On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) announced new Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“CDPH Guidance”), implementing a mandatory mask mandate for individuals (employees and patrons) in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccination status, beginning on December 15, 2021 through at least January 15, 2022.  The CDPH Guidance requires that masks be worn by all individuals over the age of two, unless exempt for disability-related or medical condition-based reasons, and recommends the use of surgical masks or higher-level respirators.

FAQs issued by the CDPH specify that the CDPH Guidance applies to workplaces, and clarify that local public health regulations remain in effect for localities that have previously adopted face covering measures prior to issuance of the CDPH Guidance that apply regardless of vaccination status. That is, the CDPH Guidance only applies to local health jurisdictions that do not have existing indoor masking requirements.  Notably, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (“SFDPH”) has taken the position, in its updated Order and FAQs, that its own masking rules remain in place—including exemptions for “stable cohorts” with 100% vaccination rates, among other criteria.  Marin County and Contra Costa County have taken similar positions regarding the applicability of local health order mask exceptions.  It remains unclear whether local mask exceptions apply given the CDPH Guidance masking rules.

Continue Reading California Authorities Announce Changes to COVID-19-Related Requirements

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday This week, we look at the status of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rules for employers and the COVID-19 vaccine mandates in New York State and City.

Continue Reading Video: Update on Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Rules and NY and NYC Vaccine Mandates – Employment Law This Week

As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule (“the Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) has been challenged in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri (“the Missouri Court”) and the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division (“the Louisiana Court”).  As of the date of this writing, both Courts have granted preliminary injunctions placing the Rule on hold.

On November 29, 2021, the Missouri Court granted a preliminary injunction of the Rule, which applies to the coalition of ten states [1] that filed the challenge there. The following day, the Louisiana Court entered a similar injunction, which applies to the remaining forty states.

The Decisions

Continue Reading CMS Interim Final Rule Stayed

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) vaccine emergency temporary standard (ETS) is currently in the hands of the Sixth Circuit, while New York employers have several updates to look out for in 2022.

Continue Reading Video: OSHA ETS Moves to the Sixth Circuit, Federal Agencies Join to Combat Workplace Retaliation, NY Increases Employee Protections – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we look at the next steps large employers and health care providers need to take to comply with vaccine mandate rules applicable to their organizations.

Continue Reading Video: Vaccine Mandate Compliance for Large Employers, Unionized Employers, and Health Care Providers – Employment Law This Week

On Friday, November 12, 2021, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a strongly worded decision granting a motion to prevent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from implementing or enforcing the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that went into effect on November 5, 2021. Among other things, the ETS mandates that employers with 100 or more employees require that their workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to precautions like regular testing and using face coverings. However, the Fifth Circuit ordered OSHA to take no action to implement or enforce the ETS until further court order.

Continue Reading Circuit Court Stays Enforcement of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard and OSHA Complies—More Developments Anticipated This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, the Biden administration has finally released the COVID-19 vaccine mandate rules for employers with 100 or more employees, and the challenges started right away.

Employers Face December, January Vaccine ETS Deadlines

On November 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its much-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

As we previously reported, effective November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that covered employees are fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test at least weekly.

On November 6, 2021, just one day after the

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, government agencies at both the federal and state level are preparing for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) vaccine emergency temporary standard (ETS).

Employer Anticipation Builds for OSHA ETS

All eyes are on DC as the wait continues for OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS, for employers

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we review the status of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring employers to mandate vaccines.

Employers Await White House Decision on OSHA ETS

Last week, OSHA sent to the White House its draft emergency temporary standard, which will require employers with 100