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What a difference three months makes.  In May 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced that fully vaccinated individuals could forgo masks and social distancing requirements in most indoor and outdoor locations.  At that time, the Alpha variant was not all that transmissible in the fully vaccinated, and millions of vaccine shots

In January 2020, Illinois legalized the use of recreational marijuana through the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”).  Two months later, many employees began working remotely because of the pandemic.  Today, work-from-home continues to blur the lines between “work” and “home” in countless ways, and employee drug policies are no exception.  The new world

On June 21, 2021, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) new COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) went into effect.

The ETS includes numerous requirements applicable to employees working in healthcare settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated. This includes employees in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted

On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to adopt revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), and Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the revised ETS to go into effect immediately.  The revised ETS now applies to nearly all workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.

This week, both houses of the New York state legislature passed a package of amendments (the “Amendments”) to the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (“HERO Act” or the “Act”) designed to clarify, modify, and delay implementation of certain provisions of the Act.
The HERO Act was signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

After several fits and starts, on June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board finally passed revised Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that now take into account employee vaccination status and loosening restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California’s elimination of the colored Tier system.  The revised ETS will go

On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued an update to its December 2020 guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and incentive programs.  The long-awaited guidance provides clarification regarding mandatory vaccinations, employer and third-party provided vaccine incentives, and confidentiality of vaccination information.  The EEOC guidance left open some questions surrounding vaccine incentives, including

Prompted by increased availability of vaccine appointments, and broad eligibility for all U.S. adults and teenagers, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) have loosened restrictions with respect to fully vaccinated individuals, defined as those who are two weeks past their final required vaccination dose (second dose of

As travel begins to resume in California, the Legislature has imposed additional stringent requirements on employers in the travel and hospitality industries.  Beginning April 16, 2021, Senate Bill 93 will require employers in these industries to offer job positions back to their laid-off employees as they become available (within five business days).  The bill creates

On April 23, 2021, the New York state legislature delivered a copy of the Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act” or the “Act”) to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature.  The legislation was created as a response to COVID-19 safety concerns as New Yorkers return to in-person work, and designed to fill gaps created

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued key guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) about COBRA Premium Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).  In addition to issuing the FAQs, the DOL issued model notices and announced a new website dedicated to the COBRA premium subsidy under ARPA, which

Beginning on March 29, 2021, Senate Bill 95 will place additional requirements on employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19.  The bill, which was approved by the legislature on March 18, 2019, and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 19, 2021, creates California Labor Code Sections 248.2 and 248.3. 

On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) launched its new COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (“NEP”).  The new OSHA directive outlines policies and procedures for minimizing worker exposures to COVID-19 by targeting certain “high-hazard” industries and worksites where employees may have a high frequency of close contact exposures.  The NEP and related

On March 4, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) updated its COVID-19 related guidance.  In addition to addressing whether an employer may ask about symptoms, take employees’ temperatures, and require the use of personal protective equipment among other things, the DFEH addresses a question that has been top of mind