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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

Belgium imposes tighter Covid measures (including an obligation to work from home again)

In the wave of sunny optimism following the roll-out of our vaccination programme this spring-summer, few people in Belgium had anticipated that the Covid situation would worsen again, or do so as quickly as it has. And yet the numbers of infections and patients in intensive care are now at an all-time high. New stricter … 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

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

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of October 18, 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 October 18, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Programs (US)

Since the start of the pandemic, the EEOC has periodically updated its informal guidance to address emerging topics related to COVID-19, include regarding vaccination, which is top of mind for many U.S. employers. This week, the EEOC updated its informal guidance to address questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination incentive programs. Takeaways from the updates … Continue Reading

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously” (UK)

That was according to a US economist, Thomas Sowell, but it also came up at a recent webinar we did on whistle-blowing and grievance investigations.  We were talking about limits on the employer’s ability to use evidence from witnesses whose identities would not be disclosed to the person accused.  The short point was that to … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of September 27, 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 September 27, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: White House Clarifies New Vaccination and Safety Requirements (US)

The White House has clarified the requirements of one of the new federal measures that will require employers to ensure employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Specifically, the White House has issued binding Guidance confirming the requirements of President Biden’s September 7 Executive Order concerning COVID safety for federal contractors and subcontractors. Although this Guidance leaves … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of September 13, 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 September 13, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Become Mandatory for Most Green Card Applicants (US)

According to a new policy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective October 1, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is included on the list of vaccines required for applicants to obtain lawful permanent residence (aka “green card”). Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii), foreign nationals to be found admissible … 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

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of July 26, 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 July 26, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing webinar questions, Part 2 – interim relief (UK)

In our webinar last week we touched on the existence of a largely unique remedy for whistleblowing dismissals, the concept of interim relief, more recently and lucidly known as a contract continuation order (“CCO”).  Time did not permit a full rehearsal of the ins and outs of this potentially devastating employee tool, so here is … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of June 14, 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 June 14, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … 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

Healthcare Employers Take Note: OSHA Issues New Temporary Standard (US)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had limited itself to issuing general guidance concerning COVID-19, as opposed to specific rules or standards. On Thursday, however, OSHA announced that it will issue its first standard specific to COVID-19 for healthcare workers. Although the standard is temporary, it creates significant obligations for … Continue Reading

California Agency Withdraws Proposed Revised Mask Regulation (US)

Less than a week after adopting a controversial proposal that would have required vaccinated employees to wear masks any time they were in a room with an unvaccinated person, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to withdraw the proposal. The Board plans to consider a new proposal at its next regular meeting … Continue Reading

Proposed right to disconnect lacks joined-up thinking (UK)

BBC News Online reported last week a call by trade union Prospect for the Government to legislate to “ban out of hours emails from bosses” or, beneath the headline, to “ban bosses from routinely emailing or calling outside set working hours“.  This looks like the proposed introduction into English law of the “right to disconnect” … Continue Reading

California Agency Says Masks Stay On At Work – At Least for Now (US)

On June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) took the first step towards adopting revised regulations relating to COVID-19 in the workplace. These revisions include updates to requirements for face coverings, physical distancing, and other preventive measures for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. The rules will apply in almost every workplace … 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
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