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Using Paid Time Off Funds to Provide Student Loan Relief to Employees

What do unused paid-time-off (PTO) days, student loan debt and the coronavirus have in common? An opportunity for employers to provide financial relief to employees who are increasingly putting off vacations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, Jeff Holdvogt, a partner in McDermott’s Chicago office, explained that more employees, particularly Millennials, are telling employers that benefits to help pay off student loan debt would go a long way to attracting and retaining them. Access the article.

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What to Do When Scared Workers Do Not Respond to Work Due to COVID-19

Some essential workers are refusing to go to work out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Their employers must weigh the employees’ legal rights and understandable health concerns with the organizations’ business needs. It can be a tough balancing act. In a recent article, McDermott Partner Pankit Doshi said employers may relax documentation requirements due to the difficulty some employees could have obtaining access to medical providers during the pandemic and to encourage ill employees to stay away from work. Access the article.

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Can Companies Be Held Liable When Their Employees Fall Ill with Coronavirus?

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not released specific standards covering COVID-19, Michelle Strowhiro, a partner in the Los Angeles office of McDermott Will & Emery, is quoted in a recent ABA Journal article saying that employers could face risks under Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause if they don’t take steps to protect their workplace and ensure it is not exposed to individuals who may have contracted the virus. Access the full article.

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COVID-19: FAQs on Employees Experiencing Symptoms and Employee Absences

With rapid developments in local, state and federal guidance and law, the appropriate approach for each employer in relation to COVID-19 will vary depending on the nature of their work, the industries served and their location and size, among other considerations. This article outlines what employers need to know about employees experiencing symptoms and employee absences. Access the full article.

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Coronavirus Resource Center | Preparedness Planning for Businesses

In our global economy, Coronavirus (COVID-19) raises serious concerns for employers in all industries. Workers may be on the front lines caring for patients and developing vaccines, travelling for business, or in close contact with individuals who travel or may have been affected. At this time, there is no vaccine or medication approved to prevent or treat the COVID-19 disease. Therefore, preparedness and prevention are crucial. Frontline responders must be especially vigilant as they deliver care and anticipate the challenges this uncharted territory presents. McDermott’s Coronavirus Resource Center, brought to you by a multi-disciplinary team, will keep you informed of the latest developments and provide comprehensive insight to help you navigate this crisis with your employees, including: Frequently asked questions for US and multi-national employers Recent news updates Podcasts Upcoming events Access the resource center.

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California Amends Its Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Law

As previously reported, California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (California’s Sick Leave Law) took full effect on July 1, 2015, although some provisions were effective as of January 1, 2015. The new law generally requires most employers to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave. This On the Subject discussed requirements employers must meet, including Assembly Bill 304, which amends California’s Sick Leave Law to make immediate changes.  Read the full article.

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Reevaluating Paid Time Off and New Challenges

Cost containment evaluation and strategies relating to overall management of human capital costs remain a continual struggle for many organizations.  Labor costs, far and away, continue to be the largest cost for many organizations.  Consequently, this has resulted in an organizational focus on ways to create efficiencies within their existing benefits programs.  Interestingly, it appears that paid time off (PTO) is one area where organizations have an opportunity to create efficiencies, as well as mitigate long-term financial risk and compliance risk. Historically, many organizations provided their employees with separate holidays, vacation days, personal days, and sick time.  Over time, however, many of these organizations have redesigned these programs to incorporate a "total" combined time off (CTO) approach where all of these different categories of personal time are included in one overall pool of days.  A CTO approach simplifies administration of these...

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