April 1, 2021

COVID-19 and State Updates

U.S. Federal Updates

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

At the beginning of the year, USERRA was amended to extend employment and reemployment rights to members of the National Guard who perform state active duty. “State Active Duty” means training or other duty, other than inactive duty, performed by a member of the National Guard of a state, and under the authority of the Governor. This does not include duty performed under federal authority or when a National Guard member is entitled to pay from the Federal Government. Other stipulations:

  • Duty must last for 14 days or more; and
  • Is in response to a national emergency declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act, or
  • Is in response to a major disaster declared by the President under the Stafford Act.

The Veterans Employment and Training Service arm of the Department of Labor has released FAQs.

U.S. State Updates


City of Sacramento

The Sacramento City Council has passed an ordinance that extends the Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act through June 30, 2021. For a refresher, the details of the law are in this newsletter.

City of Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance has been extended to match the sunset date for the American Rescue Plan Act which is currently September 30, 2021. For a refresher on this ordinance, please refer to previous newsletters here and here or at the city’s website. An updated flyer is now available to post at the worksite or via electronic means.


Paid Leave Program

If you have any employees in Connecticut, Q1-2021 contributions for the new Paid Leave Program (benefits available January 1, 2022) must be submitted by April 30, 2021. Payments can be made through the Connecticut Paid Leave website. If you have yet to register, you can do so here.


Military Leave – U.S. Coast Guard

Governor Reynolds signed HB 200 into law last month which amends the state’s military leave law to include members of the United States Coast Guard (regular, reserve, or auxiliary members). The law already covers members of the National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and U.S. Armed Forces. Upon return from duty, employees must be reinstated to the same position, or a position with the same level of seniority, status, and pay. Employees must provide evidence of satisfactory completion of duty or service and that the employee is still qualified to perform the duties of their position.


Leave for Adoptive Parents

The Commonwealth passed HB 210 that requires employers to grant equal leave and benefits for adoptive parents as they do for birth parents. The leave is available for parents who are adopting a child under the age of ten. Further, the law does not apply to an adoption of fictive kin (based on social ties rather than by blood or marriage), step-parent, step-sibling, blood relative, including a relative of halfblood, first cousin, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, and a person of a preceding generation (denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great), or a foster parent who adopts a foster child who is already in their care.

New York

Paid Vaccination Leave Law

The New York Department of Labor has provided guidance (including FAQs) regarding the Paid Vaccination Leave law that was signed into law on March 12, 2021. One quick note:

  • Employers can require notice from employees as well as proof of vaccination (keep confidentiality and ADA requirements in mind, see section K of guidance from the EEOC).


Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)

Last year, Oregon was one of the many states that passed temporary laws or amendments to current laws due to the unexpected impact of COVID-19. In March of 2020, the Bureau of Labor and Industries adopted a temporary rule to allow an OFLA-eligible employee to use sick child leave if the employee’s child’s school or place of care was closed in conjunction with a statewide public health emergency declared by a public health official. A second temporary rule was enacted last September that provided clarification regarding definitions used in the original administrative order. The temporary rule was due to expire last month but has since been made permanent. The permanent administrative order can be found here.

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