At some point, the biggest American companies are going to tell their employees it’s time to leave home and return to work.
That decision will be fraught with risk without widespread testing for the COVID-19 virus. For some industries, such as Wall Street banks, ubiquitous testing is essential to bringing back their workforce to offices around the globe. For other industries, such as automakers, plans are already being made to open factories as early as May.
The tension between getting up and running as soon as possible versus taking chances with the health of employees is both a moral and a legal quandry. Employers have a relatively low legal risk, but a high reputational one, if they rush people back to the office, said Jonathan Segal, an employment attorney at law firm Duane Morris who specializes in human resources and minimizing companies’ legal and business risks.
To read more of Mr. Segal’s comments, please visit the firm website. To read the full text of the article, please visit the CNBC website.
As you are likely aware, on Thursday, March 19th, by Executive Order, the Wolf Administration ordered the physical location shut down of all “non-life sustaining” businesses in order to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
A list of what qualifies as “non-life sustaining” was published as well as a Frequently Asked Questions document. Some businesses, like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals are very logical, others are a bit more surprising (e.g., beer and liquor sales).
To read the full post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, casinos and racetracks have become the next domino to fall. Ohio, Indiana, Massachusetts, Illinois, Rhode Island, and parts of Pennsylvania have been required to shut down their facilities or keep the total number of individuals present under a designated limit. These announcements came late Friday afternoon after many of the states enforced limiting the number of public gatherings.
To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Joseph Caputi, please visit the Duane Morris Gaming Law Blog.
Travel and quarantine restrictions are being implemented swiftly and without warning around the world. To date, the U.S. government has banned the entry of foreign nationals who have visited China or Iran, but this list could grow. Similarly, thousands in China, Italy and the United States are under mandatory quarantine. As employers implement work from home and travel policies, it is important to consider the impact on foreign nationals with employer-sponsored work status, including those workers on E-3, H-1B, L-1, O-1 and TN visas. In general, polices on remote work, travel, vacation and sick time should be applied equally to all employees regardless of immigration status.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
Spring break is near, and globe-trotting employees soon may return to the workplace from countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department have classified as areas where travelers could be at high risk for contracting COVID-19.
Employers can require workers to stay away from the workplace during the maximum incubation period of the virus—thought to be approximately 14 days—but may decide to not be so strict with employees returning from countries with low-risk assessment levels or low travel-alert levels.
Employers shouldn’t promise employees that they will be paid while in quarantine, said Jonathan Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia and New York City. Whether the waiting period is paid will depend on whether work can be performed at home and the nature of the job classification, such as exempt or nonexempt. Some employers are saying that if employees must wait at home before returning to work, they will still be paid, but not every business can afford that, Segal said.
To read the full article, visit the SHRM.org website.