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US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of May 17, 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 May 17. *** 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

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

An Update Concerning Employer Mandatory Vaccination Policies – COVID-19 (US)

With news reports emerging this week that two companies each have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is more than 90% effective and carries few side effects, and that mass immunizations may begin as early as December 2020, when more than 20 million doses of the vaccines are predicted to be available, employers will soon confront … Continue Reading

Updated OSHA Guidance Demonstrates Employers’ Need for Further Pandemic Planning (US)

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued two updated memorandums to regional administrators and state plan designees. The first updated the agency’s enforcement guidance for recording COVID-19 cases in the workplace. As we discussed here, OSHA originally indicated on April 10, 2020 that it would be exercising “enforcement discretion” and focusing COVID-19 recordkeeping requirements in the … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

CDC/OSHA COVID-19 Guidance for Meat and Poultry Industry Also Useful for Other Employers (US)

On April 26, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued interim guidance for the US meat and poultry industry.  The guidance contains a number of recommendations aimed at stemming transmission among workers in this particularly vulnerable industry, which continues to face plant shutdowns … Continue Reading

Wardrobe Malfunctions, Zoombombing, and Other Torrid Tales from the Home Front (US)

With more of us working from home than ever during the COVID-19 public health crisis, employers and employees face unique challenges. Videoconferences have replaced in-person meetings, and our pets, kids, and partners are now our temporary “coworkers.” From the occasional mild annoyances, like barking dogs and ringing doorbells, to the truly humiliating examples trending on … 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

US Department of Labor Publishes Regulations Clarifying Various Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Some questions answered, many still remain On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations (29 CFR Part 826), attempting to clarify certain provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As we previously reported here, under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provision of the FFCRA, certain public employers and … Continue Reading

Healthcare Worker’s Vaccine Refusal Not Immunized by Americans with Disabilities Act (US)

On December 7, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously held in Hustvet v. Allina Health System that an employer did not unlawfully terminate an employee who refused to receive a rubella vaccination.  The plaintiff, a healthcare specialist working with potentially vulnerable patients, requested an accommodation exempting … Continue Reading

Three New State Laws Legalize Marijuana Use, Sparking More Confusion and Igniting Further Conflict With Federal Law (US)

The mid-term elections are still on people’s minds, as recounts and run-offs for federal congressional and state gubernatorial candidates are finally wrapping up.  Meanwhile, and largely taking a media-coverage backseat to these high-profile races, many new state initiatives became law as a result of the mid-terms, three which involved legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical … Continue Reading

The form labor agreement that’s making headlines in Japan

Last week, Japanese newspapers reported that a national medical research center in the suburbs of Osaka had entered into a so-called “36 agreement” with its doctors and nurses in 2012, allowing these employees to work up to 300 hours of overtime per month and up to 2,070 hours of overtime per year. (To be clear, … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Measure to Kill Obama-era Contractor Disclosure Rule

In another roll-back of Obama-era regulations, the Senate voted last night, 49 to 48, to repeal the contractor disclosure rule.  This rule required companies bidding on federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Finalized in August and blocked … Continue Reading

Ohio Employer Alert: Weapons Policy Review Needed; No Local Sick Leave

During the December lame duck session, the Ohio legislature passed SB 199. Among other things, the law provides that a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person who has been issued a valid concealed … Continue Reading

OSHA Reporting Rule Now In Effect – Injunction Request Denied

Texas is currently a hot spot for legal challenges to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) administrative rules.  Just this past week, a judge in the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction and ruled that the DOL’s Overtime Rule was to be put on hold because the state and business plaintiffs were able to … Continue Reading
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