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Employment Law

California’s COVID-19 Workplace Requirements Continue to Evolve

Emily Zhang Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2024 On October 13, the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) issued a change to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Covid-19 emergency standard and issued a revised proposal for the non-emergency standard. The order updates the definition of “close contact” …
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New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Issues Interim Guidance on Workplace Impairment

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (the Commission) recently issued interim guidance on the workplace drug testing provisions of the state’s recreational cannabis law. The guidance is meant to act as a placeholder until the standards for Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert (WIRE) certification are published, which outlines how employers should respond when employees are suspected of marijuana impairment. The interim guidance confirms that an employee’s off-duty use of cannabis cannot be the reason for any adverse employment action, but employers are allowed to terminate workers who are under the influence during work hours.

Navigating the Return to the Workplace and the ADA

Despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, many Americans are still returning to the office. Kastle Systems, a large security services provider, reported that an average of 32.1 percent of employees across ten big cities were returning to work as of August 11, 2021. On August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) granted full approval to Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. Polls have shown that the FDA approval will lead to an increase in vaccinations. While many people are not going back to the office, most Americans do have plans to return to work. As a result, employers are working to create return-to-work plans, while employees are left wondering about the extent of their rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) covers employers with 15 or more employees, including government employers, agencies, and labor organizations. The ADA imposes restrictions on the amount and type of medical information that an employer may obtain from an employee or applicant in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of a disability. The ADA has been dissected to better understand the regulations that govern the return to the workplace.

Colorado’s New Employment Regulations Provide More Protections to Employees During the Pandemic

Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (“COMPs Order”) #37 has replaced COMPS Order #36 (2020), which substantially expanded coverage in meals and break requirements, minimum wage and overtime requirements to almost every private employer in Colorado. The changes are designed to provide consistency between minimum wage, overtime and paid sick leave standards under the new Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”). Some changes include increasing Colorado’s minimum wage, making exemptions to COMPs #37 more stringent, and continuing paid sick leave benefits through 2021 due to the pandemic. These new employee-friendly adjustments have been adopted and became effective on January 1, 2021.