On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, a federal court in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction against Executive Order 14042, which required many federal contractors to mandate vaccination of employees at facilities which provide support for their federal work. As we have reported in recent weeks, attorneys general and other business groups have been filing lawsuits across the country to prevent vaccine mandates from going into effect.

Continue Reading Federal contractor vaccine requirements blocked

On Sept. 27, 2021, we posted about Ohio House Bill 401 and the potential for employers to lose workers’ compensation immunity for injuries incurred as a result of a mandatory vaccination. The bill would create a separate cause of action under Ohio law for persons allegedly injured as a result of an employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccine.

On Oct. 7, 2021, the Ohio House Labor and Commerce Committee held its second informal hearing on a separate but related piece of legislation, House Bill 435. The bill expressly provides that an injury covered under the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act includes an injury or disability caused by an employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccine.
Continue Reading The Ohio Legislature and dueling bills: Vaccinations and Ohio workers’ compensation

The Eastern District of Kentucky, which falls within the purview of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, recently denied injunctive relief to a group of plaintiffs who challenged their employer’s mandatory vaccination requirement in Beckerich, et al., v. St. Elizabeth Medical Center Inc., et al.

Facts

In this case, plaintiffs are a group of healthcare workers who are employees or former employees of defendants St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Summit Medical Group (St. Elizabeth). St. Elizabeth recently enacted a mandatory vaccination policy, whereby an employee must receive a COVID-19 vaccination unless he or she requests a medical or religious exemption. Any employee who fails to comply with the policy may be terminated.
Continue Reading Federal Court holds that private employer’s mandatory vaccination policy is lawful

Keeping an eye on Ohio House Bill 401

Even as the federal government has moved toward mandating COVID vaccination by many employers, a bill introduced in the Ohio legislature, if passed, would eliminate workers’ compensation immunity and expose employers to potential liability for injuries incurred as a result of a mandatory vaccination.
Continue Reading Will we say goodbye to workers’ compensation immunity for mandatory COVID vaccination-related damages?

On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan. As part of the plan, the President has directed OSHA to issue a new temporary emergency standard that will require companies with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The OSHA standard will also require paid time off for employees to get the vaccine. The plan will also require healthcare employers to mandate that employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. Finally, the President’s Action Plan requires federal employees and employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Continue Reading President Biden directs OSHA to issue new temporary emergency standard to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing for companies with 100+ employees

Employers considering whether to adopt a mandatory vaccine policy should be alert to recently-enacted and pending legislation regulating workplace vaccine policies in certain states. As we reported last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance for employers to consider before adopting a mandatory vaccine policy.

Continue Reading State law may impact employer vaccine policies

The attorneys behind the Employer Law Report Blog present the final part of our three-part series on the COVID-19 vaccine and employer considerations.

On Jan. 7, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed new rules that would apply to employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Some commentators have suggested that these rules may affect employers who plan to offer an incentive to encourage employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Less than two weeks later, the Biden Administration issued a regulatory freeze and instructed agencies to withdraw unpublished rules, including the proposed wellness program rules. For now, it is important to be aware of the rules because they may indicate the direction the EEOC intends to take when the freeze is lifted.


Continue Reading EEOC proposes new wellness program rules under the ADA and GINA which may limit employers’ efforts to incentivize COVID-19 vaccination

The attorneys behind the Employer Law Report Blog present the second blog in our three-part series on the COVID-19 vaccine and employer considerations.

The COVID-19 vaccination process has begun in the U.S., but at this point, the COVID-19 vaccine is not widely available to most employees. As explored in Part 1 of our series on the COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are deciding whether to require or incentivize their employees to obtain the vaccination. In addition to the issues raised in those posts, employers need to consider the implications of the workers’ compensation system in developing vaccination policies and procedures.


Continue Reading Vaccine policies and workers’ compensation

The attorneys behind the Employer Law Report Blog present the first in a three-part series on the COVID-19 vaccine and employer considerations.

As vaccinations become increasingly available to stop the spread of COVID-19, some  employers are posing the question: Can I require my employees to receive the vaccine in order to make my workplace more safe? The question is somewhat academic right now, since the vaccine is not widely available in most states, but it appears that will change in the weeks and months to come.


Continue Reading COVID-19 vaccine for employees: Can you require it? Should you require it? Can you offer incentives to encourage it?