COVID-19 Updates

March 23, 2021

U.S. Federal Updates

Department of Labor – Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently published COVID-19-related blog posts that may be of interest. The first post discusses COVID-19 “Long Haulers” and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides a guide for employees who may have a disability and require an accommodation. “Long Haulers” are those who contracted COVID-19 and continue to experience lasting effects long after their illness has ended. The second post provides some great ideas for accommodating employees who are struggling with long term effects of COVID-19.

U.S. State Updates

California

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Governor Newsom has signed SB 95 into law which will go into effect on March 29, 2021. Our March 18, 2021 newsletter has the details on the law. The California Labor Commission has issued the required poster (as a reminder, the poster may be distributed to employees electronically) and FAQs in record time. Please see question #20 for information around the pay stub requirement.

Illinois

Department of Labor (DOL)

The Illinois DOL has published Employer Guidance: Compensation, Paid Leave and the COVID-19 Vaccine. The focus of the document is on time away from work and pay for employees seeking the COVID-19 vaccination, whether it’s deemed mandatory or optional by the employer. Employers should also allow employees to use sick leave to assist family members seeking vaccination.

New York

Paid Vaccination Leave Law

We wanted to point out an important aspect of SB S2588A (signed into law by Governor Cuomo last Friday). The law grants all employees up to four hours of paid leave for COVID-19 vaccinations, per injection, up to eight hours total.

Canada Provincial Update

Saskatchewan

The launch of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Plan began on March 18, 2021. To assist with the rollout of this program, the Government of Saskatchewan has updated the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to allow for paid time off from work for an employee to get vaccinated. The legislation could be compared to similar provisions allowing residents to vote during a general election.

A new section, 6-22.1, has been added to the legislation to allow Special Vaccination Leave. Under this leave type, workers are eligible for:

  • Three consecutive hours of leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • More than three consecutive hours if the employer determines the circumstances warrant a longer break from work.
  • Continued pay and benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
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