Assessing Compliance Obligations with the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing ETS After the Sixth Circuit Reinstated the Standard

On Dec. 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved a stay from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and reinstated OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for vaccines and testing. Essentially, the Court agreed with the Department of Labor that it had authority to issue the ETS and that the circumstances warranted an emergency…

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EEOC Clarifies When COVID-19 May Be an ADA-Covered Disability

An employee’s or job applicant’s COVID-19-related impairment may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) even if the worker’s initial COVID-19 illness was not covered, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A worker’s COVID-19 illness will not be considered an ADA disability if the worker…

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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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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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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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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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COVID-19 Infection May Be an OSHA Recordable WorkRelated Illness

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely to be a concern and challenge for employers for longer than anyone had hoped or anticipated. As businesses adjust to what seems to be a “new normal” it is worth a reminder that COVID-19 infection can be a recordable illness on an employer’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) 300…

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As COVID-19 Cases Rise Again, New Federal and State Health and Safety Rules Diverge Dramatically

Employers are having to keep on their toes when it comes to protecting employees from COVID-19. Shifts in the outbreak continue to drive rapidly changing workplace health and safety rules in the Pacific Northwest, and this is leading to dramatically different requirements being imposed by federal and state authorities. No sooner had many employers considered…

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