RED ALERT –– MAY 6, 2020

Today California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order creating a temporary workers' compensation presumption for employees diagnosed with COVID-19. The Governor explained that the executive order was signed to "remov[e] a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery."[1] For a discussion on the presumptions available within the workers' compensation system, see Sullivan on Comp Section 5.17 Presumption of Injury –– Public Employee in General.

RED ALERT – Modified Hearing Calendar and Emergency Rules

On March 16, 2020, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) announced a modified hearing calendar and emergency rules for filing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.[1] On April 3, 2020, the DWC and the WCAB announced that they were extending the procedures through April 10, 2020, and also announced new procedures effective April 13, 2020.

Cal-Warn Act and COVID-19: What Governor Newsom’s New Executive Order Means for California Employers

During this time of economic uncertainty, many employers are wondering what their options are in reducing employee hours, furloughs, or even layoffs. Before considering furloughs or layoffs, employers must consider their obligations under both the Federal and (unsurprisingly more restrictive) California WARN Acts. 

Remote Depositions in Response to COVID-19

Due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order requiring all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of essential critical infrastructure sectors. Essential services that will remain open include grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks, laundromats and essential government functions, such as law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.1

What All Employers with Fewer Than 500 Employees Must Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 14, 2020, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201). On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed the bill which was largely revised from its original form. President Trump signed it into law the same day. The effective dates of these provisions are from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.