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: Now that 2021 is behind us, what are the new California employment law changes for 2022?

A: While employers continued to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses, last year’s California legislative actions led to relatively fewer employment law changes than usual for the upcoming 2022 year. Below find descriptions of new employment-related changes, including new rules for severance agreements, expanded limitations on confidentiality and nondisparagement provisions in settlement agreements, extended recordkeeping requirements, changes to the California Family Rights Act, arbitration, COVID-19 compliance, wage and hour, and industry-specific developments.

Continue Reading Overview of New California Employment Laws

Q: Has New York City provided any additional details on the employer vaccination mandate?

A: As we previously discussed, effective December 27, all private employers in New York City will be required to implement a vaccine mandate for their employees. The policy must provide that all employees who work in-person in a workplace with other co-workers are required to have at least one dose by December 27.

Employers must complete an Affirmation of Compliance with Workplace Vaccination Requirements (available here) and post the completed affirmation in a public place.
Continue Reading NYC Releases Guidance on December 27 Vaccination Mandate

Q: I heard New York City just announced an employer vaccination mandate. What do I need to know?

A: On December 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that effective December 27, all private employers in New York City will be required to implement a vaccine mandate for their employees. Employers will be required to implement a policy under which all employees who work in-person in a workplace with other co-workers are required to have at least one dose by December 27. Although many details have not yet been announced, based on Mayor de Blasio’s comments thus far, no alternate testing option is expected. The mandate is expected to affect approximately 184,000 businesses in New York City.
Continue Reading NYC Implements Employer Vaccination Mandate Effective December 27

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: Do work-from-home arrangements create a heightened risk that company trade secrets may be exposed?

A: Without proper precautions, in many ways, “yes.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have observed an increased use of external storage devices by employees to save and access work-related documents. We have heard several reasons for this, but the primary one is that employees often complain that accessing large data files remotely takes considerably more time than when they access files via the network in the company’s physical offices. Thus, employees have resorted more often to using personally owned external storage devices, such as external hard drives and thumb drives to download and access company materials.

Continue Reading Protecting Trade Secrets in a Work-From-Home World

Q. Have any court rulings upheld the denial of requests for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine?

A. Yes. Coming on the heels of President Joe Biden’s plan to require millions of workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, many employers either have already implemented or have begun implementing vaccine mandates. As expected, these mandates have triggered some employee pushback, particularly from those requesting an exemption from the vaccine requirement based on a disability or religious belief. While there have not been many published decisions on this issue yet, one recent decision from the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas provides guidance to employers in determining whether a request for exemption from a vaccine mandate based on a religious belief must be accommodated.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania State Court Rules That Private Employer May Deny Exemption Request From COVID-19 Vaccination

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

Q: What new employment laws impact Oregon employers?

A. The employment law landscape is shifting in Oregon, with this year’s legislative session bringing several noteworthy changes to the state’s employment laws. In this blog post, we explore some of the more significant changes passed in 2021 and forecast what may come our way in the months ahead.

Continue Reading Oregon Employment Law Update