The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came into force on July 1, 2020. Included in the USMCA are stronger labor provisions Congressional Democrats demanded, with the support of the Trump Administration, that were approved on a bipartisan basis during consideration of the USMCA implementing legislation in late 2019. The stronger labor provisions helped secure the support

On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) updated its guidance regarding how long an individual must quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. While the CDC continues to endorse a quarantine period of 14 days after last exposure, it has now provided two additional options for how long quarantine should last. Based on the availability of COVID-19 testing, individuals without symptoms can shorten their quarantine period to 10 days after exposure or to 7 days after receiving a negative test result. Individuals can take either the PCR or antigen test up to 48 hours before the seventh day of the last exposure. This means that individuals can take a PCR or antigen test on the fifth day after exposure but they must quarantine for at least 7 days regardless of when they receive the negative test result. If they do not receive their test result within the 7 day period, they cannot discontinue quarantine until the receipt of a negative test result. After discontinuing quarantine, individuals should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 until 14 days have passed since their last exposure. If symptoms are present before the end of the 14 day period, individuals must immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider. Individuals who test positive on the seventh day but have no symptoms must self-isolate for an additional 10 days after the last test. Individuals who develop symptoms after testing positive must self-isolate until all of the following conditions have been met: (1) at least 10 days have passed since the individual’s symptoms first appeared, (2) the individual has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and (3) there has been improvement in the individual’s other symptoms.


Continue Reading CDC Updates Its Guidance for Necessary Quarantine Period

The new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), became effective on July 1, 2020. Historically, free trade agreements like the NAFTA have been criticized for their lack of strong labor provisions to address low wages and inadequate labor standards that advocates argue support worker rights and improve economic growth in developing countries. The USMCA seeks to address those concerns. In fact, as a precondition to the passage of the USMCA, the U.S. Congress reopened the negotiations at the end of 2019 and amended the agreement to bolster Mexican workers’ rights and to include stronger enforcement provisions like the Rapid Response Mechanism to hold companies in Mexico accountable for violating the rights of free association and collective bargaining.

What is the Rapid Response Mechanism?

The Rapid Response Mechanism is perhaps the most novel aspect of the labor provisions of the USMCA. It applies between the U.S. and Mexico, and between Canada and Mexico, but not between the U.S. and Canada. Within the U.S., the Rapid Response Mechanism can be triggered when any person in the U.S. files a petition claiming the “denial of rights” at a “covered facility” in a “priority sector” in Mexico to the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (“Interagency Labor Committee”), co-chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor. The Interagency Labor Committee can request that Mexico conduct a review to determine whether there is indeed a denial of rights, or. If Mexico does not agree to conduct a review, the Interagency Labor Committee may request a panel to be convened to conduct its own verification under the USMCA.


Continue Reading Labor Provisions of the USMCA: What Multinational Employers Should Know

Doctor's hands in protection gloves holds Testing Kit for the coronavirus testThe EEOC today updated its online guidance regarding COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA), stating that employers may now test their employees for the presence of the COVID-19 virus before entering the workplace. The EEOC had previously stated that employers could monitor their employees’ body temperatures consistent with the ADA’s direct threat

On April 8, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Interim Guidance for implementing safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The CDC advises that these workers (which include both employees and contractors) may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure provided that they remain

With the current health emergency retailers face unprecedented issues. Closing stores, limiting hours, changing order patterns, remote work — all of these issues have joined basic survival as retailers contend with sudden and unpredictable challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. And while retailers are most likely not liable for any legal exposure, there are legal and

On March 15, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced his intention to sign an executive order requiring restaurants and bars to limit services to take out and delivery orders.  Similar operational limits are also in place in other jurisdictions around the country, with several more sure to come.  Retailers such as Apple, Nike,

Want to learn more? Visit Crowell &Moring’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The World Health Organization, on March 11, 2020, officially declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. By now, most multinational companies have already been grappling with the effects of the coronavirus and are considering the steps they should be taking

On March 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Guidance for employers to prevent occupational exposures to the coronavirus. In doing so, OSHA reminds employers that while no specific standard governs occupational exposure to the coronavirus, the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s General Duty Clause, 29 U.S.C. § 654 (a)(1), requires employers

As concern about coronavirus – the upper-respiratory infection that was first diagnosed in humans in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and has spread to the United States in recent days – grows worldwide, employers face a series of questions regarding the impact the virus will have on the workplace.

What Must Employers Do to Maintain