Wyatt Employment Law Report

Judicial Branch Task Forces Reveal Re-Opening Guidelines

By Marianna Michael

After convening three task forces to determine what measures to take to gradually resume in-person court services, the Supreme Court released its reopening plan on May 15, 2020. The Court’s goal is to implement a limited, phased reopening to allow access to the courts while keeping court personnel and the public safe through social distancing and other precautions.

Starting June 1, 2020, the Court will implement the following measures:
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OSHA Issues Continued Coronavirus Guidance

By Emily Daunhauer

COVID-19 continues to cause concern for employers, but one concern they may be able to let go of is recording each employee diagnosis with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). Following a letter of concern, OSHA has released new guidelines that COVID-19 would not be a recordable injury for most employers and industries.

Apart from employers in Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Correctional Facilities, cases of COVID-19 among staff are only recordable incidents if there is a presumption of work-relatedness. This presumption is designed to prevent employers from investing valuable time determining the source of each COVID-19 infection.

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DOL Releases Families First Coronavirus Response Act Posters

By Michelle D. Wyrick

On March 25, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued notices that employers must post to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).  The DOL has issued one notice for covered private sector employers, which can be found on its website here.  A separate poster for federal government employers can be found here.

The DOL has also posted Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) about the FFCRA’s notice requirement, which can be found on the DOL’s website here.  The FAQs provide useful information, including:
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New Form I-9 Released

By Glen Krebs

On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that the Office of Management and Budget approved on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.

The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.
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By R. Joseph Stennis, Jr. and Marianna Michael 

It is now common knowledge that the World Health Organization (“WHO”) has classified COVID-19 as an international pandemic. This week, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued guidance to employers on implementation strategies to utilize in navigating the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace, specifically how it impacts the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Rehabilitation Act.  While the EEOC continues to enforce the rules and requirements contained under both Acts, the agency also recognizes that its authority “do[es] not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19.”
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Highlights from Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 (Act)

By Mike Fine

Following the passage of H.R. 6201 by the Senate on March 18, 2020, known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, President Trump signed the Act into law shortly thereafter. The Act is the first relief measure passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States; however, it is expected that more aid will be forthcoming.

The Act provides for paid sick leave, free COVID-19 testing, food assistance, unemployment benefits, and implements certain requirements of employers with less than 500 employees. Additionally, the Act makes available a number of tax credits to employers and self-employed individuals to help cover the costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a summary of the relevant provisions of the Act:
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Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission Will Not Enforce Nichols Decision Pending Appeal

By Courtney Samford

On June 25th , 2019, the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission (“Commission”) announced a formal response to the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ holding in Nichols v. Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission that determined employers must have attorney representation during appeal hearings and proceedings.  The Commission has taken the position that while the case is on appeal before the Kentucky Supreme Court, “there will be no changes to the current practice of allowing representation by non-attorneys in these administrative proceedings.​​”