As we shared in a previous blog, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law on May 5, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the New York legislature amended the HERO Act to clarify several questions that were left unanswered in the previous version of the law. On June 11, 2021, Gov. Cuomo signed the amended HERO Act into law.

Continue Reading New York passes employer-friendly amendments to HERO Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard that is effective today. In the face of pressure from the White House and some interest groups to develop an emergency OSHA standard targeted specifically at COVID-19 workplace safety, OSHA has issued a standard targeted only at health care employers. The standard sets out extensive workplace safety requirements that employers in the healthcare sector must follow through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading OSHA issues COVID-19 emergency temporary standard for health care employers

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) revised its general COVID-19 guidance applicable to all employers. At the same time, OSHA issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard setting out extensive requirements for employers in the health care sector. For more details on the health care emergency temporary standard, see this blog post.

Continue Reading OSHA updates general COVID-19 guidance for all employers

Last week, the CDC updated its guidance regarding masks for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the latest CDC recommendations, persons who are fully vaccinated can resume their indoor and outdoor activities without the need to wear a mask or engage in social distancing, unless there is a federal, state or local law that requires those measures. This includes being able to engage in domestic travel without the need to test for COVID-19 before or after travel or the need to quarantine after returning.

Continue Reading Updated CDC mask guidance: What it means for employers

Over the past few months, the increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has created a host of questions for employers. Can employers require employees to get vaccinated only during non-work hours? Do they have to compensate employees who take time off work to get vaccinated? The city of Chicago recently enacted an ordinance that answers both questions (and a few more).

Continue Reading Chicago employers must give employees time off to get COVID-19 vaccine

In response to a request from Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has issued $5 billion in dividends to eligible private and public employers. This was the third round of BWC dividends issued to lessen the burdens of COVID-19 on Ohio employers. We’ve answered the five most common questions on the issuance.

Continue Reading Five things employers should know about Ohio BWC dividends

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been criticized by some for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some labor unions and other interest groups have been vocal about what they perceive as insufficient action by OSHA to address COVID-19-related workplace hazards. The most recent criticism has come from within the federal government.

Continue Reading If the bear is poked, best to be prepared: OSHA and the pandemic