Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Coronavirus

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Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Aimed at Prohibiting Vaccine Mandates for Private Employers

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an Executive Order (GA-40) prohibiting the enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas against employees and customers of private businesses who object on certain bases, including “personal conscience.” Effective immediately, GA-40 states: “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Guidance On HERO Act

On September 30, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) released an updated set of frequently asked questions on the HERO Act. As we previously reported, the HERO Act requires all employers in New York to implement certain safety standards and adopt a prevention plan to protect against the spread of airborne infectious … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Model Workplace Safety Plans and FAQ Guidance Under the HERO Act

***UPDATE: On September 30, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor released updated FAQs regarding the HERO Act. Our blog post on this development is available here.*** On September 23, 2021, New York State issued updated model airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans for employer use pursuant to the HERO Act. As we previously … Continue Reading

OSHA To Issue Emergency Temporary Standard Requiring Large Employers to Mandate Vaccination or Weekly Testing for Employees

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an Emergency Temporary Standard that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated workers to provide a negative COVID-19 test result at least … Continue Reading

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

***UPDATE: On October 4, 2021, the New York State Commissioner of Health continued the designation of COVID-19 as a “highly contagious communicable disease” pursuant to the HERO Act from September 30, 2021 until October 31, 2021. According to the designation, on October 31, the Commissioner “will review the level of transmission of COVID-19 in New … Continue Reading

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

***UPDATE: On September 14, 2021, a New York district court issued an order temporarily blocking New York State from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate “to the extent it categorically requires health care employers to deny or revoke religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination mandates.”  The temporary restraining order is currently in effect through October 12, 2021.  … 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

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
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