Coronavirus (COVID-19) and State/Local Updates

June 26, 2020

**July 1st REMINDERS**

July 1st is almost upon us. If you need a refresher of the changes that are effective next Wednesday, see our June 12, 2020 newsletter (specifically, changes to California Paid Family Leave and the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance, District of Columbia, and New Jersey).

Department of Labor (DOL)

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has released a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) regarding eligibility for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Extended Family and Medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as it relates to the closure of summer programs.

The pandemic caused many summer camps and programs to shut down before opening and, in some cases, prior to parents enrolling their children in the programs. The DOL aims to provide clarity when determining whether a camp or program would have been the place of care for an employee’s child.

Rhode Island

As of July 1, 2020, the Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) maximum weekly benefit will increase to $886.42 with the dependent allowance increasing to $1,197.00 (for 5 dependents).

Seattle

Effective July 13, 2020, the Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) for Gig Workers Ordinance (signed June 12, 2020) will temporarily require food delivery network and transportation network companies to provide gig workers working in Seattle (including a work-related stop in the city) with paid sick and safe time. There are a lot of details in the ordinance which is 63 pages. Here are the highlights:

  • The ordinance ends 180 days after either the termination of the Mayor’s civil emergency or the termination of any concurrent civil emergency by a public official in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and applicable to Seattle, whichever is latest.
  • Applies to food delivery network and transportation network companies with 250 or more gig workers worldwide.
  • Covered entities have two PSST accrual options for their gig workers:
    • Provide one day of PSST for every 30 calendar days worked in Seattle since October 1, 2019 (covered entities may subtract the amount of compensation provided to a gig worker for other paid leave used for a PSST purpose between October 1, 2019 and July 12, 2020), or
    • Provide five days on the effective date of the ordinance and then one day for every 30 days worked.
  • Gig workers must be allowed to carry over at least nine days of accrued, unused PSST to the following year.
  • Paid sick time may be used for the following purposes:
    • For a personal mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the gig worker’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or a gig worker’s need for preventive medical care;
    • For care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care of a family member who needs preventive care.
  • Paid safe time may be used for the following purposes:
    • When the covered entity has suspended or discontinued operations by order of a public official, for any health-related reason, to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material;
    • When the covered entity has reduced, suspended, or discontinued operations for any health- or safety-related reason;
    • When the gig worker’s family member’s school or place of care has been closed; and
    • For any of the following reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking:
      • To enable the gig worker to seek legal or law enforcement assistance of remedies to ensure the health and safety of the gig worker or the gig worker’s family or household members;
      • To enable the gig worker to seek treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or to attend to health care treatment for a victim who is the gig worker’s family or household member;
      • To enable the gig worker to obtain, or assist a family or household member in obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social services program for relief from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
      • To enable the gig worker to obtain, or assist a family or household member in obtaining mental health counseling related to an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in which the gig worker or the gig worker’s family or household member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or
      • To enable the gig worker to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the gig worker or gig worker’s family or household members from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Gig workers may use PSST only if they performed work in Seattle within the 90 days prior to their request.
  • PSST must be taken in 24-hour increments.
  • During a civil emergency proclaimed by a public official in response to COVID-19, covered entities may not require verification from a health care provider. Otherwise, if a gig worker uses more than three consecutive days of PSST, reasonable verification may be required without causing undue burden or expense on the gig worker.
  • Covered entities are required to create a written PSST policy as well as provide monthly notifications to gig workers of their average daily compensation, and the accrued, used and available PSST. Additionally, covered entities are required to provide each gig worker with a written notice of rights established by the ordinance and the covered entity’s PSST policy (must be provided in an electronic format).
  • Covered entities must retain records that document their compliance with the ordinance for each worker.

If you have any specific questions related to PSST or anything else covered in this newsletter, please reach out to compliance_services@thelarkincompany.com.

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