Stokes Wagner Law Firm
Stokes Wagner

2020 forced millions of employers to adapt their business models to allow employees to work from home and it looks as if this trend will continue indefinitely for many employers. With this in mind, employers should be aware of certain unintended consequences of having a workforce that telecommutes, namely the creation of additional repositories of electronic data that may be discoverable later in litigation. Given that this is the new normal, businesses should take this opportunity to review and update their data retention and litigation hold policies to ensure that they are meeting their obligations and setting themselves up to be successful should this data be needed in the future. Here are four simple steps you can take now to update your protocols.

Read More...


Exemption from overtime is dependent on two factors: an employee’s salary and an employee’s duties. Effective October 3, 2020, new regulations issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry took effect. These regulations began expanding eligibility for overtime based on salary and updating the task-related tests for determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime.

Read More...


On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom approved Senate Bill No. 1159, which creates a framework for COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims. The new law adds Section 3212.88 to the California Labor Code and applies to employees of employers with 5 or more employees (other than first responders and certain health workers) who test positive during an outbreak at the employee’s specific place of employment. The law will remain effective until January 1, 2023.

Read More...


On August 5, 2020, Georgia Governor Kemp signed into law “Charlotte’s Law,” providing additional workplace protections to working mothers who need to express breast milk during working hours. Charlotte’s Law went into effect on August 5, 2020, and applies to all private employers.

Read More...


On September 9, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1867 immediately expanding supplemental paid sick leave (“SPSL”) for COVID-19-related reasons for employers who did not qualify for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) because of size. The new law, codified as Labor Code section 248.1 (“LC 248.1”), requires compliance by September 19, 2020.

Here is what you need to know.

Read More...


On September 8, 2020, The San Diego City Council passed two ordinances to protect vulnerable workers amidst the pandemic, effective immediately. The COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance requires large companies employing more than 500 workers to provide supplemental paid sick leave for employees. The COVID-19 Building Service and Hotel Worker Recall Ordinance requires commercial property businesses, hotels, and event centers to recall laid-off employees by seniority when business activity resumes and to retain employees in the event that the business changes ownership during the pandemic.

Read More...


On August 11, 2020, Nevada Governor signed Senate Bill No. 4 (SB 4) into law, introducing a myriad of new measures to enhance worker safety related to COVID-19 for employers in the hospitality industry. Specifically, employers will have to grapple with new mandatory cleaning standards, a response plan for testing, and paid time off for employees who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed. The Department of Health and Human Services adopted regulations pursuant to SB4 on August 31, 2020, making the new measures effective immediately.

Read More...


On September 30, employees of private employers in New York state will begin to accrue paid sick leave as a new law signed by Governor Cuomo on April 3, 2020, begins to take effect. The law requires most private employers in New York to provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave each year to all their workers, including part-timers and casual employees. Employees may begin using the accrued leave effective January 1, 2021, or when they begin employment.

Read More...


As children head back to school amidst the pandemic, sitting in class and learning is very different. Some students are participating in remote learning, and others are permitted to attend classes in-person. Some students have a mixture of both remote learning and in-person classes—posing new challenges to parents who must balance both work and family life. On August 27, 2020, The Department of Labor (“DOL”) provided additional guidance regarding the use of the Family First Corona Virus Response Act (“FFCRA”) leave for school-related purposes.

Read More...


On August 31, 2020, the California legislature passed Senate Bill 1383, which expands the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to allow employees to use unpaid job-protected leave to care for a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law with a serious health condition.

Read More...