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Judge Blocks Portions of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Vaccine Mandate (US)

On November 5, 2021, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) issued an emergency regulation requiring that many types of health care facilities and providers that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds ensure that their staff, contractors, and volunteers receive at least their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by December 6, 2021 and be fully … Continue Reading

OSHA Files Emergency Motion to Allow Vaccine-or-Test ETS to Move Forward (US)

Our colleagues Shams Hirji and Colter Paulson at SPB’s Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog provide an update on the latest legal maneuvers involving OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard requiring larger US employers to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing and other infection prevention measures. At 2:28 a.m. this morning [November 23, 2021], … Continue Reading

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Vaccination-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard Pending Court Review (US)

After at least 34 lawsuits were filed nationwide seeking to permanently stay or rule unconstitutional the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) announced by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which would have required that employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or test at least weekly for COVID-19, OSHA … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination Announced (US)

UPDATE – On Saturday, November 6, 2021, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an emergency petition to stay OSHA’s interim rule/Emergency Temporary Standard, discussed below, requiring U.S. employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 or comply with weekly COVID-19 … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Updates (Yet Again) Its Rules on Paying Tipped Workers (US)

On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule on tipped wages. As Presidential administrations have changed through the years, so too has the DOL’s view regarding the circumstances under which employers can pay tipped workers less than the federal minimum wage. [See this 2019 post for the immediately prior … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance to Employers Regarding Title VII and Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (US)

UPDATE (10/29/21): On October 28, 2021, the EEOC supplemented its updated guidance on religious accommodation from employer vaccine mandates by making public its own internal accommodation request form. The agency explained: “Although the EEOC’s internal forms typically are not made public, it is included here given the extraordinary circumstances facing employers and employees due to the … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Employers Required To Ensure Employees Are Vaccinated Or Regularly Tested – President Biden’s Sweeping COVID-19 Action Plan: What Employers Need to Know (US)

It has been nine months since the first person in the United States received the COVID-19 vaccine, and ever since then, employers have been weighing the pros and cons of whether to require that employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. On September 9, 2021, President Biden narrowed the options for many employers when … Continue Reading

US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Issues Updated COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance, Recommends Indoor Mask Use (US)

In the words of Yogi Berra, it feels like déjà vu all over again. With COVID-19 infections rising again throughout the country, particularly due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant strain, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on July 27, 2021 (i) recommending that all persons living … Continue Reading

California Becomes More Expensive for Employers: Meal and Rest Break Premiums Now Track Overtime and Must be Paid at the Regular Rate of Pay, Retroactively (US)

Issuing the California Supreme Court’s decision in a much anticipated case, Justice Liu on behalf of a unanimous court explained in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC that “[t]he calculation of premium pay for a noncompliant meal, rest, or recovery period, like the calculation of overtime pay, must account for not only hourly wages but … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit: ADA Does Not Require Employers Create Job-Sharing Positions As A Disability Accommodation (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Summer Associate Sydney Finley summarizes a recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressing an employers’ obligation to provide job-sharing as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit—which covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, … Continue Reading

What Do US Employers Need to Do to Provide a Safe Workplace As State COVID-19 Mitigation Orders Drop? OSHA Provides Updated Guidance.

On June 10, 2021 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released long-awaited updated guidance on what actions employers should take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in light of an increasingly vaccinated population. The guidance supplements, and does not replace or diminish, any applicable state or local orders. Note also that OSHA released on … Continue Reading

Not Vaccinated Yet? How About $100 For A Shot? Updated EEOC Guidance Confirms Employers Can Offer Employees Vaccination Incentives (US)

On May 28, 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its ongoing guidance on COVID-19 issues in the workplace to cover additional topics relating to vaccination of employees. This updated guidance addresses a number of questions that have been arising now that a majority of the adult US population has been fully vaccinated … Continue Reading

Arizona and Many Other States Begin Legislative Process to Protect Employees Against Discrimination Based on COVID-19 Vaccine Choices (US)

Currently pending before the Arizona legislature, Senate Bill 1648 would prohibit discrimination in the workplace (and elsewhere) against individuals who have not received or who refuse to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As proposed, the bill would prohibit any employer from requiring a person to receive or disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine as … Continue Reading

Ohio Joins Growing List of States Rescinding Mask Orders (US)

As we blogged about here, the CDC announced on May 13, 2021 that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or practice social distancing except in certain circumstances, including when state or local orders still require compliance with these COVID-19 mitigation measures. As a result, a number of state and local health … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 22, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 22. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, we … Continue Reading

Considerations for Employers Contemplating Incentive Programs to Encourage Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine (US)

As we discussed in a previous post, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published guidance in December 2020 on employer mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. That guidance explained that subject to a few exceptions, employers can require that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in the workplace.  However, … Continue Reading

Biden’s DOL Withdraws Trump-Era Opinion Letters Regarding “Gig Economy” Workers and Sleeping Truck Drivers (US)

On February 19, 2021, the US Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) withdrew two Trump-era opinion letters.  The first, FLSA2019-6, discussed whether a service provider for a virtual marketplace company (“VMC”) is an independent contractor or an employee subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The second, FLSA2019-10, involved the compensability … Continue Reading

President Biden Signs Executive Order Extending Workplace Protections Against COVID-19 (US)

One of President Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an Executive Order (EO) on January 21, 2021 aimed at increasing the safety and health of U.S. workers, particularly healthcare and other essential workers, against the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, President Biden instructed the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL), through … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Clarifying Standard for Independent Contractor Versus Employee Determination Under FLSA (US)

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule clarifying the standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. This distinction in critical under the FLSA, as employers must comply with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for employees, … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits for Paid Coronavirus Leave, But Not FFCRA Paid Leave Framework Itself (US)

On Monday, December 21, Congress unveiled the nearly 5,600-page text of the latest COVID-19 relief package. If signed into law by the President, the omnibus spending and stimulus relief package will provide direct cash payments to many adults in the U.S., extend unemployment benefits, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide wide-ranging rental and educational … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART TWO (Illinois – Washington, D.C.) (US)

In Part One of our year-end State Law Roundup, we covered national minimum wage developments and developments in states at the beginning of the alphabet: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Hawaii.  In Part Two below, we look at developments in the rest of the states (and localities), from Illinois to Washington D.C. Illinois: Illinois employers … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Guidance on Employer Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies (US)

Last month we discussed whether employers will be able to require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the workplace. We noted at that time that the conditions for and lawfulness of mandatory vaccination policies was unclear, but that guidance was anticipated from the US Equal Employment … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART ONE (California – Hawaii) (US)

As we (thankfully) reach the end of 2020, we wanted to provide a year-end update on recent and upcoming state law developments.  Despite the fact that state and local governments had their hands full with the COVID-19 pandemic (and passed many laws relating to that topic, which we will not cover here), they managed to … Continue Reading

Planning Ahead for the End (For Now) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Throughout 2020, we have provided updates on the adoption of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), its implementing regulations, and its amended regulations. In these updates, we have noted that the FFCRA – which provides emergency paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons to public sector employees and employees … Continue Reading
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