Service Animals In The COVID-Era Workplace

There are endless articles and blog posts about COVID and the workplace, whether managing remote workers, implementing a safe return to work, vaccination mandates, testing procedures, masking, reasonable accommodation requests on all of these issues, and all of the related issues that have been on the forefront for the past nineteen (!!) months.  One topic, however, that has not received as much press, at least per my internet searches, is handling...
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OSHA’s NEW COVID-19 VACCINE/TEST MANDATE- ZOOM WEBINAR

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/05/2021
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9: 12:00 PM TO 1:00 PM Join Kollman & Saucier attorneys, Garret Wozniak and Bernadette Hunton, for a discussion about OSHA’s new emergency COVID-19 vaccine/test rule for employers with 100 or more employees.  We know employers have many questions such as: What does the ETS require? What must employers do to prepare? What information do we need to get from employees? Which employers are covered? Do I have to pay for time...
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OSHA's Rule Mandating Vaccination Against COVID-19 Goes Into Effect Friday, November 5, 2021

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
11/04/2021
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated, for the first time ever, a vaccination in the workplace.  For any employer with 100 or more employees company-wide, all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or subject to weekly testing.  For any state that has its own work safety agency, they will have thirty (30) days to implement the federal OSHA standard or their own mandate that is at least as protective as...
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EEOC Updates Guidance On Religious Exemptions From Employer Vaccine Requirements

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
10/28/2021
On October 25, 2021,the EEOC updated its guidance on What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.  The EEOC added six new Q&As addressing Title VII religious objections to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.  Generally, job applicants and employees may request an exception, called a religious or reasonable accommodation, from an employer requirement that conflicts with their sincerely held...
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No Negligence in Maskless Temperature Check

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
10/21/2021
Not a day goes by for me without inquiries from clients about dealing with vaccine mandates, employee exemptions, government executive orders, testing protocols, and discipline for those employees who fail to follow the rules.   I feel a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.  Nearly all of these questions focus on the hypothetical employee who has refused to get vaccinated “just because” and the employer’s response to that...
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Alleged Harassment Lets FMLA Claim Proceed

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
10/18/2021
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that use of FMLA leave cannot be used as a “negative factor” in employment actions designed to discourage an employee from taking leave.  See 29 C.F.R. § 825.220 (b) and (c). There are two types of FMLA claims: “interference” and “discrimination/retaliation” claims.  Courts have rejected the notion that the FMLA – unlike Title VII or the ADEA – provides for a “hostile work...
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Fourth Circuit Offers Guidance on Employer's Obligation to Make Reasonable Accommodations

 A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a good reminder that the ADA does not require that an employee be granted the exact accommodation they are seeking. Rather, an employer fulfills its obligation when it offers to provide a reasonable alternative accommodation.  Murphy v. County of New Hanover, No. 21-1471 (September 17, 2021). Dante Murphy was employed by the county of New Hanover, North...
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Jury Must Decide If Employee Required to Arbitrate

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
10/14/2021
One of the reasons employers sometimes require employees to enter into an arbitration agreement is that it eliminates the risk of having a jury decide the outcome.  However, a Virginia judge recently ruled that an employer must have a jury trial on the issue of whether or not the employee is even required to arbitrate his or her claims.  Davis v. Young & Associates, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00061 (W.D. Va. 9/15/21) (Abingdon Div.) The case...
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Texas Challenges EEOC's New Bostock Guidance

In July 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released FAQ guidance and a landing page as resources to employers in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020).  Bostock was the 2020 Supreme Court decision that recognized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on employment discrimination based on sex includes a categorical bar on...
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Employers, You have Another Tool to Help you with Workforce Vaccine Mandates: Insurance Premium Discounts

As employees continue to return to offices, employers around the United States are looking for assistance in how to require and/or incentivize its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Some of these initiatives come as employers prepare to confront the executive orders mandating vaccines on some workforces. On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: Covid-19 Action Plan that in part, set a requirement that all...
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