Guest Blog: MA Legislature extends and expands COVID-19 temporary emergency paid sick leave program
On September 29, 2021, the day before it was set to expire, the Massachusetts legislature amended the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (MA EPSL), extending it until April 1, 2022 or the exhaustion of $75 million in program funds, whichever is earlier. Additionally, the amended MA EPSL expanded the reasons for which employees can use sick leave to include “to care for a family member who needs to obtain or recover from a COVID-19 immunization.”
REASONS FOR LEAVE
Under the amended MA EPSL, Massachusetts private and public employers are required to provide emergency paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for the following COVID-19-related reasons:
Guest Blog: Biden’s Assignments for OSHA Give Clues for Employers on Workplace Safety in a New COVID-19 Era
Provided by Brendan Collins and Nan O’Neill of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey, & Lehane, LLP
The Biden administration’s pledge that the federal government will take a more hands-on approach to curbing new COVID-19 infections is now taking shape in various executive agencies. One such agency is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is the agency tasked with ensuring safe working conditions for American workers. The Biden administration has called on OSHA to further help identify risks of workplace exposure to COVID-19 and to determine the appropriate control measures to implement.
I. President Biden Issues Executive Order on January 21, 2021 to Protect the Health and Safety of Workers from COVID-19
In an Executive Order dated January 21, 2021, President Biden called on OSHA to perform a variety of COVID-19-prevention assignments. These assignments are helpful clues of what may be to come with regards to workplace safety requirements in relation to COVID-19.
President Biden’s assignments include the following:
The Chamber's Human Resources Group held a timely and important Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) Update yesterday morning . The speakers discussed what to consider and plan for now in preparation for January 1, 2021 – the date benefits first become available for employees and with a helpful PFML checklist of steps you need to take.
Pamela Sande, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, and CCP, President & CEO
HR @ Work
Pamela provides clients with high-quality consulting services and resources, helping clients achieve business success through innovative, practical, and cost-effective HR solutions. HR @ Work helps companies ranging in size as few as five to as many as 1,000, including nonprofit organizations as well for profits in many industries providing our clients with high-quality consulting services and resources
Nan O'Neill, Partner
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP
Nan is Senior Counsel in the law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP with 30 years of experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of employment and traditional labor law. Nan has extensive experience in the litigation of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, reasonable accommodation, sexual harassment and wrongful termination matters, before state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, having litigated approximately 30 cases in Massachusetts courts and the MCAD.
For more than 30 years, the Chamber’s Human Resources Group (HRG) has encouraged education, participation, inclusion, mentoring, and networking for those charged with responsibility for human resources within any size company. The HRG offers programming and services to meet the needs of both senior level human resource practitioners and entry level practitioners who may have other responsibilities in their company. The Advisory Team is made up of HR practitioners, employment and labor law attorneys, and HR consultants. They coordinate a dynamic programming schedule that will help businesses small and large understand the affect that laws and regulations can have on business.
By Nan O'Neill, Partner, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP
For a discussion of these and other legal issues, please visit our website at www.mhtl.com. To receive legal updates via e-mail, contact email@example.com.
On Monday, November 2, 2020, Governor Baker issued three new COVID-19 Orders, all of which are effective Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
COVID-19 Order No. 53 (https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-53/download) imposes a Mandatory Night-Time Closing Period for Certain Businesses and Activities from 9:30 p.m. each day until 5:00 a.m. the following day. This Mandatory Closing Period Order prohibits certain businesses, facilities, and activities from admitting customers, patrons, or members of the public to their premises or otherwise offering, providing, or permitting in-person, on-premises services or activities, during the closed period. Businesses, facilities, and activities subject to the mandatory closing period include:
The Department of Family and Medical Leave has recently posted Employer and Employee toolkits on their website mass.gov/dfml . From their email:
These tools contain helpful resources for employers and individuals to navigate the latest information regarding the Department of Family and Medical Leave in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The toolkits include contribution rate calculators, informative videos, workplace posters, and other useful information designed to assist people with planning for the implementation of the Commonwealth's Paid Family and Medical leave law.