The California legislative year has ended, and lawmakers sent multiple employment bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom for approval, including legislation that strengthens COVID-19 workplace protections, expands family and medical leave rights, and exempts certain workers from the state’s stringent independent-contractor test.

States reported that 881,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Aug. 29, the first full month after the $600 per week enhancement for unemployment expired. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits fell to 13.2 million last week after peaking at nearly 25 million in early May, indicating a slowly improving labor market.

A California appeals court denied a teacher’s whistleblower retaliation claim, finding that he did not suffer an adverse employment action.

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned employers about an ongoing voice-phishing (“vishing”) campaign targeting remote workers.

There is no doubt the summer of 2020 has been memorable, but likely not for overseas jaunts or exotic vacations. Although the CDC recently relaxed its COVID-19 guidance regarding quarantine after travel, it still recognizes: “Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.” While you may recognize the importance of following this advice, your employees may see things differently. In fact, as we head into the Labor Day holiday, some employees may be planning that overdue getaway. This raises questions regarding whether you can – or should – restrict personal travel among your workforce, and whether you can take other steps to ensure a safe workplace during the pandemic. This alert provides the most frequently asked questions employers have regarding this thorny issue and offers practical guidance to navigate the best policies and practices.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued an Opinion Letter on August 31 concluding that, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its implementing regulations, employers are permitted to reimburse employees who use their personal vehicle for work at a “reasonable approximation of actual expenses incurred.” This means that employers do not need to reimburse employees at the IRS mileage rate to meet their obligations under federal wage and hour laws. Given the surge of deliveries of all types of goods in 2020 and the abundance of litigation alleging under-reimbursement of driving expenses, this significant Opinion Letter provides guidance for companies reimbursing their employees for the use of personal vehicles.

It can be frustrating to e-mail your manager for advice but never get a response. Now that many of us are working from home, the number of e-mails we receive is much higher and more are going unanswered. Here are eight suggestions help you get a response from your manager.