The New York State Acting Commissioner of Health has extended the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the NY HERO Act until February 15, 2022. Accordingly, the airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans required under Section 1 of the Act must be kept in place through that date, at which point the Commissioner will review whether the designation should be continued.
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we’re breaking down what last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on two of the federal vaccine mandate rules will mean for employers.
NYC employers will soon be required to include a minimum and maximum salary on all job postings for positions performed within the City. As we previously reported, the City Council passed Int. 1208-B (Law) on December 15, 2021, and due to new NYC mayor Eric Adam’s inaction within the 30-day veto period, it became a law as of January 15, 2022. Beginning May 15, 2022, the Law requires employers with four or more employees to include a “good faith” minimum and maximum salary range on for all advertised NYC job, promotion and transfer opportunities. Additionally, the Law makes the failure to include salary range an unlawful discriminatory practice under the City’s Human Rights Law.
As explained in greater detail by our colleague Stuart M. Gerson, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two major, and quickly decided, rulings on January 13, 2022. After hearing oral arguments only six days earlier, the Court issued two unsigned decisions per curiam. A 5-4 decision in Biden v. Missouri dissolved a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an interim final rule (“Rule”) promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring recipients of federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we look at the latest federal rules and guidance on vaccination policies, quarantine periods, and masking.
Ready for the “new normal”? Starting January 15, 2022, Boston’s “B-Together” Vaccine Mandate (“the mandate”) will require certain indoor establishments to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry from employees, contractors, and customers.
- The mandate applies only to indoor portions of certain commercial food services, gym and fitness settings, and entertainment/recreation facilities in Boston
“Indoor food services” means indoor portions of food service establishments offering food and drink including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Fully enclosed “outdoor” areas are considered “indoor” under the policy. The mandate does not apply to open-air, outdoor areas, food service establishments offering food and/or drink exclusively for off-premises or outdoor consumption, or to food service establishments providing charitable food services, such as soup kitchens.
New York recently updated two significant aspects of its Paid Family Leave program: (1) expanding the definition of “family member” to include siblings and (2) increasing the cap on weekly benefits available.
Since its inception in 2018, Paid Family Leave has offered eligible employees the ability to take job protected, partially-paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious illness, or provide assistance when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. In 2020, after years of gradual increases in the maximum amount of leave and benefits, eligible employees may use up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave per rolling 52-week period.
As we previously reported, in December New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a mandate requiring that masks be worn in all indoor public places, unless the business or venue requires proof of vaccination for entry. As part of the state’s “Winter Surge Plan 2.0”, the mandate, which was initially set to expire on January 15, has now been extended for an additional two weeks, through February 1, 2022.
On December 22, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (NY DOL) issued the long-awaited proposed rule (Proposed Rule) regarding the workplace safety committees that are required by the New York HERO Act (HERO Act). While there is no current effective date for the Proposed Rule (which is first subject to a public comment period and a February 9, 2022 hearing), employers should become familiar with, and consider taking actions to timely comply with the Proposed Rule should it be adopted as currently drafted.
The HERO Act
In May of 2021, New York responded to workplace safety and health issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic by enacting the HERO Act. Since that time, the State has amended the HERO Act to allow the NY DOL additional time to create model safety standards for infectious disease exposure plans (“safety plans”) mandated by the HERO Act and to allow employers additional time for compliance.
On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to its isolation and quarantine guidance. Although the CDC’s update shortens both the isolation and quarantine periods, as described more fully below, the changes largely affect only asymptomatic individuals. Moreover, because local guidance may differ from the CDC’s recommendations, employers should keep in mind all applicable state and local requirements when deciding whether to amend their own rules.