The U.S. Department of Labor has delayed a final rule clarifying who is an independent contractor versus an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/R1JLhyTsA8k/dol-officially-delays-independent-contractor-rule.aspx

President Biden wants to “help ensure unemployed Americans no longer have to choose between paying the bills and keeping themselves and their families safe from COVID-19.” Specifically, he has instructed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to consider providing guidance to the state unemployment agencies to make clear that “workers have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health” and can still be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. The DOL has now issued a Program Letter directing state unemployment compensation agencies to implement this provision. But how will the DOL determine what is an unsafe workplace when it comes to COVID-19? Will it require employees to demonstrate “More Than a Feeling”?

In this podcast, Kimberly Doud and Nancy Johnson of Littler’s Orlando office discuss OSHA’s role in enforcement of various COVID-related safety regulations. The conversation also includes some insight into what to expect should OSHA issue an emergency temporary standard by March 15, and some tips on how to prepare for what is likely to come.
  

https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/candid-covid-conversations-osha-enforcement-covid-related-safety

As millions of employees continue to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, our trust in colleagues and leaders may be evaporating. If we can’t see our…

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, employers may want to update their travel policies to comply with evolving federal and state travel restrictions and workplace safety guidelines.

New federal guidance addresses pandemic-related extended deadlines for electing COBRA health care continuation coverage and for filing health plan claims and appeals, for instance, but some warn the new relief will be administratively burdensome for employers and plan administrators.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/Ktqysq5nryQ/agencies-revise-and-complicate-cobra-deadline-extensions.aspx

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a landmark bill that aims to amend several federal laws to prohibit discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act, passed on February 25 by a vote of 224-206, previously passed the House in 2018 only to stall in the Senate. If passed by the Senate this time around, the law would go further than simply codifying the recent Supreme Court decision holding that “sex” includes a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity for purposes of Title VII. It would also add protections against discrimination and segregation on the bases of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity for purposes of accommodations and education. What do businesses need to know about this development?

Space-planning software allows facilities managers to efficiently draw out where employees from different departments will sit to keep them safe and healthy. Other organizations are deploying tools like wearable devices to protect against COVID-19 infections.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/shrm/hrnews/~3/zGjiNBMeOGo/how-ai-wearable-devices-enable-safe-return-to-work.aspx

In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion latest COVID-19 stimulus bill, containing a slew of employment-related initiatives that could have long-term impacts on American workplaces. Next up for the legislation known as the American Rescue Plan: the U.S. Senate, which is aiming to pass some version of the measure before March 14 – the date that a portion of the unemployment benefits from the last pandemic relief bill expire. What do employers need to know about this legislative proposal, which is inching ever-closer to passage?

U.K. employers need to ensure training is regularly refreshed so it remains effective.