By: Joshua B. Gessling
On May 1, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-26 (“EO 20-26”). EO 20-26 requires Indiana businesses that are continuing to operate or reopening to adhere to certain requirements, which include creating a policy related to COVID-19. Beginning no later than May 11, 2020, all Indiana employers that are operating must develop and publish a policy to implement measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe work environment for employees and the public. At a minimum, EO 20-26 requires these policies to address the following:
(1) Instituting an employee health screening process;
(2) Employing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
(3) Enhancing the abilities of employees and visitors to wash or sanitize hands; and
(4) Complying with social distancing requirements established by the CDC or other separation measures.
EO 20-26 also requires that Indiana employers comply with applicable safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA.
Indiana employers are urged to consult Governor Holcomb’s EO 20-26 immediately, and consider developing a policy and practices that will enable workers to be returned to work safely. According to EO 20-26, these policies must be developed, provided to each employee, and posted publicly on or before May 11, 2020. Governor Holcomb’s EO 20-26 may be accessed here https://www.in.gov/gov/files/Executive%20Order%2020-26%20Roadmap%20to%20Reopen.pdf.
If you have questions about EO 20-26 or how your business may be affected, you may contact the ZSWS lawyer with whom you regularly work.
Last night, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Division C of the FFCRA contains the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“Emergency FMLA Expansion Act”). Division E contains the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“Emergency PSL Act”). These measures require private employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers to provide certain employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, and up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave (10 of which must be paid) for certain employees who experience “qualifying needs” for leave.
1. Emergency FMLA Expansion Act
The Emergency FMLA Expansion Act applies to private employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers. It requires such employers to provide “eligible employees” up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” An “eligible employee” is one who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested. A “qualifying need related to a public health emergency” means the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for his or her son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school of place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.
The Emergency FMLA Expansion Act permits employers to require that the first 10 days of leave under the Emergency FMLA Expansion Act be unpaid. Subject to certain caps, after the first 10 days, an employer must pay the employee at a rate of two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would have been required to work for the remainder of the employee’s leave entitlement.
Employers must generally restore employees who take emergency FMLA leave to their prior or equivalent positions. There are limited exceptions for businesses that are required to eliminate positions due to operational changes caused by the public health emergency.
2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
In addition to extending job-protected leave rights as explained above, the Emergency PSL Act requires employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for certain reasons. A covered employer shall provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick leave to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need for leave because of one of the following reasons:
(1) the employee is subject to a local, state, or federal quarantine order related to COVID-19;
(2) a health care provider has advised the employee to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
(3) the employee is seeking a medical diagnosis and is experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms;
(4) the employee is caring for an individual who is or has been advised to self-quarantine;
(5) the employee is unable to work because he or she needs to care for a child because the child’s school, day care, or child care is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19 concerns; or
(6) the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
A full-time employee shall be entitled to paid sick leave for 80 hours. Part-time employees shall be entitled to paid sick leave for a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a 2-week period. The amount paid as sick leave pay is also subject to certain caps, and employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who take paid leave.
Certain tax credits are also provided to mitigate the impact on employers.
The FFCRA – including its Emergency FMLA Act and Emergency PSL Act components – is effective not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment. Therefore, if your business or operation is covered, it is imperative that you take immediate steps to comply. The FFCRA is set to expire December 31, 2020.
If you have questions about how these issues may affect your business, contact Joshua B. Gessling, or the ZSWS lawyer with whom you regularly work.
Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP (ZSWS) is pleased to announce that Patrick A. Shoulders, Dirck H. Stahl, and Clay W. Havill have been selected to the 2020 Indiana Super Lawyers list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. Mr. Shoulders was selected for inclusion in the area of General Litigation, Mr. Stahl in the areas of State, Local, and Municipal Law, and Mr. Havill in the area of General Litigation. Only 5% of attorneys in Indiana receive the distinction of Super Lawyer, and only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 are selected as Rising Stars.
In addition to the above recognition, Mr. Shoulders was also honored as a “Top 50” lawyer in the State of Indiana in the 2020 edition of Super Lawyers.
L. Katherine Boren has been selected as a member of the Leadership Development Academy (“LDA”) Class of 2020. The LDA, now in its ninth year, is a statewide leadership program established to empower and develop lawyers to be informed, committed, and involved so that they may fill significant leadership roles in local and state bar associations, local communities, and organizations and to serve as role models in matters of ethics and professionalism. The lawyers selected represent a geographic breadth of the Hoosier state, and all are accomplished legal practitioners who have been admitted to practice for less than 15 years. Members will participate in five sessions featuring professional facilitators and prominent speakers from various disciplines to inform participants about leadership principles and techniques, the importance of effective leaders in organizations to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and the challenges and rewards of leadership in action.
For more information about Katie Boren, see her ZSWS bio: http://www.zsws.com/attorney/katie-boren/
Christopher Riccio and Erik Bryant have joined Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP as associate attorneys.
Chris Riccio’s practice is focused on civil litigation, family law, and municipal law. Chris, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wake Forest University in 2012 with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Chemistry. While at Wake Forest University, he was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and received the Jack D. Fleer Award for Excellence in Honors in Political Science, which is given to the graduating senior who has qualified for Honors and is deemed by a departmental committee to have written the best senior thesis. Before law school, he interned in Washington, D.C. in the United States Senate. Chris obtained his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 2017. Chris is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Kentucky.
Erik Bryant’s practice is focused on a wide range of civil litigation matters, including corporate defense and municipal law. Erik, an Evansville native, graduated from Wabash College in 2014 with a major in Spanish and a minor in Rhetoric. As an undergraduate, Erik also participated on the baseball team and studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, where he gained valuable speaking skills in the Spanish language. Erik received his law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. During his time in law school, Erik served as a clerk in the chambers of the Honorable Judge Melissa S. May and assisted in the drafting of appellate opinions. Erik also worked as a clerk for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (“OIAG”) in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. After successfully passing the Indiana Bar Exam, Erik served as a Deputy Attorney General handling cases from nearly every section of the OIAG, including Consumer Protection Litigation, Medical Licensing Enforcement Litigation, Criminal and Civil Appeals, Asset Recovery and Bankruptcy Litigation, Administrative and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation, and Correctional Litigation. Erik is licensed to practice law in Indiana.
If you would like more information about Erik Bryant, please call Mr. Bryant at (812) 424-7575 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.