Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Workplace Safety

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Virginia Becomes First State To Pass Permanent Workplace Coronavirus Rules

Quick Hit As we previously reported, Virginia became the first state to issue mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety rules via an emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) executed on July 15, 2020. The temporary standard expired on January 26, 2021 but the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board (the “Board”) has recently taken … 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

[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

New York Court Dismisses Amazon Workers’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Claims

*** UPDATE: On November 24, 2020, the Plaintiffs in Palmer, et al. v. Amazon.Com, Inc., et al. filed a notice of appeal. The Plaintiffs appealed Judge Cogan’s order dismissing the case to the Second Circuit. We will continue to monitor this case and provide updates. *** On November 2, 2020, the Eastern District of New … Continue Reading

Virginia COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules Now In Effect

Quick Hit As we previously reported, Virginia became the first state to issue mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety rules when the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (“VSHCB”) approved an emergency temporary standard on July 15, 2020.  The final text has now been released and the new rules, which apply to most private employers, went into … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Second Set of Coronavirus-Related Citations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has now issued its second set of coronavirus-related citations, this time against an Ohio health-care company.  OSHA inspected three of the company’s nursing facilities from April to June after the company reported the coronavirus-related hospitalization of seven employees.  On July 21, 2020, OSHA announced … Continue Reading

Virginia Becomes First State to Adopt Mandatory COVID-19 Workplace Safety Requirements

Quick Hit Virginia became the first state to issue mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety rules when the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (“VSHCB”) approved an emergency temporary standard on July 15, 2020 by a 9-2 vote.  The final text has not yet been published but the mandatory requirements are expected to include obligations surrounding flexible … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Additional FAQs Regarding Returning to the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published additional frequently asked questions regarding returning to the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday. We reported on OSHA’s earlier posted FAQs here. Though the FAQs do not impose any new legal requirements, employers should be aware of OSHA’s recommendations as workplaces around the country continue to … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Guidance on Reopening Workplaces

On June 18, OSHA issued non-binding guidance to help employers safely reopen non-essential businesses and facilitate their employees’ return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance focuses on employers implementing strategies for five main aspects of the workplace: basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee … Continue Reading

Top Three Takeaways from OSHA Chief’s Testimony Regarding OSHA Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

OSHA logoAmid growing criticism of the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Loren E. Sweatt (“Sweatt”), testified before the House Education and Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee last Wednesday during which she defended the agency’s actions to protect worker safety during the pandemic. Below, we discuss the top three takeaways from … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Chicago City Council Introduces COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, Reflecting Growing Trend

The proposed Chicago COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) that was the subject of our post on April 27, 2020, has now become law. The Ordinance prohibits Chicago employers from retaliating against employees for obeying a public health order requiring an employee to remain at home as a consequence of COVID-19.  This reflects a growing trend among … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Recordkeeping Requirements

OSHA logoOn May 19, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a memorandum updating previous guidance regarding employers’ obligation to record cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. On May 26, 2020, the previous guidance will be rescinded and OSHA’s updated guidance will go into effect, the key provisions of which are … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Announces Four Phase Plan to Reopen

On Monday May 18, 2020, Governor Baker announced the first phase of his administration’s much-anticipated plan to reopen Massachusetts (the “Plan”), nearly eight weeks after first ordering non-essential businesses to close and advising residents to stay home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In describing the phased reopening, the Governor repeatedly emphasized that the coronavirus … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments Associated With The Coronavirus Pandemic

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson, Seth Safra, Mike Lebowich and Guy Brenner discuss recent developments associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Tune in as we address the latest legislative developments and issues employers should be thinking about when confronting the ramifications of this virus in the workplace. Listen to the podcast.   … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Orders All Non-Essential Workers to Stay Home

Seal of MassachusettsUPDATE:  Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts’ order closing non-essential businesses and the Commonwealth’s stay at home advisory will remain in effect until May 18, 2020. *  *  * Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 12:00 PM, Massachusetts will join a growing number of states in closing non-essential businesses and organizations to employees, customers, and the … Continue Reading

New York State Mandates That Non-Essential Workers Must Stay Home

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 9, 2020, the State of New York released updated guidance that modifies some of the content discussed below.  Read more on our updated blog post here. *** Beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020, in accordance with Executive Order 202.8 issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, only essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in … Continue Reading
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