New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that, as of December 13, all public places in the state must require masks to allow people to enter. This mandate comes at the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health, which has noted a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations throughout the state. The mask mandate affects everyone over the age of two, although businesses may require proof of vaccination in lieu of a mask.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just issued guidance, clarifying that employees can seek a legal remedy in the event they suffer retaliation for reporting COVID-19 related violations. This means that anyone who suffers employment discrimination for reporting employers that violate COVID-19 labor protections can file a complaint with the EEOC or pursue litigation in court, as appropriate. This guidance has upset some employers, who fear a wave of lawsuits for alleged COVID-19 retaliation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it has begun the process to create an Emergency Temporary Standard that will require large employers to institute vaccination and testing procedures for COVID-19. The rule, if it successfully goes through the administrative process, would potentially result in mandatory vaccination for any affected companies, with weekly testing for anyone who cannot or will not be vaccinated. Early proposals for the rule also include potential fines for anyone who defies this mandate, as well as tax credits to help employers in complying with the new rule.
As vaccines for the coronavirus have been developed, and are now in the process of being delivered, some employers have begun to contemplate mandatory vaccination policies. If these were implemented, it could significantly affect employees across many fields, especially essential workers who are much more likely to be exposed to the virus. But what would a mandatory vaccination policy entail, and what happens to employees who cannot, or will not, comply with them? Continue reading “Employers Begin to Consider Mandatory Vaccination Policies”
A New York federal court has struck down a United States Department of Labor (DOL) rule that limited who could benefit from a law that granted paid leave due to the coronavirus. The court stated the DOL overstepped its authority by issuing the limitation and said that there was no basis in law for the rule it issued. Additionally, it struck down an interpretation of the law that expanded an exception for “health care providers,” and partially vacated other interpretations of the law which limited people’s ability to take time off. Continue reading “NY Federal Court Strikes Down Rule Limiting COVID Paid Leave”
The coronavirus is the single greatest health crisis facing the United States right now, but that does not mean that all the other potential health hazards suddenly went away. And even with people spending more time indoors to avoid exposure to COVID-19, heat exposure remains a serious hazard during the summer. Reflecting this reality, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to employers on how to protect their employees from heat exposure while also keeping them safe from COVID. Continue reading “Heat Exposure During Summer Remains Issue Even During Coronavirus”
With coronavirus quarantines beginning to wind down across the country, many businesses are eager to reopen and begin attracting customers. However, employees have been generally less enthusiastic about returning to work, fearing they will be exposed to the coronavirus while on the job. Considering this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to employers on how to handle this thorny issue. Continue reading “OSHA Addresses Employees Afraid to Return to Work”
With many states now beginning the process of winding down their quarantine, many businesses that have been shuttered are now looking at reopening and inviting their employees back to work. However, reopening after the pandemic carries with it many questions, including what obligation employers have with respect to protecting their employees. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance, telling employers how best to reopen for business. Continue reading “EEOC Issues Guidance on Returning to Work After Quarantine”