Policy Matters Newsletter – October 2022 # 2 | Seyferth Shaw LLP

Greater looseness. Joe Biden surprised and outraged many of his voters when he announced in a 60-minute interview that the pandemic was essentially over. In fact, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that the COVID-19 emergency will end on February 28, 2023. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has “announced that he will cancel all remaining COVID-19 emergency declarations and emergency declarations through October 31.” However, as Seyfarth points out here, Washingtonians will continue to demand that employers provide certain benefits until the president declares the end of his nationwide COVID-19 emergency. , must continue to comply with the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA). Additionally, as Seyfarth points out here, a New York State Supreme Court judge recently said that his COVID-19 vaccine mandate for New York City’s public and private sectors would It was deemed “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of state law.

Despite all the mitigation, as Seyfarth points out here, employer vaccine obligation lawsuits continue to escalate. To date, Seyfarth has tracked approximately 200 complex or class cases filed nationwide, including claims related to vaccination obligations, and continues to see an influx. ) has been extended for an additional 90 days, running until January 11, 2023. Extended PHE means continued benefits for certain of her COVID-19 reasons, such as testing and telemedicine coverage. For more information on PHE and HELSA compliance, please contact your favorite Seyferth Counselor.

So the end of the forest for the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, but it’s not there yet. Employers should also remain vigilant in handling all matters related to COVID-19.

what Bostock average? After SCOTUS made its landmark decision, Bostock vs. Clayton County, Georgia, summarized here. The EEOC has released much-needed guidance to clarify the interpretation of Title VII protections for LGBTQ+ employees. Texas sued, alleging that the EEOC exceeded its authority by construction. Bostock It extends to individual actions such as toilet access. The Court noted that the EEOC Guidance unfairly imposed dress codes, bathrooms, and pronoun conveniences as “pre-existing requirements under the law” and “established legal status,” noting that the Court’s interpretation noted and agreed that it is not required under Title VII. BostockThe EEOC plans to appeal this decision.

Inflation brings (welcome?) changes to tax law. By now, anyone who follows the news knows that inflation is a serious problem, affecting consumers across the country. First, under current law, that amount is indexed to inflation, increasing the amount you can deduct for tax purposes. Specifically, the IRS announced that next year’s standard deduction will increase 7% to $27,700. The IRS cannot unilaterally change income tax rates, but it does raise the income threshold. For example, the top 37% tax rate starts when the couple’s income exceeds her $693,750, a significant increase from her $647,850 this year. And inflation is not the only currency change that affects. The maximum amount people can put into a healthcare flexible savings account will rise from $2,850 to $3,050 he said.

California expands vacations allowed. As Seyfarth summarizes here, Governor Newsom recently signed two significant laws expanding vacation time for Golden State employees. First, AB 1041 expands the protections of both the California Family Rights Act and the California Paid Sick Leave Act, allowing individuals to whom a California employee is related or to whom a relationship with an employee amounts to a family relationship. Allows you to “nominate” an individual. Employees may take leave under any of these statutes. In particular, employees must be able to designate people when applying for leave, so employers cannot require employees to designate people in advance. Second, AB 1949 requires employers to allow eligible employees up to five days of bereavement leave for the death of a family member. At present, the law does not require explicit bereavement leave for the death of a designated person (as explained above), and traditional family members (“spouses or children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, cohabitants, or in-laws”). Both bills contain many important nuances, so it’s worth reading the summary.

Stakeholders Sigh: DOL Extends IC Comment PeriodMillions of individuals have a stake in the DOL’s proposed rules governing independent contractor status described here. The original deadline for comments on the proposed regulation came just after Thanksgiving, adding to the stress of many stakeholders. Thankfully, the ministry has extended the deadline for comments from 28 November 2022 to 13 December 2022.

AZ Initiative A model to deal with price increases? Currently, nearly 1 in 10 adults in the United States has medical debt, and 3 million of them have more than $10,000 in debt. Considering this statistic and the frustrating deadlock in the state legislature and legislature, Arizona advocates put the direct democracy bill — Proposition 209 — on the ballot that would lower the maximum interest rate on health care debt from 10% to 20% or less. I succeeded in putting it on. 3 percent per year. The proposal also raises the value of a debtor’s home protected from creditors from $250,000 to $400,000 and cuts the portion of the debtor’s weekly disposable income covered by debt collection from 25% to 10%. %. Opponents of the bill point out that although the initiative is being marketed as a health care debt initiative, its debt collection impact will be holistic. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s implemented. stay tuned!

Pay for transparency legislation sprouting across the Commonwealth. California’s SB 1162, discussed here, dominates the pay transparency headlines, but such legislation certainly hasn’t been relegated to the Golden State. New York City’s Pay Transparency Act, effective November 1, makes it an illegal and discriminatory practice to post job postings that do not include minimum and maximum salaries, or hourly rates offered for the position. A similar Pay Transparency Act was passed by the New York Legislature in June 2022, requiring private employers with four or more employees to believe that eligible employers will pay for the position in good faith. Mandated to disclose minimum and maximum hourly wages or salaries. advertising time. But not just on the East and West Coasts, but in several states and cities, including Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, Washington, and New York (Ithaca, Westchester). of transparency requirements. County), New Jersey (Jersey City), Ohio (Cincinnati and Toledo). Although these laws differ in certain details, they share the same goal of increasing pay equity across gender and race.

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