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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FDA Approval of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Provides Cover for Employer Mandates

In a milestone for the public health response to the ongoing pandemic, regulators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Monday full approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine. The two-dose mRNA vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech has been available to individuals 16 years of age and older under the FDA’s emergency use authorization since…

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Requiring Proof of Vaccination? What You Need to Know

In connection with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, many businesses have begun to require that employees—and sometimes contractors, volunteers and patrons—provide proof of vaccination. This may come in the form of requests for voluntary disclosure, or in connection with employer vaccine policies, or pursuant to newly issued mandates from…

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Employers React to Workers Who Refuse Vaccination as COVID-19 Cases Rise

As mandatory COVID-19 vaccines become more widespread, many employers are asking what they can do if workers refuse. Some employers are firing workers who won’t take the vaccine and others are requiring unvaccinated employees to submit to weekly testing and take other safety precautions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has weighed in with guidance that…

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EEOC’s Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace Impacts Employer Approaches for Compliance with CDC Guidance and State and Local Require

Employers―and particularly those operating in multiple states―should be mindful of how the updated guidance impacts their efforts to comply with state requirements. On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on workplace COVID-19 vaccination issues under the federal EEO laws. The updated guidance is important for employers to consider in…

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Employees Working from Home – How Should Company’s React?

With the country reopening due to the lessening of COVID-related restrictions, companies and employees are returning to a new “normal.” Remote working has become a recruiting tool for some companies. For other companies which have required employees to return to the office, the failure to continue to allow some form of remote working (“hybrid model”)…

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Employers React to Workers Who Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination

As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, many employers are asking if they can require employees to get vaccinated, and what they can do if workers refuse. Some employers are firing workers who won’t take the vaccine. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has weighed in with guidance that answers some workplace vaccination questions. Employers may encourage or…

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OSHA Advises Employers Not to Record Adverse Reactions From Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccines on the 300 Log

OSHA yesterday issued an additional guidance addressing whether employers need to record adverse vaccine reactions on their 300 Logs. Consistent with the OSHA regulations, OSHA’s guidance explains that an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is recordable if the reaction is: (1) work-related, (2) a new case, and (3) meets one or more of the general recording…

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