Federal Judge Dismisses Employees’ Lawsuit Challenging Employer’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
06/18/2021
In one of the first rulings of its kind, a federal judge upheld a company policy requiring that employees at a Texas hospital be vaccinated against COVID-19.  The lawsuit, brought by 117 employees against Houston Methodist Hospital, bore all the hallmarks of a frivolous case: dubious application of legal doctrines, conspiracy theories, and (of course) Nazi comparisons. It alleged claims for wrongful termination, violations of federal law governing...
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EEOC Updates Guidance On COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
05/28/2021
In updated guidance, the EEOC has confirmed that employers may offer incentives to encourage employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  According to the agency’s press release: “Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care...
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Is An Employee's Adverse Reaction To The COVID-19 Vaccine A Recordable Event For OSHA Purposes?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/21/2021
You know the typical lawyer answer... "it depends."  Vaccines are much more widely available and more and more employees are able to get vaccinated.  This also means more individuals may find themselves experiencing those adverse reactions (especially after that notorious second dose) that are causing missed work.  OSHA has issued updated guidance on when such reactions should be treated as recordable events in accordance with its requirements of...
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OSHA Temporarily Adopts CDC's Most Recent Guidance On Fully Vaccinated Employees

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/19/2021
On May 13, 2021, the CDC issued its "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" which advised that fully vaccinated people (meaning two weeks have passed since receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after the single-dose vaccine), in non-healthcare settings, no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting (indoors included), except where required by applicable laws, rules or regulations,...
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Be Wary of Disclosing Employees’ COVID-19 Vaccination Status

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
02/23/2021
As vaccines are being administered throughout the country, the end to the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight.  As a result, many employers are wondering what information can be shared regarding employees’ vaccination status. The answer is, or at least the cautionary one is, not much. Employers are facing inquiries regarding their employees’ vaccination status.  Customers and clients would like to know if the employee they are working with is...
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Employer Alert: The Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/03/2021
After cutting short the 2020 legislative session because of the pandemic, the Maryland General Assembly has returned this January with confronting COVID-19 among its highest priorities.  One item employers should be keenly aware is the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act, which would impose multiple new mandates on Maryland employers. The legislation, cross-filed as House Bill 481 and Senate Bill 486, is scheduled for a hearing in the...
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OSHA Provides Further Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
01/29/2021
Earlier today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.  The Guidance is not legally binding but does detail recommended best practices around managing COVID-19 in the workplace.  OSHA has reiterated that workers should continue to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others when possible, wash hands, properly wear a face mask (covering nose...
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DOL Authorizes Use of Telemedicine For FMLA Certifications

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
01/04/2021
Among the many changes COVID-19 has brought about  is the increases use of telemedicine for persons in need of medical services. On December 29, 2020, the United States Department of Labor embraced the use of telemedicine as a method by which an employee can obtain “treatment” for  “serious medical condition” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave for their own or a...
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Coronavirus Relief Package Does Not Extend The FFCRA But Provides An Incentive For Private Employers To Make Paid Leave Available

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
12/28/2020
The coronavirus relief package passed by Congress last week was signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday, December 27, 2020.  The new law does not extend the paid leave mandates enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which are set to expire on December 31, 2020.  Next year employers will no longer be required to provide paid sick or family leave for employee absences caused by coronavirus-related reasons. ...
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EEOC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination For Employers

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
12/18/2020
On December16, 2020, the EEOC issued its first guidance for employers on COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace.  Below is a summary of the question and answer guidance. Is the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine by an employer (or third-party on behalf of an employer) a “medical examination” for purposes of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)? No.  The vaccination itself is not a medical examination because an employer who...
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