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Consistently sought out to handle urgent commercial matters and workplace disputes throughout the country that require coordinated strategies for protecting business concerns while safeguarding enterprise interests and public relations, Richard Gerakitis uses considerable skill to provide devoted advocacy, advice and access.

Q: Did the U.S. Supreme Court issue a ruling in the challenge to OSHA’s vaccine and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) and CMS interim final rule (IFR)?

A: Yes. On January 13, the Court granted the applications for stays of the OSHA ETS. Conversely, the Court granted the federal government’s request to overturn the injunctions that had halted the IFR.
Continue Reading US Supreme Court Issues Rulings in Challenge to OSHA Vaccine and Testing ETS and CMS Interim Final Rule

Q. What is the status of the Sixth Circuit’s consideration of the challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), and how does it impact the upcoming deadlines set by the ETS?

A. As discussed in our previous alert, on November 5, OSHA published an ETS that would require private employers with 100 or more employees to establish, by January 4, 2022 either (1) a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy; or (2) a vaccination policy that requires employees to either be fully vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. The ETS would also require covered employers, by December 6, to: (1) determine the vaccination status of all employees; (2) provide leave for them to get vaccinated and recover from side effects of vaccination; and (3) ensure unvaccinated employees wear face coverings at work. Multiple challenges were filed over the ETS after OSHA’s issuance of the ETS, and, on November 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected by lottery to hear the consolidated challenges to OSHA’s recent ETS, including the Fifth Circuit’s extension of a nationwide stay of the ETS on November 12.

Continue Reading Final Sixth Circuit’s Briefing Schedule Likely Delays the December 6 Deadline Set by OSHA’s ETS

Q: Now that DOL-OSHA announced its COVID-19 vaccine ETS for private-sector workers, what does my company need to do to adhere to the guidelines?

A: On November 4, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an emergency temporary standard (ETS), containing the anticipated COVID-19 vaccination rule covering private companies with 100 or more employees. The ETS became effective immediately on November 5 upon its publication in the Federal Register. On November 6, the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals granted an emergency motion to stay enforcement of the ETS effectively nationwide, pending further action by the court, which could come as early as November 9 at 6 p.m. ET. Other challenges to the ETS’s enforcement have been filed in the Eighth, Sixth, and Eleventh circuits thus far.

Continue Reading DOL-OSHA Announces New COVID-19 Vaccine ETS for Private-Sector Workers

Q: What do employers need to know about the Biden administration’s new vaccine mandate?

A: Following the Biden administration’s September 9 announcement, employers are brimming with questions about the forthcoming White House COVID-19 vaccination mandate plan. Must all employers mandate the vaccine? Which employees are covered? When will the requirements take effect? What steps should employers take now to prepare? These and many other questions are yet to have complete answers. With the new rules expected to impact as many as 100 million workers (and with them, a significant number of businesses), employers should begin to prepare as soon as possible. Here’s what we know and what employers need to consider.

Continue Reading Biden Administration Announces Vaccination Mandate Rules

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Thursday, July 15 • 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Please join members of the Troutman Pepper Labor and Employment and Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Teams, along with guest Steve Kapper, Associate Client Partner at Korn Ferry, as they discuss the “new” workplace and how to prepare for the next pandemic/economic recession.

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Q: What Does the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Mean for Employers?

A: On March 11, nearly a year after the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and CARES Act, and three months after the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, President Biden signed a sweeping $1.9 trillion stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan. The headline-grabbing elements of the American Rescue Plan include $1,400 direct payments to individuals earning below a certain income threshold, $160 billion for COVID-19 vaccine and testing programs, and $360 billion for aid to state, local, and territorial governments. Critical to employers, the American Rescue Plan once again extends federal unemployment insurance benefits and modifies employee entitlement to COVID-19-related leave under the FFCRA.

Continue Reading The $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan

Q: What issues should my business begin to address so that when COVID-19 vaccines are ready for distribution, we will be ready?

A: On a nearly daily basis, Americans hear promising news about vaccine developments that will help protect us from COVID-19. As the reality of a safe, effective, and accessible vaccine draws closer, industries and businesses across the country have started developing their own COVID-19 vaccine strategies. These entities have quickly discovered that any vaccine policy implemented will raise complicated questions not previously faced. While historic annual influenza vaccine strategies are informative, COVID-19 vaccine issues bring new challenges because of the sheer magnitude of the pandemic and the unique issues surrounding the pace of development and distribution. Businesses should proactively address these issues now so when the COVID-19 vaccines are ready for distribution, they will be too.

Continue Reading When the COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives, Will Your Business Be Ready?

Q. How will the federal court decision impact business policies and practices that address FFCRA leave?

A. On August 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down four parts of the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As a result of the decision:
Continue Reading Federal Court Decision Changes How Employers Must Implement Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Q. Have there been any changes to the CDC Guidance on testing?

A. Until late July, the CDC offered a test-based or symptom-based strategy to govern the timing of “discontinuing isolation” for a person known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19. In an abrupt change in guidance, the CDC announced a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except in certain circumstances. The CDC now recommends following only a modified symptom-based strategy, which means:
Continue Reading COVID-19 Testing No Longer Generally Recommended for Discontinuing Isolation, CDC Says

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released an advisory addressing employer and employee obligations “in the event of possible worker exposure to the Ebola virus.” Employers who believe that there is possible worker exposure to Ebola virus must implement various OSHA standards as part of a comprehensive worker protection program. The question many employers now face is: when does our workforce meet the threshold of “possible worker exposure” that would trigger implementation of these standards?
Continue Reading Ebola Alert: OSHA Releases Guidance on Employer and Employee Obligations