While most Americans feast on turkey and stuffing this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will dig in to motions and briefing regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 (the ETS).
On August 27, 2021, the “Illinois Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act” (SB 1905) (“CCDA”), was signed into law. The CCDA went into effect immediately, and applies to all employers who offer insurance under an employer sponsored health plan to employees who work in Illinois.
On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule that limits the amount of time tipped employees can spend in non-tipped activities during periods that an employer utilizes the tip credit.
On November 4, 2021, CMS issued the highly anticipated Informal Rule with Comment Period requiring employees of Medicare and Medicaid-participating health care facilities to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
In September, President Biden issued an Executive Order requiring that all employees (with limited exceptions) working on or in connection with covered federal government contracts be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Safer Worker Federal Workforce Task Force then issued its COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors implementing the Executive Order and mandating that employees be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021.
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated employees to produce a weekly negative test in order to come to work.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a case called Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, Inc., held that employees can sue their employer for discrimination based on their status as certified users of medical marijuana.
On August 20, 2021, the DOL published FAQs Part 49 announcing the extension of the compliance dates for a few – but far from all – of the new group health plan mandates under the Tri-Department transparency regulations and the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA).
On August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated guidance to align with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changes to masking and testing recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals (Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)).
In May 2021, New York enacted its Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act). The law mandates extensive workplace health and safety protections in response to the current pandemic and to protect against future airborne infectious disease outbreaks.
On July 15, 2021, the California Supreme Court answered Alice’s question with respect to paying employees for missed meals and rest breaks – employers must pay meal and break premiums at the employee’s higher “regular rate” rather than the employee’s base hourly rate.