Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Coronavirus

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

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 patrons of indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment venues and performances. In a press conference, Mayor de Blasio stated that the mandate – termed the “Key to … Continue Reading

DOJ Memo: The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Does Not Prohibit Entities from Requiring Vaccines Subject to an EUA

In a memo dated July 6, 2021, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the COVID-19 vaccines’ status as products authorized for emergency use does not prohibit public and private entities from requiring them as a condition of employment, education, or receipt of services. This memo comes on the heels of a recent decision … 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

OSHA Releases First Coronavirus Emergency Temporary Standard and Updates Non-Mandatory Guidance

On June 21, 2021, OSHA’s first emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace went into effect.  The mandatory standards apply only to the health-care sector.  OSHA also released several Fact Sheets and almost 100 FAQs regarding the ETS. In addition, OSHA released updated non-mandatory guidance for industries outside … Continue Reading

Federal Court Upholds Employer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

On June 12, 2021, a federal District Court in Texas in Bridges, et al v. Houston Methodist Hospital et al, Docket No. 4:21-cv-01774 (S.D. Tex. Jun 01, 2021) dismissed a case challenging a hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees. This is the first court opinion addressing the ability of employers to require employees to … 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 Maryland COVID-19 Workplace Safety Law

UPDATE:  As of July 1, 2021, the state of emergency in Maryland has ended, which, per the terms of the law, means the employer requirements in the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act should no longer be in effect.  If Maryland’s Governor reinstates the state of emergency order, the requirements may again apply. Quick Hit:  Maryland … 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

Massachusetts Enacts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

CoronovirusLast week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation providing for COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave for Massachusetts employees. Governor Baker vetoed an earlier version of the bill in April. The revised bill, signed into law on May 28, 2021, takes effect on Monday, June 7, 2021. Employees are eligible for COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave … 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

City of Chicago Passes COVID-19 Vaccination Ordinance

On April 21, 2021, the City of Chicago passed an ordinance (the “Ordinance”), here, prohibiting Chicago employers from: (i) retaliating against workers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine during working hours; and (ii) requiring that workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine only during non-working hours. The Ordinance takes effect immediately. The Ordinance applies to all employers who … 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

EEOC Announces Employers Have Until August 23, 2021 to make their 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Submissions

***June 28, 2021 Update: Following an EEOC extension, employers now have until Monday, August 23, 2021 to submit their 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings.*** On March 29, 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced data collection for the EEO-1 Component 1 filing opened on April 26, 2021, and employers have until August 23, … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Leave Law

The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) has issued guidance on the State’s recently enacted COVID-19 vaccine leave law, which went into effect on March 12, 2021.  As we previously reported, the law requires employers to provide employees with “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” per dose to be vaccinated … 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

Congressional SealOn 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
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