Sweeping Federal Legislation Passed Related to COVID-19 –
Significant Changes Made to Workplace Leave Laws and Benefits
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “Act”). President Trump signed the Act into law the same day. Among other provisions, the Act expands food assistance and unemployment programs, provides free coronavirus testing, expands the federal Family and Medical and Leave Act to cover employees unable to work due to childcare obligations created by school closures, establishes paid leave for such absences, and provides a new paid sick leave benefit related to COVID-19. The text of the new Act can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201
This Alert will summarize some of the major provisions affecting most public and private employers. We will be supplementing this Alert with additional information as information becomes available.
Kathryn Murphy, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP presented a training session last month titled “Discriminatory Harassment Prevention Training for Managers”. Ms. Murphy began the training session with an introduction to legal basics where she emphasizes that discrimination is prohibited in any aspect of employment, and that the law prohibits discrimination against an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, etc. The second section of the training outlined specific policies Read More
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.