LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad recently chaired a full-day Employment Law program through Minnesota CLE on various topics relating to COVID-19
Ms. Ellingstad presented a session on Workplace Safety, including implementing and revising safety protocols and policies to reflect the evolving science and knowledge about COVID-19. Much of what we are learning about COVID-19 will impact our work environment long after the pandemic is over. This important discussion centered on creating best practices and proactive measures and evolving them as information […]
Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year.
School districts and charter schools will begin in one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. Experts at […]
U.S. Senate leadership late on Monday unveiled a draft plan to provide $1 trillion in coronavirus relief funding ahead of negotiations with House leaders. As a package of separate bills, the plan gives Congress the option of passing parts of the agenda now, such as extensions of unemployment insurance or public health funding, and leaving the rest for […]
Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date, 30 states across the country, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico have issued similar mandates.
“COVID-19 has […]
Senate Leadership Reveals Outline of Next Relief Package Proposal
Senate leadership plans to unveil their opening bid for the next round of economic aid this week, which is expected to include providing continued unemployment insurance subsidies, tax incentives for employers to avoid layoffs and encourage rehiring, and a new round of checks and direct payments sent by […]
This is the first full week of no-excuse absentee voting for the Minnesota’s primary election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11.
When multiple candidates of the same political party file to run for the same office, a primary election is needed to decide which candidate will appear as the party candidate for that office on the November ballot. For non-partisan […]
Minnesota Congressional Delegation Reacts to Statewide Protests
With the Twin Cities receiving national attention for the last week in the wake of George Floyd’s death, members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have responded to the unfolding turmoil with a range of statements, letters, and legislative actions.
Minnesota’s Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, received support from 26 […]
Governor Tim Walz today announced the phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a cautious, strategic turn of the dial to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1, 2020. The Governor also announced that salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy to ensure the safety of both […]
House Passes $3 Trillion Stimulus Bill
The House passed a $3 trillion Democratic economic stimulus bill on Friday that Senate leadership and President Trump have already rejected, making it less likely to trigger bipartisan negotiations in the immediate future. The measure, passed 208-199, would give cash-strapped states and local governments more than $1 trillion while providing most […]
Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. Citing progress made to prepare for peak of infection, the Governor announced a measured, cautious turning of the dial toward a new normal. With the Stay Home Executive Order set to expire on May 18, the Governor will replace it with an order continuing […]
LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad was recently among some Twin Cities attorneys interviewed by MPR News about workplace protections that apply when employees are working from home. Employers need to consider worker’s compensation laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and privacy laws, to name a few. Susan heads the firm’s employment law […]
Congress in Early Stages of Developing Fourth Relief Package
The Senate is back today with plans to continue considering President Trump’s nominations and legislation to reinstate some expired surveillance programs, but little formal talk of a fourth coronavirus relief package. After backing almost $3 trillion to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch […]
Masks vs. Respirators
OSHA and MN OSHA distinguish between masks and respirators. Masks (homemade, paper, and non-surgical masks) provide some protection to those around the wearer from droplets, etc., if the wearer coughs or sneezes. These masks do not, however, provide the same level of protection for the wearer from inhaling particles or contaminates that is provided by a […]
As part of Minnesota’s and other states’ reopening measures, state and local governments are requiring employers – before opening – to implement preparedness plans which adopt guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state Departments of Health to combat the spread of COVID-19. These safeguards […]
Democrats Eye Further Direct Payments in Next Stimulus Round
Congressional Democrats are considering proposing a new round of direct cash payments to U.S. households and extending a similar benefit to the smallest businesses, as they struggle to get federal loans. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Richard Neal (D-MA-01), the top Democrats on Congress’s two tax committees, want to include the […]
On April 24, 2020, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-40 Allowing Workers in Certain Non-Critical Business Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces as early as April 27, 2020.
Non-Critical Businesses Now Allowed to Reopen:
- Industrial and manufacturing businesses.
– Includes wholesale trade, warehousing, and places of employment in which goods are in the process of being created.
– This […]
Executive Order 20-40, issued by Gov. Tim Walz on April 23, 2020, requires each business in operation during the peacetime emergency to establish a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”
The Preparedness Plan must meet the criteria set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19 and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration […]
On April 23, 2020, the EEOC updated is COVID-10 Guidance, affirming employers’ ability to test employees for COVID-19 before allowing employees to enter the workplace.
The new Guidance allows employers to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.
Consistent with the ADA standard, employers should:
- Ensure that the […]
A day after announcing a statewide strategy for widespread testing, Governor Tim Walz today outlined next steps for the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. The Governor extended distance learning through the end of the school year, announced a plan for up to 100,000 workers to safely return to their jobs, and explained the different factors determining the gradual re-opening of society […]
Summary of “Phase 3.5” Legislation
The Senate on Tuesday evening passed $484 billion in new pandemic relief funds to bolster a tapped-out small business aid program, pay for additional coronavirus testing, and help hospitals deluged by sick patients.
The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Actis expected to receive an affirmative vote in the House tomorrow, followed by a prompt signature […]
Democrats and White House Near Deal on New Relief Funding
Democrats and the Trump Administration are near an agreement for Congress to act this week on a deal as large as $500 billion to put more funding into a tapped-out small business aid program and provide money for coronavirus testing and overwhelmed hospitals. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy […]
On Thursday, April 9, the Federal Reserve took actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. This funding will assist households and employers of all sizes and bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the actions that the Federal Reserve is taking is geared toward […]
The CARES Act created three benefits programs to provide and expand unemployment benefits:
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Provides an additional 13 weeks after regular unemployment compensation benefits are exhausted. Ends 12/31/2020
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Extends benefits to self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors. Ends 12/31/2020
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Provides an additional $600 per week above the current […]
Insurers Instructed to Waive Copays for Virus Testing, Services
The Trump Administration on Saturday moved to require group health plans and other insurers to cover both coronavirus testing and some related treatment services with no copays or other cost sharing to beneficiaries, including tests that determine if a person has previously had Covid-19. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, along […]
On April 8, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-33 extending the stay at home period that was put in place by Executive Order 20-20 to 11:59 p.m. on May 3, 2020. Executive Order 20-33 and the guidance issued by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) contain some notable changes from the prior Order, which has been rescinded.