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 27, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their isolation and quarantine recommendations for the general public, including more limited time periods for quarantine and isolation periods.  On December 30, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance to conform to the new CDC guidelines but added additional requirements, including testing to exit isolation or quarantine after the fifth day (which the CDC now acknowledges is the “best approach” but does not require as part of its formal guidance).  Notably, the new guidance also introduces a distinction between boosted and non-boosted individuals for the first time. 
Continue Reading California Adopts New CDC Guidance Regarding Quarantine and Isolation Periods With Its Own Twists

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 December 6, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised employers by announcing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that, starting December 27, NYC will mandate vaccines for all private-sector workers.  The mandate is expected to affect around 184,000 employers.
Continue Reading NYC Mandates Vaccines for All Private-Sector Workers, But Will it Stick?

On November 10, 2021, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memorandum outlining employers’ bargaining obligations with respect to compliance with OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Workers from Coronavirus (“ETS”).
Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo Regarding Bargaining Obligations for Vaccine Mandate

On October 11, 2021, Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, issued Executive Order GA-40, which proscribes entities from compelling individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine who object “for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.” Offending entities can be fined up to $1,000 for failing to comply with this order.
Continue Reading Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Vaccine Mandates in Texas

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 September 7, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against an employer that allegedly denied accommodation for telework in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”). Currently, the case is the only lawsuit the EEOC has filed concerning a request for an ADA accommodation related to COVID-19. The suit is a challenge to the typical posture of courts that frequently consider working from home to be an unreasonable accommodation.
Continue Reading EEOC Files First COVID-19 ADA Accommodation Suit