Law and the Workplace
Harris Mufson

Harris Mufson

Partner

Harris M. Mufson is a partner in Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department, where he serves as co-head of the Firm’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group and the Disability, Accommodation & Leave Management Practice Group. He is highly regarded as a trusted advisor to clients in a wide range of industries regarding significant employment issues. Harris has vast expertise in employment matters, representing employers in disputes regarding discrimination and retaliation, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, wage and hour, and restrictive covenants. In addition to litigating, Harris counsels clients on compliance with employment-related laws, as well as the development, implementation and enforcement of personnel policies and procedures. Additionally, he has conducted numerous internal investigations regarding sensitive employment matters.

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EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance (Again)

On September 8, 2020, the EEOC released an updated technical assistance document addressing COVID-19 and the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the agency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Our previous posts about the EEOC’s prior COVID-19 guidance are available here and here. The updated guidance includes 18 new questions and answers, most of … Continue Reading

Intersection Between Return-to-School and FFCRA

As we have previously reported, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which remains in effect through December 31, 2020, provides, among other things, that eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for their … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Releases Guidance on Lost Wages Assistance Program

On August 8, 2020, the President issued an executive memoranda establishing the Lost Wages Assistance (“LWA”) program, a new unemployment benefit intended to replace the recently-expired $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (“FPUC”) payment. As a refresher, the CARES Act created three unemployment benefits programs: (1) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”), providing benefits for those … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Second Set of Coronavirus-Related Citations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has now issued its second set of coronavirus-related citations, this time against an Ohio health-care company.  OSHA inspected three of the company’s nursing facilities from April to June after the company reported the coronavirus-related hospitalization of seven employees.  On July 21, 2020, OSHA announced … Continue Reading

Colorado Governor Signs Paid Sick Leave Act into Law

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“the Act”) into law. Beginning next year (or later for small employers), the Act will require employers in Colorado to provide employees with up to six paid sick days a year – and more if there is a public health … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Additional FAQs Regarding Returning to the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published additional frequently asked questions regarding returning to the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday. We reported on OSHA’s earlier posted FAQs here. Though the FAQs do not impose any new legal requirements, employers should be aware of OSHA’s recommendations as workplaces around the country continue to … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Guidance on Reopening Workplaces

On June 18, OSHA issued non-binding guidance to help employers safely reopen non-essential businesses and facilitate their employees’ return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance focuses on employers implementing strategies for five main aspects of the workplace: basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Bulletin on FFCRA Leave in Light of Summer Camp and Program Closures

On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) No. 2020-4, providing guidance on when an employee may take leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for their child whose summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program is … Continue Reading

EEOC and OSHA Issue New COVID-19 Guidance

As the nation continues to move toward reopening, the EEOC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued additional guidance for employers to consider as they plan employees’ return to the workplace. These updates supplement earlier guidance issued by both agencies, which we discuss in our previous posts. EEOC Guidance On June 11, 2020, … Continue Reading

Top Three Takeaways from OSHA Chief’s Testimony Regarding OSHA Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid growing criticism of the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Loren E. Sweatt (“Sweatt”), testified before the House Education and Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee last Wednesday during which she defended the agency’s actions to protect worker safety during the pandemic. Below, we discuss the top three takeaways from … Continue Reading

CDC Issues Guidance Warning Against Use of Antibody Testing in Making Decisions Regarding Returning Employees to the Workplace

The CDC has issued interim guidance on antibody testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. While the guidance is primarily directed at clinical and public health entities, it does contain some information relevant to employers, educational institutions, and other entities who may be considering whether and to what extent such antibody testing may play … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Recordkeeping Requirements

On May 19, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a memorandum updating previous guidance regarding employers’ obligation to record cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. On May 26, 2020, the previous guidance will be rescinded and OSHA’s updated guidance will go into effect, the key provisions of which are … Continue Reading

Latest Proposed Coronavirus Relief Bill Would Significantly Expand Employee Leave Benefits Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On May 12, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (“HEROES Act”), which, among other things, would significantly expand coverage and benefits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). As we have discussed at length in numerous prior posts, the FFCRA provides for paid … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance for Re-Opening of Businesses

*** Last Updated: July 17, 2020 *** New York State has issued detailed guidance on Governor Cuomo’s “New York Forward” Plan, under which the State will re-open in four phases on a regional basis. The guidance includes additional information regarding: (1) when regions will be permitted to begin re-opening; (2) which businesses are included in … Continue Reading

New York City Department of Health Issues Standing Isolation Order for Purposes of New York State Emergency Sick Leave Law

The New York City Department of Health has issued a standing Order that creates a process for those who live or work in the City to receive the documentation needed to claim leave in certain circumstances under the New York State COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Law. The State Emergency Sick Leave Law requires New York … Continue Reading

New York’s Governor Outlines Plan to Re-Open Businesses

***Updated May 5, 2020 to account for new information released by the Governor’s Office.*** In his daily press conference on April 26, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to re-open the state in phases on a regional basis. Under the plan, businesses will re-open on a business-by-business level within each region, with … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL Answers Questions From States About PUA Unemployment Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an update to its Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20 to provide additional guidance on the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in response to questions submitted by states. As a quick refresher, PUA expands unemployment benefit coverage to certain workers who traditionally are not eligible … Continue Reading

New York City Council Introduces COVID-19 Bills Addressing Essential Workers and Paid Sick Leave Coverage

As previously announced, the New York City Council has introduced an expansive package of COVID-19 bills that, among other things, propose sweeping protections for “essential” workers. The significance of this proposed legislation cannot be understated as the City Council is proposing a mandated exception to the “at will” employment doctrine, which has served as the … Continue Reading

New York City Council Announces Proposed COVID-19 Relief Package For Small Businesses, Essential Workers

***UPDATE: The NYC Council has introduced the relief package.  More details on the bills can be found here.*** As reported by the New York Times, the New York City Council announced that it will introduce a COVID-19 relief package aimed at protecting small businesses, essential workers, tenants and the homeless. The proposed legislation includes a … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance

On June 17, 2020, the EEOC issued additional, revised technical assistance to employers, specifically addressing necessary considerations for employers that have employees returning to the workplace who are at higher risk for more severe illness due to COVID-19. This update supplemented the agency’s earlier guidance regarding best practices for diagnostic testing of employees, and the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance Limiting Recordkeeping Requirements of COVID-19 Cases for Certain Employers

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued a memorandum revising the below-discussed guidance on employers’ obligation to record cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. On May 26, 2020, the previous guidance will be rescinded and OSHA’s updated guidance will go into effect, the key provisions of which are summarized in our updated blog … Continue Reading

New York Enacts Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law as Part of FY 2021 Budget

On April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the fiscal year 2021 New York State budget, which, notably for employers, includes a new statewide paid sick leave requirement.  As described below, the new leave provisions, which amend the NY Labor Law, will require New York employers of all sizes to provide … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL Issues Additional Guidance on CARES Act Unemployment Programs

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published two additional Unemployment Insurance Program Letters (UIPLs) providing guidance on the administration of the expanded unemployment insurance benefits under the CARES Act. The following summarizes the key points of these UIPLs. UIPL No. 15-20 addresses the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provision of the CARES Act, under … Continue Reading

CARES Act Expands Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The $2.2 trillion package included various provisions increasing and expanding unemployment insurance benefits available to workers, including individuals who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to COVID-19. How does the CARES Act increase … Continue Reading
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