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April updates from the Department of Labor

April updates from the Department of Labor

By Ali Tozier

As things change rapidly, it can be hard to stay on top of the most recent updates pertaining to employment matters. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we’ve included some highlights of updates from the Department of Labor during the month of April.

You may also find our FFCRA Q&A helpful.

April 10: Quitting work without good cause to obtain Unemployment Insurance benefits is fraud. Section 2107(e) expressly provides that if an individual has obtained these benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must pay back the benefits, and is subject to criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. §1001and other Federal laws. States are expected to enforce these statutory provisions. Learn more.

April 13: The government issued a memorandum for OSHA offices in responding to complaints regarding safety in the workplace, and it contains helpful information for both employers and employees to understand. Learn more.

April 16: OSHA issued interim guidance to advise compliance safety and health officers to evaluate an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more.

April 21: OSHA put out an alert to help protect construction workers and has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, a document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic, available here.

April 24: OSHA issued interim enforcement guidance on reusing disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) that have been decontaminated, available here.

April 26: OSHA and the CDC released joint coronavirus-related interim guidance for meatpacking and meat processing workers and employers – including those involved in beef, pork and poultry operations. The guidance includes recommended actions employers can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and is available here.

April 28: The DOL issued deadline relief and other guidance under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and beneficiaries, employers and other plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, and other service providers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, available here and here.