Federal Court Puts OSHA’s Emergency COVID Vaccination Mandates on Hold, But Private Employers Must Still Consider Next Steps

What You Should Know OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing for employees that do not choose to vaccinate. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rendered the ETS unenforceable by issuing a temporary stay, which it subsequently reaffirmed and which OSHA…

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Employer-Sponsored Retirement and Health Plans: What You Need to Know for Year-End

Who Needs to Know – U.S. Employers, particularly HR personnel; Retirement Plan Sponsors and Administrators. Why It Matters – While year-end is ordinarily a busy time for companies, the number of COVID-19-related pieces of legislation and developments present additional items employers and plan sponsors must address in wrapping up 2021. As we approach the 19th month of…

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OSHA Issues COVID-19 Workplace Vaccine-or-Testing Mandate

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its highly anticipated emergency temporary standard requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate that their employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or wear a mask and test for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. Additionally, the White House announced the following details: All unvaccinated workers must…

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4 Steps for Handling Religious Objections to Workplace Vaccine Mandates

Employers generally must explore reasonable accommodations for employees who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus based on a sincerely held religious belief—but objections based on personal or political views are not protected under federal anti-discrimination laws. Many employers who implemented vaccine mandates have faced a tidal wave of requests for religious exemptions, according to…

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When May an Employer Reject a Religious Accommodation Request?

An employer that requires vaccinations against COVID-19 must grant sincere religious accommodation requests, so long as they don’t cause an undue hardship on the company. How can a business tell whether an objection to vaccination is based on a genuinely held religious belief and accommodate without creating an undue hardship? Since it is so hard…

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The Return to the Office May Spur Harassment, ADA Claims

Various legal experts have said that employers with lasting remote operations or returning workforces should look out for certain issues. On Sept. 7, it appeared: the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s first lawsuit alleging an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring an employee to work in person, despite a company policy allowing…

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Should Job Seekers Disclose Their Vaccination Status Upfront?

As more companies consider establishing a vaccine mandate, a trend is taking shape: Job seekers are promoting themselves as “Fully Vaccinated” on applications, resumes and LinkedIn profiles to stand out. Some experts are beginning to say that vaccination status is a must-have line item on resumes and LinkedIn profiles as employers prepare for regulations that…

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Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in the US: What Do You Need to Know?

What obligations do businesses and, in particular, the air transport industry have in the US in relation to accommodating service and emotional support animals? Executive Summary Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination in places of public accommodation, which includes businesses (including transit) that are open to the public, like…

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Ordering All Employees Back to Work? Not So Fast, Says the EEOC

As vaccination rates increase and the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) subsides, many employers have instructed their employees to return to in-person work. But is that the right call for all employees? In one recent case, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said no. Factual Background On September 7, 2021, the EEOC filed suit in…

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HSA Distributions Reached ‘All-Time Low’​ in 2020, EBRI Report Says

The average individual contribution to health savings accounts fell between 2019 and 2020, while average annual distributions fell to an “all-time low” last year, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute report published this month. Both trends may have been driven by the pandemic in some way, EBRI said. HSA owners may have reduced contributions as unemployment…

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