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Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees: Just Because You Can (Maybe), Doesn’t Mean You Should

Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees: Just Because You Can (Maybe), Doesn’t Mean You Should

June 17, 2021 at 1:22 PM - employee policies,

As discussed in an earlier post, adopting a mandatory vaccination policy for employees is not a simple decision. Among the many factors to consider is the potential risk of legal action arising under federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or the National Labor Relations Act, as well as state-law challenges alleging public policy violations or wrongful termination of employment. Recently, some employers have decided to require COVID vaccines for employees, citing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Updated Guidance in support of this policy.  Many other employers are still considering how to proceed. Despite the EEOC’s position that an employer may enact a mandatory vaccination policy for all of its employees physically entering the workplace, mandatory vaccine policies are not without risk of unintended, negative consequences for the organization.

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U.S. Imposes Travel Ban on Noncitizens Recently Present in India

U.S. Imposes Travel Ban on Noncitizens Recently Present in India

May 3, 2021 at 2:09 PM - Immigration,

In response to the tragic COVID-19 outbreak unfolding in the Republic of India (“India”), President Biden has issued a Proclamation that, effective May 4, 2021, suspends entry into the U.S. for certain noncitizens who were physically present in India during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry. This new restriction largely mirrors those already in effect for travel from Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Iran, Ireland, countries in the European Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

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Federal Trade Commission begins enforcement of COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act

Federal Trade Commission begins enforcement of COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act

May 3, 2021 at 1:24 PM - COVID-19,

The COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act (COVID-19 Act) was passed last year to protect the public from deceptive marketing related to the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID–19, or any government benefit related to COVID-19, by making such practices illegal under the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). The COVID-19 Act also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek civil monetary penalties for first-time violations of the COVID-19 Act, a remedy not normally available under the FTC Act.

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New Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law passed in California

New Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law passed in California

May 3, 2021 at 9:31 AM - COVID-19,

On March 29, 2021, a new California law took effect mandating COVID-related supplemental paid sick leave for employers with more than 25 employees. Specifically, Senate Bill (SB) 95 creates new Labor Code Section 248.2, which requires employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave for certain absences related to COVID-19, in addition to other paid time off benefits to which they are already entitled. This law (referred to below as the “2021 SPSL law”) applies retroactively to January 1, 2021 and is effective through September 30, 2021.

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Additional Insights into the Use of Force Majeure for COVID-19

Additional Insights into the Use of Force Majeure for COVID-19

April 13, 2021 at 10:50 AM - commercial contracts,

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses are still incurring losses due to COVID-related closures and other restrictions. As we shared last April, the possibility of mitigating those losses by relying on a force majeure provision depends on a variety of different factors, including which state law governs your contract, the exact wording of the force majeure clause contained within it, and other facts and circumstances, such as the subject matter of the agreement and/or the foreseeability of the pandemic at the time you entered into the contract.

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New York Mandates Paid Time Off for COVID Vaccinations

New York Mandates Paid Time Off for COVID Vaccinations

March 18, 2021 at 12:16 PM - COVID-19,

On March 12, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill (A3354B) mandating that employers provide their employees with paid time off to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Specifically, employees shall receive “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” per vaccine dose, and be paid at their regular rate of pay for the entire leave period. For employees receiving the 2-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they will be eligible for up to eight hours of paid leave.

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OSHA Releases COVID-19 Guidance for the Workplace

OSHA Releases COVID-19 Guidance for the Workplace

February 10, 2021 at 2:01 PM - employee policies,

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance to employers in the form of best practice recommendations for protecting employees from COVID-19. Intended only for workplaces outside the healthcare industry, OSHA’s “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” focuses on the creation of a COVID-19 prevention program which prioritizes employee involvement, communication and training.

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More Paycheck Protection Program Funds Available

More Paycheck Protection Program Funds Available

January 5, 2021 at 2:14 PM - COVID-19,

In December, Congress convened to discuss the federal government’s 2021 operating budget, resulting in the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”) on December 27th. Nestled within its nearly 6,000 pages was a second COVID-19 stimulus package providing approximately $900B in pandemic aid, including a renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was originally established under the CARES Act last Spring.

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