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County Judge Wolff Extends Order on Masks, Other Measures

On July 15th, Bexar County’s chief executive, County Judge Nelson Wolff, issued his Executive Order NW-13, which extended earlier executive orders requiring that businesses have health and safety policies requiring masks and that they post a list of COVID-19 symptoms by entrances. This latest executive order extended the requirements to August 12, 2020.  Businesses can be fined up to $1,000 for violations, but can put up a poster provided by Bexar County to fulfill the requirement.  Judge Wolff’s first order…

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against LGBT Discrimination in Employment

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited discrimination on the basis of “sex” in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thus employers subject to Title VII may no longer discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Prudent employers may want to make sure that their employees become aware of this and that…

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Texas Supreme Court Declines to Hear Austin Sick Leave Case, Opens Way for San Antonio Case

On June 5th, the Texas Supreme Court denied the City of Austin’s request for the court to review a case from a court of appeals finding Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance unconstitutional. The Supreme Court had had the request since March of 2019. That decision effectively ends the Austin case, but opens the way for the City of San Antonio to pursue the appeal of its own ordinance before the 4th Court of Appeals here.  San Antonio’s appeal was stayed…

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Congress Passes Law to Improve Paycheck Protection Program

On June 5th, the President signed into law H.R. 7010, the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020,” a mouthful of a name for a very short but important bill for employers.  The House and then the Senate had passed the bill on a very bipartisan basis.  The sponsors in the House were Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips and Republican Rep. Chip Roy. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was part of the CARES Act passed in March, but the money appropriated…

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CDC Issues New COVID19 Guidance on Cleaning Worksplaces

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just issued a graphic and written guidance for employers on cleaning and disinfecting their workplaces, especially when someone there has been sick. Here is the link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fdisinfecting-building-facility.html This is just one of many guidances coming out these days from the CDC, the Department of Labor, and the IRS relating to the COVID-19 epidemic.  Stay tuned for more!

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Small Employers May Now Apply for Payroll Protection Loans

As of today, April 3rd, employers with less than 500 employees may start applying for loans under the  Payroll Protection Program, which was created by the CARES Act passed on May 25th by Congress. The SBA is overseeing the program, and says it will take loan applications through June 30th.  The SBA does not actually make the loan to the small business, which must go through a third-party lender. According to the SBA, the program is “designed to provide a direct…

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Poster Now Required for Paid Sick Leave and Family Leave

Employers must now put up – so to speak – a notice as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to let employees know about the paid sick leave and paid family leave provisions of the new law, which passed on March 18th. Employers are supposed to “post and keep posted” a notice – the one developed by the Department of Labor (“DoL”) is here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf – in “conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are…

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Coronavirus Update: Congress Passes 2nd and 3rd Bills on the Pandemic

In the past two weeks, Congress passed its second and third bills addressing the Coronavirus Pandemic, both of which had provisions directly relating to employment.  The first bill did not!  All three bills passed on a bipartisan basis, and have been signed into law by President Trump. The second bill, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, HR 6201, mandates paid sick leave and paid medical leave for employees under certain circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.  The new law goes…

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President Signs NAFTA 2.0, But Awaits Canadian Ratification

On January 29th, the President signed the USMCA free-trade agreement, sometimes known as NAFTA 2.0, which contains an extensive labor component.  The original NAFTA agreement was followed by a labor side agreement. The USMCA treaty has now been ratified by Mexico and the United States, but will not go into effect until after it is ratified by Canada.  Stay tuned for more on that!

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Employers May Use New I-9 Form For New Hires

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that employers in the United States may start using the latest I-9 form to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the U.S.  The latest form is dated 10/21/19. Employers may use the latest form or the form dated 07/17/17 through April 30, 2020, but starting onMay 1st they must use the latest form.  There are fillable and paper versions available at uscis.gov. While you’re at it,…

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