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Be Sure to Change Furloughs into Layoffs Lawfully

Employers that are converting furloughs into permanent layoffs need to ensure compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

In a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management, McDermott partner Carole Spink explains why employers should carefully consider both state and federal regulations—and the importance of clear communication—when converting furloughs into layoffs.

Access the article.




Adrift, Yet Connected

Some estimates have upwards of 10 million Americans living abroad; three-fifths of them are working in some fashion, according to a 2017 survey by the expatriate support organization InterNations. And even if a much smaller number are working for US employers, a substantial portion have spent much of 2020 navigating the challenges of visa, benefits, taxes and work status. Beyond that, the challenges that come along with remote work—Zoom fatigue, balancing caregiver roles with job tasks and more—are exacerbated by working across a long stretch of time zones.

In a recent article by Evolve, McDermott partner Brian Cousin outlines the importance of employers staying engaged with their employees working abroad—and staying on top of shifting employment circumstances and restrictions.

Access the article.




UK Tax Perspective on Expatriates Working Abroad

UK employees “working from anywhere” face fines or investigations from foreign tax authorities if they stay too long, become a resident in a foreign country for tax purposes and fail to declare their UK incomes. In some cases, they could also be hit with double taxation on the same earnings.

In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, McDermott partner Simon Goldring advises employees to consider the tax implications of extended “work from home” abroad.

Access the article.




Employer Considerations for Remote and In-Person Workers as the School Year Commences

With the school year underway, employers in the United States face a new challenge: childcare-related leave and accommodation requests by employees. With widespread remote learning and evolving legal obligations to provide paid leave to working parents, employers must navigate unique staffing challenges while complying with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other state and local leave laws. In our recent webinar, we outlined some of the current leave requirements regarding childcare obligations and practical solutions to navigate these uncharted waters.

View the slide deck here.




DOL Provides Guidance on Tracking Telecommuters’ Work Hours

Employers must use reasonable diligence in tracking nonexempt telecommuters’ work hours and may do this by providing a reporting procedure for unscheduled time, the US Department of Labor (DOL) stated in August 24 guidance. The workers then must be compensated for all reported work hours, even those not requested by the employer.

In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partner Ellen Bronchetti explained that employers should have policies that prohibit working off the clock. “If an employer has an expectation that an employee was working from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and the employee works later at night responding to emails, that could lead to wage and hour liability.”

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In Spain, Employers Contend with Pandemic’s Changing Impact

Employers in Spain are contending with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to raise health and safety concerns. A resurgence of COVID-19 cases in July prompted some parts of the country to re-implement restrictions that had been lifted earlier.

“Spain was among the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus,” said Brian Cousin, head of the employment practice group at McDermott Will & Emery, in a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Employers and HR professionals in Spain should monitor news about national and local restrictions and regulations, as well as new guidance issued by local health authorities, the Spanish Health Ministry and the World Health Organization, according to Cousin. “Local and regional requirements can change on a daily basis,” he said.

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Revisit Wage and Hour Policies During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted some employees to remote work permanently while others are telecommuting more frequently. Employers’ wage and hour policies and enforcement should account for the rise in telework.

“Ensure that employees understand that time spent checking e-mails is compensable,” said Ellen Bronchetti, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in San Francisco, in a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “Employers should conduct periodic audits to ensure employees are not checking e-mails off the clock.”

Consider requesting supervisors regularly certify that they did not call, text or e-mail a nonexempt employee outside workhours, Bronchetti said.

Access the full article.




H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First) is now law and becomes effective April 2, 2020. For employers with less than 500 employees, and in certain situations for employees affected by coronavirus, Families First requires that employers provide two weeks of paid sick leave in certain situations and provide subsidized leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Tax credits will help to subsidize these requirements for affected employers. An outline of the legislation is provided.

Access the full article.




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