Congressional Update, Part I: Budget Brinksmanship. This time next week, we could be in the middle of a government shutdown. Always the masters of brinksmanship, our congressional legislators still do not have a deal to extend federal government funding beyond September 30, 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed a continuing resolution to extend government funding into December 2021, and increase the debt limit through December 2022. For months, Republicans have been arguing…
The White House announced on September 20, 2021, that beginning in “early November” 2021, the Biden administration would remove restrictions on international travelers who are seeking to fly to the United States, provided that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This policy change will apply to all international travelers, including persons from countries currently covered by a regional travel ban. The policy change will provide substantial relief to international travelers seeking to enter the United…
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that, effective October 1, 2021, applicants for permanent residence (i.e., green card applicants) who are “subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete … [the] examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.” USCIS stated that this requirement “applies prospectively to all Forms I-693 signed by the civil surgeons” on or…
In order to slow the transmission rate of COVID-19 and safeguard the health of people in Puerto Rico, Governor Pedro Pierluisi recently issued a series of executive orders mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in certain instances. The orders are directed to contractors of the executive branch of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and operators and employers in certain sectors of the economy on the island as discussed below. Industries Affected The mandates currently apply to the following…
Congressional Update. Various committees in the U.S. House of Representatives continued to work this week on their respective portions of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” reconciliation bill—proposed legislation that would include significant spending on programs related to education, childcare, healthcare, and paid leave, among other things. Here is the latest. Timing. The House would like to vote on the $1 trillion “hard infrastructure” bill (legislation that includes investments in traditional public works projects as…
The COVID-19 traffic light scenario in the states of Mexico still looks complicated, with only Chiapas and Chihuahua among the nation’s states operating without restrictions on social and business activities. Therefore, the federal Ministry of Health continues to urge the population to reduce the risk of infection by complying with the sanitary measures with which Mexico’s residents are all too familiar. Currently, 13 states are federally designated in yellow status and 17 states in orange…
On August 31, 2021, the Government of Ontario extended the period for the province’s paid infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) entitlement from its original expiration date of September 25, 2021, to December 31, 2021. This extension was not accompanied by any substantive changes to the provisions of the paid IDEL. The paid IDEL was introduced on April 29, 2021, through Bill 284, the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021. Bill 284 amended the Employment…
To ensure “that the parties that contract with the Federal Government provide adequate COVID-19 safeguards to their workers performing on or in connection with a Federal Government contract,” President Biden has issued yet another executive order (EO) mandating that some federal contractors and subcontractors comply with Guidance published by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. Effective Date The vaccine mandate will not go into effect until the director of the Office of Management and…
Administration to Mandate Vaccines for Federal and Private-Sector Employees. President Joe Biden this week dramatically ramped up his administration’s efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country. On September 9, 2021, the president issued an executive order requiring all executive branch employees to be vaccinated and another executive order that will likely result in a similar mandate for certain employees of federal contractors. Regarding the order applicable to federal contractors, most of the…
On September 9, 2021, the Biden administration announced a new plan to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States. A critical component of that plan calls on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop and implement a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) to require employers with more than 100 employees to require that their employees are either fully vaccinated or subject to COVID-19 testing at least once per week: The…