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The Modern Workplace

Many of you saw our Client Alert detailing the requirements of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on November 4, 2021.  The ETS applies to employers with 100 employees or more and contains COVID-19 vaccine and/or testing requirements that employers must adopt to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.

On November 12, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling imposing a stay on enforcement of the ETS.  The federal appellate court ordered OSHA to “take no ...

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On October 25, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance yet again. This time, the updates focused on religious accommodations to vaccine mandates under Title VII. 

As background, similar to disability accommodations, employers are required to reasonably accommodate applicants and employees who have sincerely held religious beliefs to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs and where their beliefs may conflict with company policy. However, employers have a lower burden than with disability ...

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In its Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia ruling in June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition on “sex” discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The Bostock ruling raised, but did not decide, the question of whether or not other federal sex discrimination laws, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Fair Housing Act, might also inherently prohibit LGBTQ+ discrimination. While the Bostock ruling applies only to Title VII ...

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In the wake of President Biden’s issuance of executive orders requiring that certain employers in the country require COVID-19 vaccinations, some states, like Texas, are taking action to try to block these mandates. This raises the question of whether a state or local government can override federal vaccine requirements.

Federal Vaccine Mandates

On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued executive orders mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal employees, employees of certain health care entities, and certain employees of federal contractors and subcontractors ...

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EEOC Updates Guidance on COVID-19 and the ADA

On October 13, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance regarding vaccination and other COVID-related workplace issues, providing businesses with important information as they continue to navigate evolving rules and regulations related to the pandemic. The key development from this round of updates is that the EEOC has now clarified that there is no cap or limit under federal employment discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC on the size of vaccine incentives offered by an employer to ...

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Effective October 1, 2021, Connecticut and Nevada join a chorus of other states – including, for example, California, Colorado, Maryland, Washington and Rhode Island - in implementing new pay disclosure laws.  Employers with employees in Connecticut and Nevada must now disclose wage and/or wage range information at various stages in the hiring process. Connecticut and Nevada’s new pay disclosure laws are designed to level the playing field for applicants, promote pay equity, and promote pay transparency and accountability.

Under Connecticut’s “An Act Concerning the ...

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Last month, on September 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which enforces federal government contractor requirements, rescinded a Trump-Era notice of intent not to use EEO-1 Component 2 employer pay data to analyze pay equity issues. The OFCCP stated that “it was premature to issue a notice stating OFCCP did not expect to find significant utility in the data.” 84 FR 49354 (September 2, 2021). The EEO-1 Component 2 Data was last collected by the federal government for calendar years 2017 and 2018 and consists of ...

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), some individuals may experience post-COVID-19 conditions that involve a wide range of long-term health problems. Per the CDC, these post COVID-19 conditions may be known as “long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID.” [1] These long-COVID symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to ...
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Last week, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel directed the Regional Offices to adopt a hardline approach to settling unfair labor practice charges. When an employee or union files an unfair labor practice charge, the Regional office will conduct an investigation. This investigation generally does not allow the employer to see any statements or other evidence provided by the charging party or its witnesses, and, in fact, the employer may not even know the identity of the witnesses. Based on this investigation, and before any hearing, the Regional Office ...

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On August 28, 2021, Missouri joined the growing list of states with legislation aimed at protecting employees who experience domestic or sexual violence. Missouri’s Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (“VESSA”) applies to all employers with at least 20 employees. This new law provides unpaid leave and reasonable safety accommodations to employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence or who have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence. It also requires employers to give notice of the new law to all current employees and ...

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