Tag Archives: COVID-19

UPDATE: Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate in Flux

The federal contractor vaccine mandate (Executive Order 14042), which we first reported on in September both here and here, apparently will be delayed. Facing industry resistance, multiple lawsuits, and vaccination and accommodation assessment deadlines that are difficult to meet, the White House announced in an evening press call on November 3, 2021 (The White House, … Continue Reading

12 Quick Takeaways from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force’s Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

On Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published its new guidance pursuant to the president’s recent executive order directing that all federal contractors’ employees be vaccinated. The detailed 14-page guidance has a number of important clarifications of who must be vaccinated, by when and what other steps a federal contractor must … Continue Reading

The President’s Vaccine Executive Order – A Prelude of Things to Come for Federal Contractors?

With much fanfare, on Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced, among other wide-ranging proposed requirements for employers generally, a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees and certain government contractors. The president stated that he signed an “executive order that will require federal contractors to” have their employees vaccinated. (“Remarks by President Biden on Fighting … Continue Reading

BREAKING: OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate and Unionized Employer Bargaining Obligations

President Biden has just announced that he is tasking OSHA with implementing a new emergency rule mandating that employers with at least 100 employees either require their workforce to be vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative COVID-19 test every week.  Details are still very scant, but it does not appear that the … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Designated as a Highly Contagious Communicable Disease Under NY HERO Act

As we previously discussed in May and July, the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act), signed into law by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, required employers to take numerous health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sept. 6, 2021, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the commissioner of the New … Continue Reading

Update on the NY HERO Act: What the NY COVID-19 Worker Protection Law Means for Employers

On May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) into law. As discussed in an earlier BakerHostetler post, this law mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to the NY HERO Act’s directives, the New York State Department … Continue Reading

Texas Court Affirms Employers’ Freedom to Require COVID-19 Vaccine for Employees

COVID-19 has presented no shortage of legal questions for employers, from shutdowns and layoffs to when and how to reopen. And with COVID-19 vaccines now broadly available in the United States, some companies (especially those in high-risk environments like hospitals and nursing homes) face a new question: whether they can require COVID-19 vaccination as a … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards for the Healthcare Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for the health care industry on June 10, 2021. The ETS will apply to healthcare and healthcare support service workers with the goal of better protecting them from occupational exposure to COVID-19. This will include, among others, employees working in hospitals, nursing homes, … Continue Reading

Texas Passes Bill Prohibiting Businesses From Requiring Vaccine Passports for Customers, But Not Employees

On June 7, 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continued to emphasize that Texas is open for business by signing into law S.B. 968, which prohibits Texas businesses from requiring customers to provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination — including through the use of “vaccine passports” — to gain access to or receive service from the business. The … Continue Reading

Back to Work: Montana Enacts Pro-Employer Changes to Wrongful Discharge Law While Becoming the First State to Protect Employees Based on Vaccination Status

In a flurry of activity this spring, the state of Montana implemented several changes to how employers may do business in Montana. To start, several amendments to Montana’s Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act (WDEA) provide increased flexibility to Montana employers. In addition, amendments to Montana’s Human Rights Act add new COVID-19-related protections for employees based … Continue Reading

California Senate Bill 93: Employers, We Have You Covered

On April 16, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 93, which requires certain employers to rehire eligible employees who were previously laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible for recall, laid-off employees had to have been employed by the covered employer for six or more months in … Continue Reading

Deciphering The NY Hero Act: A New NY COVID-19 Worker Protection Law

While New York announced significant easing of COVID-19 restrictions in recent days and weeks, and while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appears to be loosening its COVID-19-related guidelines, the state continues its efforts to protect its employees with regard to COVID-19 safety with legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday night. The … Continue Reading

Windy City Employers Take Note: New Chicago Ordinance Outlining Rights and Obligations Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

Chicago recently passed an ordinance outlining employees’ rights and employers’ obligations in connection with getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Employers should be aware of these key provisions of the ordinance: Regardless of whether an employer mandates vaccination, the employer cannot mandate that if any employee gets a vaccine, the vaccine must be administered during nonworking hours. … Continue Reading

Texas Announces Plan to Ease Restrictions and Allow Expanded Operations of Most Businesses Statewide

Citing a continued decline in the rate of hospitalizations throughout the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a pair of executive orders on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, aimed at easing restrictions on businesses and hospitals throughout the state. Most notably, most businesses throughout the state will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity beginning … Continue Reading

Anxious About Tort Liability? Ohio Enacts House Bill 606, ‘Good Samaritan Expansion Bill,’ to Limit Employer Liability for COVID-19 Exposure

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 606 into law on Monday, Sept. 16, 2020. Known as the “Good Samaritan Expansion Bill,” the law protects employers, both private and public, from civil action lawsuits for damages stemming from COVID-19 exposure, except in reckless or wanton exposure cases. In relevant part, the new law reads: SECTION 2. … Continue Reading

DOL Issues New Guidance on Several FFCRA Issues

Introduction The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted just under six months ago in the wake of closings prompted by the then new coronavirus pandemic. As most employers know, the FFCRA created leave rights for many employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees for absences caused by the virus and its aftermath. … Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation and Employer Liability in the Era of COVID-19

With companies continuing to reopen for in-person operations amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many employers are left wondering if they could face increased liability related to employees contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. Liability related to contracting a virus in the workplace could take the form of a negligence action or a claim for workers’ compensation. … Continue Reading

New York Southern District Vacates Several Provisions of the DOL’s Final Rule on the FFCRA

On August 3, 2020, the Southern District of New York issued a decision vacating certain provisions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Final Rule on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This ruling will be difficult and problematic for many employers and will create substantial uncertainty in the workplace. The FFCRA, which was enacted … Continue Reading
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