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

The New York state legislature passed the Hero Act, which would require all employers in New York to implement certain safety standards and adopt a prevention plan to protect against further spread of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. The Act would require the state Department of Labor, in consultation with the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Employer Recording Obligations Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Programs

On April 20, 2021, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance regarding employers’ obligation to record adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.  The guidance, which is in the form of answers to three frequently asked questions, clarifies that if an employer adopts a mandatory vaccination policy, an adverse reaction to … 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

New York State Issues Additional Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Leave Law

***UPDATE: New York State has modified its Paid Family Leave COVID-19 FAQs for Employees to reflect this New York State Department of Labor guidance. We will continue to monitor New York’s COVID-19 leave law and provide updates.*** On January 20, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor issued new guidance on the state’s COVID-19 … Continue Reading

Congress Extends FFCRA Tax Credit into 2021, Declines to Extend FFCRA Leave

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which requires that employers with fewer than 500 employees provide sick and family leave benefits for certain COVID-19 related reasons, is due to sunset on December 31, 2020. Many believed that the FFCRA’s sick and family leave provisions would be extended into 2021 as part of the … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Evandro Gigante discuss the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent guidance for employers regarding mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. On December 16th, 2020, the EEOC issued updated guidance for employers in light of the FDA’s recent authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Widespread vaccinations have been largely … Continue Reading

Congress Seeks to Extend Many CARES Act Unemployment Benefits in Pandemic Relief Package

*** UPDATE: After being presented with the bill on Thursday, December 24, President Trump signed it into law on Sunday, December 27.  The unemployment provisions take effect upon signing, but because states process unemployment benefit claims on a weekly basis that generally begin each Saturday, benefits under the new law likely will be paid starting … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

On December 16, the EEOC issued updated guidance for employers in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) recent authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.  Widespread vaccinations are largely perceived as critical in returning all employees to the workplace safely and resuming normal business operations.  As such, many employers have been grappling … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: OFCCP Opens Hotline for Complaints of Race and Sex Stereotyping in Workplace Training

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Guy Brenner discuss the Trump administration’s recent Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, which restricts the concepts that government contractors can include in their employee diversity and awareness training programs.  It also imposes certain penalties and sanctions, including debarment for failure to comply. Tune … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments on California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Harris Mufson and associate Phil Lebel discuss recent legal developments in California, specifically a new supplemental paid sick leave law and coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure notification requirements. Tune in as we discuss steps employers can take to ensure compliance with these new requirements. Listen to the podcast.  … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: DOL’s Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Allan Bloom discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed new rule on independent contractor classification.  In recent years, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors has been the subject of a number of private lawsuits and investigations by government agencies.  This is true for traditional industries and … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance (Again)

On September 8, 2020, the EEOC released an updated technical assistance document addressing COVID-19 and the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the agency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Our previous posts about the EEOC’s prior COVID-19 guidance are available here and here. The updated guidance includes 18 new questions and answers, most of … Continue Reading

Intersection Between Return-to-School and FFCRA

As we have previously reported, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which remains in effect through December 31, 2020, provides, among other things, that eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for their … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Releases Guidance on Lost Wages Assistance Program

On August 8, 2020, the President issued an executive memoranda establishing the Lost Wages Assistance (“LWA”) program, a new unemployment benefit intended to replace the recently-expired $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (“FPUC”) payment. As a refresher, the CARES Act created three unemployment benefits programs: (1) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”), providing benefits for those … Continue Reading
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