Frontline workers of certain large grocery and pharmacy retailers in Los Angeles County and other municipalities across the state may soon receive an additional $4.00 to $5.00 an hour in “hero pay” or “hazard pay” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading California Municipalities Move Closer to Requiring Hazard Pay for Grocery and Pharmacy Workers

For much of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many California employees have utilized leave entitlements through federal, state, and local paid sick leave statutes and ordinances.  As of December 31, 2020, however, the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“CSPSL”) — and many local supplemental paid sick leaves (“LSPSL”) — have expired.  With coronavirus cases still surging nationwide and no additional guidance on the new exclusion pay requirements under the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA”) COVID-19 emergency temporary standards (“ETS”), California employers are left wondering what paid leave laws may apply to their employees in 2021.
Continue Reading What the Expiration of COVID-19 Paid Leave Laws Means for Retail Employers in California

New York has enacted a sweeping law that regulates automatic renewal programs (subscriptions) modeled after California’s automatic renewal law.

The law impacts retailers and brands that offer membership and other subscription-based business models, including loyalty programs and rewards programs.
Continue Reading New York Passes Wide-Ranging Automatic Renewal (Subscription Model) Law

California retailers facing a variety of complications from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic now have one additional obstacle to tackle: compliance with new emergency standards from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”).  On November 19, 2020, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously adopted emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.  Prior to the adoption of the emergency standards, general and industry-specific guidance from Cal/OSHA was advisory.  However, the new emergency standards are binding and enforceable against nearly all California employers effective November 30, 2020.  This article sets forth the basic requirements under the new standards.  It then identifies some new complications and costs that retail employers in particular may face when attempting to comply.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Standards Create New Complications and Costs for Retail Employers

On November 16, 2020, California implemented an accelerated application of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy metrics. Under the Blueprint Framework, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. Each tier has its own set of restrictions. Three days later, on November 19, 2020, the state issued a limited Stay at Home Order.
Continue Reading California Department of Public Health Issues New Statewide Stay At Home Order Linked to ICU Bed Capacity

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (“L.A. Public Health”) announced that all outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries and wineries will be restricted, effective November 25, 2020 at 10:00 p.m., while take-out, drive thru, and delivery services may continue (“Order”).
Continue Reading Los Angeles County Restricts In-Person Dining Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Women often pay more than men for similar goods and services.  A shampoo for men may be nearly identical in chemical makeup to a shampoo for women, but the woman will pay more.  This phenomenon is referred to as the “pink tax” – products marketed to women cost more than their counterparts marketed to men.  Recent data analyzing toys, clothing, personal care products and home health products shows that: (1) products targeted at women are higher-priced than those targeted at men 42% of the time; and (2) of those items more expensive for women, the prices are an average of 7% higher.[1]  The pink tax thus places a direct cost on individuals who purchase products marketed to women.
Continue Reading NY’s Gendered Pricing Law: Will It Curb the Pink Tax

As we previously reported, among the sweeping pieces of legislation signed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was New York State’s permanent sick leave law (“NYSPSL”). Under NYSPSL, all New York State employers are required to provide sick leave. Eligible employees may begin accruing sick leave as of September 30, 2020, but are not entitled to use any accrued sick leave pursuant to this law until January 1, 2021.
Continue Reading Reminder: Accrual Requirements Under New York State’s New Paid Sick Leave Law Effective September 30, 2020

On September 28, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill into law significantly amending the New York City Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (“ESSTA”) in order to better align with New York State’s new paid sick leave law (the “NYS Leave Law”).  Like its state law counterpart, the amendments to ESSTA (the “ESSTA Amendments”) takes effect on September 30, 2020.  As discussed in greater detail below, the ESSTA Amendments: (i) revise the amount of leave that New York City employers are required to provide; (ii) impose new employer reporting requirements; (iii) create new employer reimbursement obligations in connection with requested medical documentation and/or documentation regarding domestic violence; (iv) expand the scope of prohibited retaliation under the law; (v) impose new notice requirements; and (vi) expand enforcement mechanisms.
Continue Reading NYC Employers Take Note: Earned Sick and Safe Time Act Amendments Take Effect September 30, 2020

Most employers are expected to pass on the IRS’ offer to temporarily delay collecting Social Security taxes.  For background, both employers and employees are generally required to pay a Social Security tax at a flat rate of 6.2% (for a total of 12.4%) on all wages.  In a separate article from our Corporate and Securities Blog, we discussed how the CARES Act allows employers to delay paying the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes.

Continue Reading To Defer or Not Defer? IRS Issues Guidance Temporarily Delaying the Collection of Social Security Taxes