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.
The Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP 2021 Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, presented in collaboration with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, was held as a webinar on May 6, 2021. As the pandemic continues to restrict social gatherings, MHTL decided to hold their annual update virtually again this year to ensure the safety of speakers and attendees. Among the speakers were partners of the firm Kier Wachterhauser, Sarah Spatafore, Nan ONeill, Michael Maccaro and Kathy 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.