Labor and Employment Law Blog

Frustrated with a lagging rate of vaccinations, the Biden Administration decided to get out the stick since the carrot has not improved the vaccination rates to the levels that it wants to see. The Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), plans to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) within the next couple of weeks mandating that all employers with 100 or more employees require their workers to be vaccinated or…
On Monday, August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) formally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. With this new and much-anticipated approval from the FDA, the Department of Defense immediately mandated the Pfizer vaccine for all military service members. Nationwide, many companies are now strongly considering requiring their employees to be vaccinated or risk being let go. These companies are using the FDA’s recent approval as…
When the EEOC confirmed months ago that employers could mandate Covid-19 vaccines without violating employment laws, the agency did not answer a lingering question regarding a non-employment statute, section 564 of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (Section 564) which governs the vaccines’ emergency use status. Section 564 contains an “option to accept or refuse” condition, and some employees have relied on that condition in arguing that it allows them to refuse the vaccine mandated…
U.S. employers generally must properly complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States to verify the identify and employment authorization of that individual. As part of that process, the employee must present the company with acceptable and unexpired original documents. In turn, the employer must examine those documents to determine whether they reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the employee and then record the document information in Section…
In a recent case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Division of Advice addressed the question of whether a grocery store employee posting, on his personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, constituted protected activity for which  the employee could not be disciplined without violating the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act – the Act). Because this issue comes up with frequency, employers should be alerted to the analysis that the NLRB applies in determining whether any discipline…
On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 95 which requires covered employers to provide a new bank of supplemental paid sick leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons. This bill goes into effect 10 days from enactment, on March 29, 2021, and will expire September 30, 2021. This bill is broader in many respects than Assembly Bill No. 1867 which was California’s version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and which expired December 31,…
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Within this $1.9 trillion relief Bill, Congress extended certain previously enacted COVID-19 stimulus package provisions and expanded on previous measures, providing more relief and creating new obligations. Here, we highlight a few key provisions of the Act relevant to employers.  …
A recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Managers revealed that one of the top employment issues businesses face today is how best to train supervisors to effectively manage a remote workforce.  Close behind supervisory training is the need for a formal, written telework policy.  The workplace strains brought about by the sudden shift to remote work are being felt by employers, many of whom (i) did not envision that a remote workplace…
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issues and proposed actions took center stage in the first week of the Biden Administration. The President called for greater enforcement by OSHA of more stringent worker safety standards. Central to this call is greater protection for workers regarding COVID-19 workplace exposures. To accomplish this, in part, OSHA would have to issue an emergency temporary standard. By issuing such an emergency temporary standard, OSHA can bypass the administrative rulemaking procedures,…
Today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it concluded its two six-month conciliation and mediation pilot programs originally announced in July 2020. We addressed the mediation pilot program here. As part of the mediation pilot program, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EEOC implemented virtual mediations, as opposed to audio-only mediations. Despite the pilot program’s conclusion, the EEOC announced that it intends to continue to use video technology to…