Law and the Workplace
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Harris Mufson

Partner

Harris M. Mufson is a partner in Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department, where he serves as co-head of the Firm’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group and the Disability, Accommodation & Leave Management Practice Group. He is highly regarded as a trusted advisor to clients in a wide range of industries regarding significant employment issues. Harris has vast expertise in employment matters, representing employers in disputes regarding discrimination and retaliation, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, wage and hour, and restrictive covenants. In addition to litigating, Harris counsels clients on compliance with employment-related laws, as well as the development, implementation and enforcement of personnel policies and procedures. Additionally, he has conducted numerous internal investigations regarding sensitive employment matters.

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COVID-19 Designated as an Airborne Infectious Disease under New York State’s HERO Act

On Monday, September 6, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Commissioner of Health has designated COVID-19 as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health” under the New York State HERO Act. As we previously reported, the HERO Act requires all employers in New … Continue Reading

New York State Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all healthcare workers in New York State must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by September 27, 2021. The mandate includes staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings.  In connection with this announcement, the … Continue Reading

Additional Guidance Issued on NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Workers and Patrons of Indoor Dining, Fitness and Entertainment Venues

As we previously reported, New York City is now mandating COVID-19 vaccination for workers and patrons of indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment venues and performances.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an Executive Order and additional guidance has been released on the mandate – termed the “Key to NYC” – which takes effect … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued updated guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The updated guidance largely aligns with the latest information from the Centers for Disease and Prevention regarding protecting workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk from COVID-19. OSHA’s guidance recommends that … Continue Reading

New York City to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination for Workers and Patrons of Indoor Dining, Fitness and Entertainment Venues

UPDATE: An Executive Order and additional guidance on this mandate has been released by the City of New York.  More information can be found in our post here. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that New York City will become the first major city in the United States to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for workers and … Continue Reading

New York State Issues HERO Act Prevention Standard and Model Plans

On July 6, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor published multiple model documents related to the implementation of the New York HERO Act (the “Act”), which, as we previous reported, requires all employers in New York to adopt a prevention plan to protect against the spread of airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. … Continue Reading

The State of Face Covering Requirements in New York

On June 23, 2021, the New York State Department of Health issued an Emergency Regulation requiring non-fully vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings in workplaces and other public settings. The publication of this Emergency Regulation comes at the heels of Governor Cuomo’s June 15, 2021 announcement that New York Forward industry guidance would become optional, … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Reopening Guidance for Offices

***June 16, 2021 Update: On June 15, Governor Cuomo announced that 70% of adult New Yorkers have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, the New York Forward industry guidance is now optional for offices, retail, food services, gyms, and other commercial settings. The guidance remains mandatory for large-scale indoor event … Continue Reading

New York State Passes Significant Amendments to the HERO Act

***UPDATE: on June 11, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the HERO Act amendments into law. As discussed below, section 1 of the Act takes effect on July 5, 2021, though employers are not required to adopt an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan until the state issues its model. Section 2 (permitting the creation of a … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Additional Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

On May 28, the EEOC issued updated and expanded guidance for employers, addressing many unanswered questions regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. The updates supplement prior EEOC guidance and focus on four topics: (1) mandatory vaccination policies; (2) accommodations; (3) information about employee vaccination status; and (4) vaccine incentives. Below, we highlight the key guidance on each topic. … Continue Reading

CDC Updates Guidance Regarding Fully Vaccinated Individuals

***UPDATE: OSHA announced that it is carefully reviewing the CDC’s guidance and is in the process of updating its guidance to employers.  Until those updates are released, OSHA instructs employers to refer to the CDC’s guidance for information on how to protect fully vaccinated employees. Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced that New York will adopt the … Continue Reading

New York State Passes Bill to Mandate COVID-19 Safety Standards in the Workplace

***UPDATE: Governor Cuomo signed the HERO Act into law on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The Act is currently scheduled to take effect on June 4, 2021; however, section two of the Act, which permits the creation of a joint employer-employee workplace health and safety committee (as discussed below), takes effect on November 1, 2021. On … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Employer Recording Obligations Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Programs

***UPDATE: On May 21, 2021, OSHA published a new FAQ establishing that employers do not need to record adverse reactions from COVID-19 vaccines on their OSHA 300 Logs, at least through May of 2022.  The enforcement position applies regardless of whether an employer requires, recommends, or incentivizes employees to receive the vaccine. On April 20, … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Travel Advisory; Relaxes Travel Restrictions

On April 10, 2021, the New York State Department of Health again updated its COVID-19 Travel Advisory for domestic and international travel. The advisory removes many of the quarantine requirements for domestic and international travelers arriving in New York State and clarifies existing guidance for all travelers. Additional information about the current restrictions on travel … Continue Reading

New York State Legalizes Recreational Adult Use of Marijuana

On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana for individuals ages 21 and older. Among other things, the Act establishes a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management that will be responsible for regulating … Continue Reading

CDC Provides Guidance for Workplace Vaccination Programs

On March 16, 2021, the CDC issued updated guidance for employers regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. This guidance focuses on considerations for mandatory vaccination programs, reopening the workplace after employees have been vaccinated, and general best practices regarding vaccinations. Below, we highlight the key aspects of this guidance. Mandating Vaccination Similar to recent guidance … Continue Reading

New York State Announces New COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines

On March 10, 2021, New York State updated its quarantine guidance for individuals exposed to COVID-19. Under this new guidance, individuals who are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, provided that certain conditions are met. This announcement brings New York … Continue Reading

OSHA Launches New Workplace Safety Initiative and Updated Enforcement Guidance Regarding COVID-19

As we previously reported, on January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order aimed at increasing COVID-19 workplace safety measures at the federal level. In response to President Biden’s directive, OSHA announced on March 12, 2021 the launch of a national emphasis program (“NEP”) to focus its enforcement efforts on employers that put the … Continue Reading

Congress Passes American Rescue Plan: What Employers Need to Know

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Rescue Plan”), a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package intended to provide continued economic relief to individuals, businesses, and state and local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. The following is a summary of … Continue Reading

New York State Passes Bill Granting Employees Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations

***UPDATE: Governor Cuomo signed this bill into law on Friday, March 12. The law takes effect immediately.*** The New York state legislature passed Bill S2588A/A3354B, which would amend the New York Labor Law to grant employees paid leave time for the COVID-19 vaccination.  Below is a brief summary of what New York employers need to … Continue Reading

New York State Announces New COVID-19 Travel Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

UPDATE: This post was updated on March 13, 2021 to reflect changes to New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory and to include information on Governor Cuomo’s March 11th announcement regarding quarantine requirements for travelers to New York State. UPDATE: On April 1, 2021, the NYS Department of Health issued an updated travel advisory, which no … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: What Can Employers Expect from the Biden Administration?

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson, Evandro Gigante, and Allan Bloom discuss key potential employment law changes under the Biden Administration.  Tune in as we explore an evolving legal landscape – from new health and safety requirements to wage and hour regulations and expanded anti-discrimination laws. Listen to the podcast.  … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Workplace Safety Guidance Regarding COVID-19

As we previously reported, last week President Biden directed the Secretary of Labor to issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to that directive, OSHA issued what the DOL described as “stronger” worker safety guidance to advise employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA’s newest guidance, titled “Protecting Workers: … Continue Reading

Biden Directs OSHA To Issue New Workplace Safety Guidance Regarding COVID-19

Quick Hit On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at increasing COVID-19 workplace safety measures at the federal level.  As a result, employers should expect new OSHA guidance within the next two weeks and new emergency temporary standards by mid-March. Key Takeaways President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and … Continue Reading
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