Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights

Less than a month after the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law, new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance and model forms are clearing up a number of employer concerns about the 100 percent COBRA coverage subsidy for continuing health benefits that runs from April 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. Though employers still await COBRA premium subsidy regulations, including guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on claiming reimbursements,…
Infrastructure Plan Scuttlebutt. With Congress not returning to Washington, D.C., until next week, the White House’s American Jobs Plan proposal is still driving much of the political discussion in town this week. Of course, we still do not know what might be contained in an actual infrastructure bill, though we received a few clues this week regarding both process and substance surrounding the proposal. Reconciliation an option for Dems. This week, Democrats indicated that the…
On April 2, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated guidance on domestic and international travel. The guidance includes new recommendations for those fully vaccinated (defined as two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine) with a vaccine that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized. The CDC has concluded that fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get…
On April 5, 2021, Director of Ohio’s Department of Health (ODH), Stephanie McCloud, issued two new orders, including a consolidated Director’s Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating and a Director’s Order Rescinding Various Orders. The orders went into effect on April 5, 2021, and the Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating will remain in force until the ODH modifies or rescinds it. Below is a summary of important information from…
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in numerous presidential proclamations restricting travel and entry into the United States. Likewise, since the pandemic began, the criteria for “national interest exceptions” (NIEs) has also evolved. On March 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued updated criteria for NIEs relating to certain travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland. Given the frequency of the changes, it can be difficult to track the current state of…
On March 10, 2021, nearly one year into the pandemic in the United States, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued its first comprehensive guidance addressing COVID-19 protections for mine sites. The guidance provides what MSHA characterizes as “recommendations,” as well as information on existing “mandatory safety and health standards” that MSHA considers to be applicable to COVID-19 hazards. The agency states that the guidance is not meant to establish new legal obligations, but…
My grandmother lived by the rule that summer flowers should not be planted before spring break, no matter how much warm weather March might bring. The week after spring break would find her working furiously in her garden, sometimes catching up with her neighbors who had planted early, but more often taking a bit of satisfaction in looking over the prematurely planted and frostbitten flowers in surrounding yards. The freeze warning I just received from…
On March 18, 2021, the Biden administration extended ongoing travel restrictions along the United States-Canada and United States-Mexico land ports of entry through April 21, 2021. The restrictions, which were previously set to expire on March 21, 2021, prohibit all “non-essential” travel from entering the United States to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions have been in effect since March 21, 2020. As outlined in the latest update published in the Federal Register, the…
There is an old saying in Washington, D.C., that personnel is policy. It is common sense: whoever is in charge of a federal agency or subagency will impart his or her own particular policy preferences on the agency’s priorities, resource allocation, and regulatory agenda. In the current hyper-partisan political environment, where the U.S. Congress has ceded much of the federal policymaking apparatus to the federal agencies, this old saying is even more appropriate. The situation…
Philadelphia’s newest Public Health Emergency Leave law went into effect on March 29, 2021.  Unlike the prior iteration of the law that sunset on December 31, 2020, this law will stay in effect “for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Applicability The law applies to both union and nonunion private-sector employees of employers with 50 or more employees. To qualify for leave under this law, an employee must be employed for 90 days or more…