Our research and regulatory monitoring team frequently tracks labor law developments from all 50 states. The following list of findings from this week’s state legislation research sweep addresses June 2021 regulatory activity in Georgia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Most importantly, as new information becomes available, Personnel Concepts will continue to provide regulatory updates to affected customers.
On May 25th, 2021, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies, state service providers, and state properties from requiring COVID-19 passports. Furthermore, state employers are prohibited from having different rules for employees based on their vaccination status, unless such rules are implemented using an “honor-code” system. Finally, private entities have more range to implement vaccine passport policies but cannot utilize the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services to verify vaccine status.
On May 28th, 2021, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation requiring COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave for employees, which was effective the same date. Under the law, employees are entitled to sick leave for the following COVID-19 related reasons:
- An employee’s need to:
- self-isolate and care for themselves because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- get a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment for COVID-19 symptoms; or
- get or recover from a COVID-19 immunization;
- An employee’s need to care for a family member who:
- must self-isolate due to a COVID-19 diagnosis; or
- needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment for COVID-19 symptoms;
- A quarantine order or similar determination regarding the employee by a local, state, or federal public official, a health authority having jurisdiction, or a health care provider;
- An employee’s need to care for a family member due to a quarantine order or similar determination regarding the family member by a local, state, or federal public official, a health authority having jurisdiction, the family member’s employer, or a health care provider; or
- An employee’s inability to telework due to COVID-19 symptoms.
In general, employers may not require employees to use other types of available paid leave before they use COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave. Similarly, employers may not require employees to search for or find a replacement worker to cover the time the employee will miss while using COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave.
The Emergency Paid Leave expires either on September 30th, 2021, or when $75 million in program funding is exhausted, whichever comes first.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 5820 on June 7th, 2021, which ended the state’s public health emergency. The bill also ends some associated public health orders as of July 4th, 2021. Some health-related executive orders, however, remain in effect. The bill allows the governor to retain the ability to revoke or modify the remaining orders prior to January 1st, 2022. The executive orders remaining in effect are Order Numbers: 106 (2020), 111 (2020), 112 (2020), 123 (2020), 127 (2020), 150 (2020), 159 (2020), 170 (2020), 178 (2020), 207 (2020), 229 (2021), 233 (2021), and 237 (2021).