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Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

Dykema Labor & Employment Law Blog

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New Version of I-9 Required as of May 1, 2020

Dykema would like to remind U.S. employers that they must use the October 21, 2019, version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form beginning May 1, 2020. Since January 31, 2020, employers were allowed to use either the July 17, 2017, or October 21, 2019, version of the form. These dates are indicated in mm/dd/yy format in its bottom left corner. The Form I-9 is used to confirm the identity and employment authorization of people hired as employees by U.S. employers.  Read More ›

DOL Issues More FFCRA Compliance Guidance on Paid Leaves

Guidance Focuses on Concurrent Leave Issues, Hours to be Paid During Leaves, and Regular Rates of Pay Applicable

Now that covered employers are providing paid leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “FFCRA”), more questions about the FFCRA’s nuances are surfacing. In an effort to further guide employers who are trying to navigate the new law, the Department of Labor has added to its growing list of FAQs about the FFCRA, which includes clarification of some of its earlier answers. The substantive changes are contained in FAQs 80 through 88, in which the DOL focuses on the calculation of available leave time and regular rates of pay to be used for FFCRA paid leaves. The following will highlight these new guidance topics. Read More ›

President Trump Issues Proclamation Barring Intending Immigrants From U.S. for 60 Days

After stating he planned on issuing an Executive Order earlier this week, President Trump yesterday issued a proclamation barring intending immigrants from the United States for 60 days beginning at 11:50 p.m. on April 23, 2020. It states it is intended to help U.S. workers facing high levels of unemployment due to the Coronavirus. Read More ›

Employers Beware: COVID-19 Will Not Excuse Wage or Labor Fixing Agreements

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have made it clear that they will act to protect employees on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. On the one hand, as we explained in a prior client alert, they previously announced pre-clearance procedures and other guidelines intended to make it easier for companies to collaborate in legitimate, pro-competitive ways. In their latest announcement, the DOJ and FTC warned that they would not hesitate to protect all employees from companies that use COVID-19 as an excuse to collude in fixing wages, benefits, hours worked, or other aspects of employment. Given the government’s prior focus on antitrust issues in the labor market, including their prior indication that they will pursue criminal remedies where appropriate, employers must be more careful than ever to ensure that they do not run afoul of antitrust laws in this area. Read More ›

Ironing out the Details: The Department of Labor Updates and Adds to Its FFCRA Guidance Faqs

As employers try to comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements, the Department of Labor has thrown them a curveball by quietly changing the answers to some of its Guidance about the FFCRA as well as adding 19 more FAQs to its prior compendium. These changes and additions focus on a) how an employer’s existing PTO policy may interact with the FFCRA, b) the definition of first responder, and c) the treatment of employees currently on non-FFCRA leaves of absence. Here are some highlights: Read More ›

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 ›