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March 2020 Archives

Illinois Employers Need to Understand Changes to Unemployment Insurance Due to Covid-19

In this remarkable era of coronavirus legislative relief from Congress, many new laws are impacting employers. This naturally is very stressful because there is suddenly "a new normal" about so many aspects of the workplace. Employers are being asked to adapt very quickly to a virtual ocean of new legislation, and the unemployment insurance area is one of those areas deeply impacted.

DOL Provides Additional Guidance on FFCRA Obligations

Late Friday, March 27, and again on Saturday, March 28, the Department of Labor added a number of FAQs to its March 24 guidance. Here are some of the highlights, including guidance relating to business closures and layoffs, as well as the relation between emergency public health leave and other leave under the FMLA:

Alert to Illinois Employers: Understanding the New IDES Unemployment Insurance Climate in the Coronavirus Era!

Yesterday, Congressional leaders passed a historic federal stimulus package in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The bill now travels to The House of Representatives for approval before being signed by President Trump. ​ ​ The legislation includes a new pandemic unemployment assistance program, which would provide unemployment insurance benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This includes independent contractors, the self-employed, and gig workers, who typically aren't eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Minnesota Joins Ranks of States With Shelter at Home Orders

Today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-20 requiring all Minnesotans to stay at home other than for specified, limited activities. The order goes into effect this Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m.

FFCRA Poster Now Available

As you are likely aware, the FFCRA requires employers to post a notice explaining the requirements of the new law - but did not have a poster available. It now does. Here are links to both the poster and FAQs concerning it (which includes helpful questions like where/how to post if your employees are all working from home).

US Department of Labor Issues New Guidelines for Employers on COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor has just issued a number of FAQs to clarify an employer's obligations under the Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family Leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A few of the more helpful clarifications are summarized below:

Wisconsin Governor Issues "Safer at Home" Order

Governor Evers has issued his Safer at Home Order, which becomes effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will remain in effect until Friday, April 24, 2020, unless a superseding order is issued. Click here to review the Order and determine whether your business is considered an "Essential Business" allowed to remain open. Stay safe everyone. Flatten the curve.

Executive Summary of Shelter in Place Order

Governor Pritzker's Shelter in Place Order was announced Friday, March 20, 2020 at his press conference shortly after 3:00 pm. It was only later in the day on Friday that the full text was released. Here is an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The fundamental is that all individuals are to stay at home. The Order explains what a person can do outside of the home, such as going to the doctor, grocery store, drugstore, etc.

Illinois Residents Ordered to Shelter in Place due to COVID-19

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued Executive Order 2020-10 which directs Illinois residents to remain in their homes except for essential activites (such as grocery shopping and going to medical appointments), essential government functions or to operate essential businesses and operations from March 21 through April 7, 2020. Non-essential businesses must cease all activities within the state.

For Employers: Coronavirus Leaves and Consequences; Lawful Emergency Payroll Reductions

Employers are scrambling to find an equitable and lawful plan to manage reduced or eliminated revenue resulting from mandated closures, illnesses, and quarantines and to understand newly enacted laws.

Employers: EEOC Guidelines regarding Covid-19

The EEOC has issued the following guidance regarding the difficult issues facing employers in their efforts to identify and control Covid-19. While the ADA still, of course, applies to employers' conduct, limited exceptions have been made to allow employers to, for example, take employees' temperatures to identify those who may have the virus. The guidelines include answers to questions presented to employers during this challenging time (see full pandemic guidelines on EEOC website):

COVID-19 Advisory from the Wessels Sherman Task Force

By its very nature, COVID-19 (coronavirus) presents a rapidly changing, and thus confusing, landscape for employers. Often employers are presented with damned if you do, damned if you don't, scenarios. Our experience has been that the best place to start your decision making is with the basics. While they sometimes may be vague and confusing, governmental advisories can be exceedingly helpful. Here is a current list of good COVID-19 governmental resources:

Employers: Preparing for the Coronavirus/Covid-19

This flu season is here along with a very unwelcome relative: the coronavirus (covid-19). While the impact of the coronavirus in the United States is still unknown, the workplace, (like schools), are places where disease has an opportunity to easily spread; it has been estimated that each infected person will infect 2-3 more people.

Coronavirus - Next Test for Employers

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was originally detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Provence, China, in the early or midpart of 2019 and is now a respiratory disease that has been detected in over 50 locations internationally with at least 137 cases confirmed in the United States and four confirmed in the State of Illinois. In January of this year, the World Health Organization declared that the Coronavirus was "a public health emergency of international concern". The Coronavirus is "a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases". Unfortunately, the new Coronavirus COVID-19 is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans. It may cause mild to severe fever, respiratory problems and stomach-related issues and has caused the worldwide death of over 3,214 individuals.

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