Five Reminders for Employers (Re)Considering COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve spent substantial time discussing workplace vaccine mandates with employers. Even before vaccines were available, employers were interested in mandates as a tool to ensure safe working conditions. But even as recently as a month ago, many employers outside of healthcare settings continued to feel uncomfortable about the …read more »

FAIR Game? What Employers Need to Know About the New Proposed Legislation Banning Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements

Many of our clients have implemented mandatory employment arbitration programs and believe that they are an efficient and effective way to resolve potential disputes, including putative class-action cases. For years, however, employees and their advocates have pushed to amend the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to prohibit mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Previous proposed bills have failed …read more »

Changes To Sexual Harassment Laws In Texas Go Into Effect On September 1, 2021

While the ongoing pandemic and vaccine mandates have grabbed the employment law headlines this summer, Texas employers should be aware that Senate Bill 45 and House Bill 21, which amend the Texas Labor Code and expand employee protections and employer liability for sexual harassment claims, go into effect on September 1, 2021.  Together, these bills …read more »

How Are Employers’ Obligations to Post Labor Law Notices Affected by Remote Work? The DOL Says that Transparency and Accessibility are Key

The CDC and OSHA have recently relaxed COVID-19 guidance on mask-wearing and distancing for fully vaccinated employees. Although many employers are transitioning back to an office-based work environment, telecommuting is likely to remain an option for many employees for some time to come. One question that has arisen with respect to telecommuting employees is how …read more »

A Summary of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard for Healthcare Settings and Its Guidance for Other Employers

On June 10, 2021, OSHA released its long-awaited Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard. Unexpectedly, the standard applies only to workplaces that provide “healthcare” or “healthcare support services,” and in which suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, plus emergency responders, home healthcare workers, and employees in ambulatory care …read more »

Independent Contractor or Employee: What’s the Rule?

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) repealed its independent contractor rule, promulgated under the Trump administration, on whether to classify a worker as an independent contractor or employee entitled to minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule was favorable for employers because it streamlined the independent contractor analysis …read more »

Four Things Employers Should Know About Workplace Masking and Social Distancing Rules and Employees Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without masking or social distancing. I was in the car, headed back to the office after lunch, when I heard the news, which I found simultaneously exciting …read more »

Some Thoughts for Employers Continuing to Wrestle with Limits on Political and Social Advocacy at Work

In September, I wrote a blog post discussing whether, in light of the charged events of 2020, employers can lawfully restrict employee political or social advocacy at work. We’re now well into 2021, but the political and social environment has not changed. Last week, the Derek Chauvin murder verdict prompted a new wave of employee …read more »

OSHA’s Continued Efforts to Protect Workers from COVID-19: Expect More Site Inspections

President Biden issued an executive order on January 21, 2021 calling on OSHA to take a more active role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as it affects the health and safety of American workers. I previously discussed OSHA’s Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread or COVID-19 in the Workplace (“Guidance”), issued in response …read more »