Health & Welfare

Subscribe to Health & Welfare RSS Feed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember Vacations? Considerations for Employers When Addressing Employees’ Personal Travel During COVID-19 (US)

It’s been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, and during this period, most of us have remained either in, or very close to, our homes. Although a second wave of infections now appears to be starting, the colder temperatures of winter, the approaching holiday season, or the … Continue Reading

A Guide for Employers Considering A Mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy (US)

As if 2020 hasn’t already presented more than its fair share of challenges, flu season is now rapidly approaching. Combined with the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employers are more concerned than ever before with ensuring that their employees stay healthy and productive. As a result, many employers are weighing the pros and cons of encouraging, … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Guidance On COVID-19-Related Workplace Safety (US)

As businesses continue to reopen and more workers return to the workplace despite significant increases in infection rates in some parts of the country, many questions have surfaced about employers’ obligations to provide employees with a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its informal COVID-19-related guidance to address a number … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Issues Additional Informal Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been in effect for nearly six weeks and, as practical challenges with interpreting and implementing the Act surface, the Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its informal guidance in piecemeal fashion. On May 12, 2020, the DOL added five additional questions and answers to its FFCRA … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

WEBINAR 16 March 2020: Addressing Coronavirus Practically and Legally: What US Employers Need to Know

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” is now impacting employers all across the US.  Every organization should have a plan of action in place concerning the coronavirus as the threat of an outbreak at your workplace cannot be ignored. Please join us for a live webinar on Monday, March 16, 2020 … Continue Reading

Pandemic or Pandemonium? Employers Brace for the Coronavirus (US)

You can’t escape the panic spreading through mass and social media regarding the 2020 Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, a virus that has resulted in fatalities in China and infected thousands worldwide. Symptoms mimic that of influenza (fever, cough), but can include difficulty breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death in severe cases. Despite the panic, there are … Continue Reading

Illinois Employers Face A Recent Rash of Class Action Lawsuits Filed Under State Biometric Information Privacy Law

Illinois enacted its Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in 2008 to regulate, among other things, employer collection and use of employee biometric information.  Biometrics is defined as the measurement and analysis of physical and behavioral characteristics.  This analysis produces biometric identifiers that include things like fingerprints, iris or face scans, and voiceprints, all of which … Continue Reading

Thriving at Work – Part 3

Following our previous blogs on the Stephenson/Farmer report, this post looks at some more of the hard facts from the report associated with mental health conditions in the workplace and their causes. First of all, it should be noted that “mental health at work” encompasses not only problems caused by or at work, despite what … Continue Reading

Thriving at Work – Part 2

As we mentioned in our previous blog, the Farmer/ Stephenson “Thriving at Work” Report has made a number of recommendations as to steps that businesses, the public sector and the Government can take to increase mental health and wellbeing within the workplace, with the aim not only of increasing the standard of mental health but … Continue Reading

The politics of tragedy – new employment rights proposed for bereaved parents

You know it’s time to re-issue your employment legislation when the nearest available section number for the insertion of an amendment into the Employment Rights Act is Section 171ZZ. Though it might sound like a bottom-rank Star Wars droid, that little fellow is actually the proposed product of a new Bill on time off work for … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on holiday pay and accrual during sickness

The Acas National Newsletter for June, out earlier this week, contains some slightly updated advice on the eternal question of how you calculate holiday pay, plus an existential poser on the relationship between sickness and holiday accrual. On the holiday pay front, there remains no steer as to how commission or overtime earnings should be … Continue Reading

Improving support in the workplace for employees with mental health issues

This post was prepared with the kind assistance of Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health, a charity dedicated to changing the lives of people with mental health problems by improving support and bringing about fairer policies. Many employers have experience of dealing with prolonged, costly and challenging sickness absences of … Continue Reading
LexBlog