Dykema’s Labor & Employment Practice Group created a Q&A overview addressing best practices for employers to consider when businesses return to work. The document discusses frequently asked questions concerning employer recalls, pay and benefits, medical documentation, personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and more.
Continue Reading Employer Considerations for Employee Return to Work

The COVID-19 pandemic brings many increased challenges for employers, including questions regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), complications with layoffs and furloughs, variances in state regulations, and uncertainty of return to work. Dykema canvassed employers to gather collective experience to learn from each other how best to address these various issues and embrace new best practices as businesses adapt to the “new normal.”
Continue Reading Results of Dykema’s 2020 COVID-19 Employer Survey

As Michigan employers begin to think about how many employees to bring back to work, one option to consider is Michigan’s Work Share program, whereby total work hours are spread across a large group of employees as opposed to having fewer employees return to work on a full-time basis.
Continue Reading Bringing Employees Back to Work Post-COVID-19: What Is Michigan’s Work Share Program and Should Employers Take Advantage of It?

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.
Continue Reading DOL Issues More FFCRA Compliance Guidance on Paid Leaves

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

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.
Continue Reading A Timely Reminder: Employee Complaints About Working Conditions Are Protected

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

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

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:
Continue Reading In the Nick of Time: Department of Labor Issues Temporary Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response 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.)
Continue Reading As Employers Work Towards Compliance, The Department of Labor Provides Third Guidance Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act