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Department of Labor Issues New Regulations on COVID Emergency Leave

In March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a new federal law providing emergency paid leave to covered workers for certain COVID-related purposes. Last month, in response to an action by the New York Attorney General’s office, the Southern District of New York issued a decision striking down several elements of the US Department of Labor’s regulations issued under the FFCRA. Recently, the Department of Labor issued new revised regulations, which make several changes in response to the court’s decision, along with corresponding updates to the frequently asked questions. These new regulations will become effective immediately upon their formal publication in the Federal Register, expected to occur on February 16.

The Workplace Supports We Need This National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and celebrate breastfeeding, while also considering the challenges still before us in ensuring all mothers can breastfeed if they choose. Unfortunately, too many nursing parents—particularly those who work in low wage jobs and mothers of color—are still being forced to choose between breastfeeding and earning a paycheck, oftentimes suffering negative health consequences as a result. Therefore, our workplace laws have an important role to play in promoting access to breastfeeding. 

Back to School: 10 Legal Protections Every Parent Should Know

Children across the country are headed back to school. Amidst what is an extremely challenging time for parents, and regardless of whether your child will be attending school in person, continuing virtual instruction, a combination, or an uncertain future, you may have questions about your workplace rights. Here are the 10 legal protections you should know about.

Unequal Pay for Black Women Shows Why We Must Dismantle Systemic Racism in Our Workplaces

Black women in the United States who work full time, year-round are typically paid just 62 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men—compared to 82 cents for women overall. For Black mothers, this gap is even more dismal: they earn just 50 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic father makes. About 80 percent of Black mothers are the primary breadwinner for their families, and the wage gap means they have less money to support themselves and their families during these unprecedented times.

Federal Court Strikes Down Department of Labor Restrictions on Emergency Leave

Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York issued a decision striking down key regulatory restrictions on the ability of workers to use their emergency paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s office challenging elements of the Department of Labor’s regulations that significantly impair the ability of workers to use their rights. As the New York Attorney General remarked on Twitter of this decision, “This is a major victory for workers across New York and our entire nation.”

The Senate Must Pass the HEROES Act & Enact Paid Leave for All

As the pandemic continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of workers across the country, we must take action. Congress must pass the HEROES Act and enact a strong federal paid leave program for all workers and their families. So before the August recess, ask your U.S. Senators to pass the HEROES Act—and spread the word! As proud leading members of the Paid Leave for All campaign, we urge everyone to take action this week so we can work together towards paid leave for all working people.

COVID-19’s Harsh Impact on Mothers Exposes the Gaps in Our Workplace Laws

Mothers have long faced economic inequality in the United States. Early June marked Moms’ Equal Pay Day, symbolizing how long it took moms to earn what dads earned in 2019. U.S. Census data from 2019 indicated that women working full time in the U.S. earned $0.82 for every dollar that men made in their jobs. However, mothers make just $0.70 for every dollar white, non-Hispanic fathers make. The pandemic has only intensified the problem, as mothers are being forced to choose between their jobs and their caregiving responsibilities.

Summer Changes to Paid Family and Medical Leave: July 2020 Developments

Building on changes to paid family and medical leave that many states saw beginning in January 2020, July marks new developments as well. Beginning July 1, workers in Washington, D.C. will be able to take paid family and medical leave benefits under the District’s universal paid leave program—a much needed development as the country continues to battle with COVID-19. Also beginning July 1, workers in California will be able to take up to 8 weeks of family leave benefits in a 12-month period. Similarly, workers in New Jersey will see an increase in the amount of family leave benefits that they’ll be able to take.
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