The Supreme Court has granted a temporary stay of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), otherwise known as the OSHA vaccine mandate. The Court ruled that OSHA had exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In making this finding, the Court held that OSHA only has the authority to issue workplace safety standards, not broad health measures. The concurring opinion focused upon the “major questions doctrine,” which requires Congress to speak clearly when delegating authority of “vast economic and political significance” to an administrative agency.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Weighs In On Vaccination Mandate

On December 16, 2021, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Cal/OSHA”) adopted revisions to the current COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”).  The Cal/OSHA ETS were first approved on November 30, 2020, adopted again with modifications on June 17, 2021, and recently readopted with additional revisions.  The newest version of the ETS will go into effect on January 14, 2022, and will apply to all non-remote workers in California except those covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, such as healthcare workers.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Adopts Newly Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Impacting Employers and Workers

On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”) issued written Guidance to implement Executive Order 14042 (“Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors”), which was signed by President Biden on September 9, 2021.  The Guidance is a key component of President Biden’s larger “Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan.”

Continue Reading New Guidance Requires Federal Contractors to Have Employees Vaccinated by December 8th

On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) updated its guidance for employers in an effort to further protect workers from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (“COVID”).  This update (the “Guidance”) reflects recent COVID developments, including the increased spread of the Delta variant and the July 27, 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) updated guidance, and is intended to help employers protect workers who are:  unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, otherwise at-risk, and/or fully vaccinated but located in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
Continue Reading The U.S. Department of Labor Updates its Workplace COVID-19 Guidance to Protect Unvaccinated and Other At-Risk Workers

The New York State Department of Labor released its anticipated airborne infectious disease standard and sample plan on July 6.  Employers have until August 5, 2021 to adopt or create a plan to comply with the standard.
Continue Reading New York Releases HERO Act Standard, Sample Plan: What Employers Need to Know

On June 10, 2021, fifteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued its first ‘emergency temporary standard’ (“ETS”) governing the impact of COVID-19 on health care workers.

The ETS broadly requires healthcare employers to conduct an internal safety assessment and develop a safety plan, which must be in writing for all employers with more than 10 employees. The ETS further delineates requirements relating to patient screening and management, health precautions, masks and PPE,  aerosol-generating procedures, physical distancing, physical barriers, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, health screening, vaccination, employee training, anti-retaliation, record-keeping, reporting occurrences of COVID-19 transmission, and paying employees for periods of quarantine. Consistent with recent CDC guidance, the ETS also contains carve outs on employee mask-wearing requirements where employees are all vaccinated or where employees are given reasonable accommodations exempting them from mask-wearing and/or vaccination requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA’s New Safety Rule: Health Care Workers and Beyond