Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic: New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Large Employers, Federal Contractors and Health Care Workers

by Shauna N. Correia
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

Earlier, President Joe Biden announced vaccination requirements for the federal government workers but allowed them to “opt out” if they agreed to more stringent mitigation measures. He also implored private sector employers to encourage vaccination, and many employers began implementing mandatory vaccination plans or incentivizing employees to get vaccinated.

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Cal/OSHA Update: THE VOTES ARE IN AND IT’S OFFICIAL!

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The Standards Board Approved the Updated Cal/OSHA Covid-19 Requirements and Governor Newsom Issued an Executive Order Making Them Effective

Note: This post was updated on June 18, 2021.

On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted 5-1 to approve the revised Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) and, as promised, Governor Newsom promptly issued Executive Order No. N-09-21 holding that the new ETS shall not be subject to the regular 10-day approval process by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for emergency regulations. 

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Cal/OSHA Update: Masking in the Workplace

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

Cal/OSHA Has Come Full Circle to Align with CDC & CA Public Health Department

Continuing the yo-yo of back and forth revisions to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), on June 11, 2021 Cal/OSHA submitted yet another draft of its proposed ETS to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board for review and approval.  While the draft contains a number of small changes to the earlier draft, the main revision deals with when masks – or face coverings – are required to be worn in the workplace.

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To Mask, or Not to Mask? That (at Least in the Employment Context) Is Still a Question

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

As California races towards reopening, employers are receiving (often conflicting) guidance on reopening procedures, especially with respect to when a mask is required for vaccinated individuals. In welcome news, it appears the various state agencies are moving towards more uniform policies, which will greatly relieve employers throughout the State.

California Department of Health Guidelines

First, on June 9th, California’s Health and Human Services Agency announced that California would be following the federal CDC guidance with respect to masking.

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Cal/OSHA Update: Don't Take That Mask Off Just Yet!

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

At its June 9, 2021, special meeting, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to withdraw the revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that had been approved at its June 3rd meeting. You can find more information here.

Despite California’s Plan to Reopen on June 15, 2021, The Revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Still Impose Restrictions in the Workplace

After an all-day meeting on June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board approved revisions to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS” or “regulations”).

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New California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law

by Lukas Clary
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed legislation ensuring new supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for eligible workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, SB 95, provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who are forced to miss work for qualifying reasons. The SPSL covers many more employers than previous legislation and allows workers to use the leave for more reasons. The law is codified in new California Labor Code sections 248.2 and 248.3,

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FFCRA Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave Extended Through September 2021

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.  Part 5 of the ARPA provides for additional credits to employers whose choose to grant paid sick leave and emergency family leave to eligible employees under the FFCRA.

To be clear, the ARPA does not require employers provide FFCRA leave to employees. That mandate expired on December 31, 2020.  However, the continuation of certain tax credits for employers who voluntarily provide FFCRA leave has been extended from March 31,

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Updated CDC Guidance: Fully Vaccinated Individuals Need Not Quarantine After COVID-19 Exposure

by Shauna N. Correia
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The CDC’s guidelines state that individuals should quarantine for 14 days after contact with someone with COVID-19, which can be reduced to 10 days if no symptoms developed after exposure.  Now that vaccines are becoming more widely available, employers are asking whether the quarantine period can be shortened or eliminated for their workers who have received the vaccine.

The CDC has stated that the quarantine period can be eliminated entirely for a fully vaccinated individual who meets all criteria – but the guidance is conditioned on the individual meeting all three criteria:

The criteria for allowing a vaccinated individual to skip quarantine – and continue working – after exposure to a COVID-19 case,

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Cares Act Provider Relief Funds: Reporting Set To Begin In 2021; New Reporting Requirements

The Healthcare Law Blog

The Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) has completed review of Phase 3 applications for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) and expects to distribute $24.5 billion to over 70,000 health care providers by the end of this month. These payments are intended to cover loss revenues attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to HRSA, over 35,000 Phase 3 applicants will not receive any additional payment because they either experienced no change in revenues or net expenses attributable to COVID-19,

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COVID-19 Stimulus Bill also Includes Little-known Provision Creating New Streamlined Tribunal for Copyright Infringement Claims

by Jessica R. Corpuz
The IP Law Blog

Nearly unnoticed in the wrangling over the amount of COVID relief payments, the stimulus bill signed into law on December 27, 2020 also included several interesting intellectual property provisions.  Buried thousands of pages into the bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (the “CASE Act”) establishes a small claims court-type system under the U.S. Copyright Office for copyright holders to pursue low-value claims of copyright violations.

As it stands now,

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