On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1159 into law, which is effective immediately for all employers. Among other things, the law creates a “disputable presumption” under workers’ compensation statutes for certain employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and establishes reporting requirements on confirmed cases and number of employees. Access the article.

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California’s AB 685, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last week, does two things: (1) it creates an enforceable statewide standard for how employers handle potential exposure to COVID-19 and outbreaks of COVID-19 in the workplace; and (2) it expands the power of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to enforce this standard and […]

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With mass layoffs commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers asked the Internal Revenue Service for advice on how to deal with the partial termination rule relating to employer contributions to their employees’ 401(k) workplace retirement accounts. It’s an obscure issue, but it’s a big deal for the employees that it affects: It could mean thousands […]

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On September 9, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1867, the California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act. According to the law, employers with more than 500 employees nationally, and employers of healthcare-provider and emergency-responder employees previously exempted from Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements, must provide California employees with […]

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Because widespread, rapid COVID-19 testing remains unavailable in many locations, universities have had to find innovative ways to implement testing, tracing and isolation protocols to reduce the risk of transmission among students, faculty and staff. There is no one perfect protocol—all universities are in unchartered waters. But there are a few key components university administrators […]

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by US Congress in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, permits a “qualified individual” to increase the amount they can borrow from a 401(k). Such individuals may borrow 100% of their account balance up to $100,000 (less any outstanding loans). The deadline for taking […]

The post Last Chance for Enhanced COVID-19-Related 401(k) Loans: September 22 appeared first on EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BLOG.


What do unused paid-time-off (PTO) days, student loan debt and the coronavirus have in common? An opportunity for employers to provide financial relief to employees who are increasingly putting off vacations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, Jeff Holdvogt, a partner in McDermott’s Chicago office, […]

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COVID-19 safety plans are a way for employers to demonstrate to their employees, the public and, in certain cases, state governments that they have considered the risks associated with COVID-19 in their workplaces and have developed a response to these concerns. The plans establish and explain the policies, practices and conditions necessary to meet the […]

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Many employers who recently reopened are now facing a new challenge—employee off-duty conduct. At stake are both workplace and customer safety as well as the company’s reputation. A recent webinar featuring McDermott’s Michael Sheehan, Ron Holland, Abigail Kagan and Brian Mead covers various scenarios employers are likely to face and provides practical strategies to navigate […]

The post Off-Duty Conduct: COVID-19 and Social Media Ranting—What’s an Employer to do? appeared first on EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BLOG.


On August 3, 2020, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down four parts of the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Final Rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). A copy of the court’s ruling is available here. The FFCRA provides COVID-19-related sick leave and family leave to employees of businesses with […]

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