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Massachusetts Enacts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (June 2021)

June 2nd, 2021|

On Friday, Governor Baker signed legislation to enact COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave for all Massachusetts employers.  Under the new law, employers must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for all employees from now through September 30, 2021.  Paid leave can be capped at $850 in paid leave (including benefits) per employee, and the Commonwealth will reimburse employers for this sick leave.

Amount of Leave

Employers must provide up to 40 hours of COVID-19

Massachusetts is Dropping COVID Restrictions – Now What? (May 2021)

May 25th, 2021|

On Monday, May 17, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts is lifting most COVID restrictions, including capacity restrictions and the mask mandate in most indoor settings, on May 29.  This includes the sector-specific protocols under which Massachusetts businesses have been operating since the reopening began last May.

Governor Baker made it clear that private businesses are free to adopt their own COVID safety protocols if they choose, but they will not be required to do so.

Other states,

ARPA, COVID Sick Leave, and Vaccines (May 2021)

May 25th, 2021|

This spring, we have seen both federal and state legislation expanding COVID-related leave laws. In this newsletter, we highlight some of the most important changes.

ARPA EXTENDS COVID EMERGENCY PAID SICK & FAMILY LEAVE

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 extended FFCRA tax credits for employers with fewer than 500 employees who voluntarily provide COVID-related sick leave or family leave. The tax credits were set to expire on March 31, 2021 and will now

COVID and PFML Updates for December 2020

December 22nd, 2020|

Reopening Rollback

Last Tuesday, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts would be rolling back its reopening effective Sunday, December 13.  For most businesses, the changes are relatively minor.  These changes include:

  • Reduced capacity limits for most businesses, including offices, from 50% to 40%
  • Office workers must wear masks at all times, unless they are in their own workspace and alone
  • Workplaces should close communal spaces such as breakrooms, kitchens, and conference rooms to the extent possible.
  • Businesses

MASSACHUSETTS PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE STARTS JANUARY 1, 2021

October 29th, 2020|

While COVID concerns have dominated the workplace for the past year, we wanted to remind our clients that employees can start taking certain leaves under Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) effective January 1, 2021.

For an overview of the law and its requirements, please see our earlier newsletters:

https://law.marshallhalem.com/preparing-for-the-massachusetts-paid-family-and-medical-leave-payroll-tax-march-2019/

https://law.marshallhalem.com/get-ready-for-massachusetts-paid-family-and-medical-leave-a-to-do-list-for-employers-april-2019/

We will be offering a free webinar for our clients on Tuesday, November 10 at 1 PM to review PFML’s requirements and answer any questions

NEW YORK STATE’S NEW SICK LEAVE LAW (October 2020)

October 5th, 2020|

Effective September 30, 2020, New York joined the growing number of states with a state-wide paid sick leave law.[1]  Employees will begin accruing sick leave on September 30th, but will not be able to use any sick leave until January 1, 2021.

Employer Obligations

Employers are required to allow all employees to accrue sick leave in New York at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may elect to front

COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES (JULY 2020)

July 1st, 2020|

As the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve, government agencies have been releasing additional guidance on how employers should handle COVID-19 concerns in the workplace.  This newsletter highlights significant recent developments that you may have missed.

OSHA Guidance on Reopening

OSHA has issued additional guidance for employers on safe reopening, available here.  Employers should continue to follow OSHA and state guidance on safe reopening, including extending telework where possible, emphasizing sanitation and hygiene, maintaining social distance in

PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS FOR A RETURN TO WORK (April 2020)

April 29th, 2020|

Although states are at very different places with COVID-19 outbreaks, many states plan to begin lifting shutdown and stay-at-home orders in the next few weeks.  Even for states that will remain shut down for significantly longer, businesses should begin to think about what returning to work will look like and how to keep employees safe while we continue to live with COVID-19 in our communities.

OSHA has provided initial guidance on what workplaces should look like

COVID-19 Relief Programs – Where Things Stand Now (April 2020)

April 17th, 2020|

We are now three weeks out from the passage of the CARES Act, which was intended to provide relief to small businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-related shutdowns.  As the dust settles, this newsletter provides a status update on the various programs created by the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”).

Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) Loans

PPP loans, created by the CARES Act, were intended to provide partially-forgivable loans to small businesses

UPDATES ON COVID-19 RELIEF PROGRAMS (April 2020)

April 3rd, 2020|

We are continuing to learn more about the COVID-19 relief programs as state and federal agencies release additional guidance on a daily basis.  This newsletter provides updates on the various programs based on new information that has been released this week.

SBA Loan Programs

Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) Loans

PPP loans are one of the best relief programs available to small businesses.  Under the PPP program, small businesses can receive a low-interest loan (currently set at 0.5% interest)

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