U.S. Federal Updates
Department of Labor – Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is having an “ADA Update” webinar on July 13, 2021 to go over the latest developments and tips for compliance as well as answers to tough ADA questions. If you are interested, click here to register.
U.S. State Updates
Santa Clara County
An order last month (see our newsletter) from the Santa Clara County Health Officer required employers to ascertain the COVID-19 vaccination status of all personnel. Initial collection of the vaccination statutes were to be completed by June 1, 2021. Well, the latest order from the County Health Officer is phasing out the requirement mainly due to declining cases and widespread vaccinations. The original order is still in effect for employers that have not completed two rounds of ascertaining vaccination status of personnel (and will remain in effect until such time as the two rounds have been completed). If you’ve completed your two rounds, you’re all set, but be sure to keep your records.
We have yet another COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) ordinance in California. Better late than never? The Marin County Board of Supervisors passed an urgency ordinance effective June 8, 2021 and in effect until September 30, 2021. The ordinance only applies to private employers within the unincorporated area of the county who employ 25 or fewer employees.
Full-time employees may use up to 80 hours of SPSL while part-time employees may use SPSL in an amount no greater than the employee’s average number of work hours in a two-week period (calculated over the prior 6 months). Employers are required only to provide SPSL hours on a one-time basis and may credit the total COVID-19 paid sick leave hours already provided by their employer under the FFCRA or Cal/OSHA regulations.
Employees are to be paid not less than their regular rate of pay, subject to a cap of $511 per day ($5,110 in the aggregate). SPSL is in addition to any paid sick leave or paid time off provided by the employer, and employers may not require an employee to use any other paid leave before SPSL.
Reasons for leave:
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19;
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- The employee needs to care for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, or has been been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- The employee needs to provide care for an individual whose senior care provider or whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation;
- The employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; or
- The employee is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework.
Employers may require employees to identify the reason for which they are requesting leave, but cannot require a doctor’s note or other supporting documentation. Employers may take reasonable measures to confirm an employee’s eligibility for leave.
Employers are required to provide notice to employees of their rights under the ordinance including a posting in English and Spanish in the workplace, on any intranet or app-based platform and/or via email (there is no mention in the ordinance of the county providing a model notice for employers – we have reached out to the county to see if notice will be provided). Employers must maintain a record of each employee’s name, hours worked, and pay rate for at least a three-year period.
Currently, under the Pine Tree State’s Family Medical Leave Act, employees can take leave to provide care for a child, domestic partner’s child, parent, domestic partner, sibling or spouse with a serious health condition. Effective September 15, 2021, employees will also be able to provide care for a grandchild and a domestic partner’s grandchild with a serious health condition. Governor Mills signed LD 61 into law on June 14, 2021.
July is almost upon us and as a reminder, as of July 1st, the Virginia Human Rights Act will include individuals with a disability as a protected class (see our March 18, 2021 newsletter). Employers will need to ensure that their employee handbook includes information about reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities. The same information must be provided to any employee within 10 days after the employee notifies the employer that they have a disability. There is a required poster that still has not been issued – we will continue to monitor.