 27, 2020.) Read More ›

Coronavirus and Immigration: USCIS Announces Flexibility Regarding Responses to Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny

In response to the coronavirus disease pandemic, the USCIS today announced it will exercise some flexibility regarding responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020. Read More ›

COVID-19 Immigration Updates

Federal authorities have recently issued a large number of new policies, guidance, etc., in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These include the following:

Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures on Applications

The USCIS has announced it will accept application forms with reproduced original signatures. 

It already accepts certain petition forms electronically for processing and this new announcement will now also accept those that have previously required original / “wet ink” signatures.

Petitioners must retain the documents containing the original / “wet ink” signatures because the USCIS can still request these at any time. Read More ›

Question and Answer: Employee Benefits Triage Amid COVID-19

Dykema has launched a COVID-19 Resource Center to keep our clients up to date on the most recent legal, business and health guidance surrounding the novel coronavirus and how to navigate their businesses through uncertain times. Various firm practitioners are providing timely content that aims at providing guidance for employer’s current issues as well as those unforeseen items that have yet to arise. The site is continually being updated, as state and federal authorities provide guidance on a rolling basis. Read More ›

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law, Imposing Paid Leave Requirements On Small And Medium Employers Beginning April 2, 2020

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) a few hours after the Senate approved the bill. Among other things, the new law, with which all employers must comply by April 2, 2020, requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ paid leave to employees who need to take time off because of an actual or potential illness related to COVID-19, to care for family members who are home ill or quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure or to care for children who are home because of school or care provider closures linked to the ongoing global pandemic. The new law also requires employers to provide employees up to 12 weeks' leave, with 10 weeks paid, for employees who have to take time off to care for children who are home because of school or daycare closure. Notably, in a substantial change from the bill passed by the House of Representatives on March 14, 2020 (discussed here), the law does NOT require paid leave for a longer period for employees home sick or self-quarantining because of potential COVID-19 exposure. Read More ›