Labor & Employment Law Perspectives

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a plan to require all private employers with one hundred (100) or more employees to ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or produce a negative COVID-19 test each week. This vaccine mandate, part of a larger effort designed to require more than 100 million Americans to get vaccinated, will be implemented through an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to be issued by the U.S. Department…
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has long taken the position that an employer must allow an employee with an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covered disability to work from home as a reasonable accommodation if the essential job functions can be effectively performed at home, and working from home will not cause undue hardship. Some jobs, naturally, cannot be performed at home, e.g., assembly-line worker, waiter, cashier, etc. In what is sure to…
As part of a series of actions aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19, including the highly contagious Delta variant, President Biden recently 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 workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to…
Earlier this evening, the President of the United States announced a series of actions aimed at confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.  For one thing, President Biden stated he is signing an Executive Order requiring all healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated.  He also stated that he is signing another Executive Order requiring all Executive Branch employees, as well as all employees of federal contractors, to be fully vaccinated.  In addition, the Department of Labor released a…
As the pandemic continues, so too does the threat to employers of employment litigation related to COVID-19. Employers face the prospect of claims related to leave, disability accommodation, remote working, vaccine mandates, and more. One significant area of potential litigation involves claims brought by employees who may contract COVID-19 in the workplace. To make matters even more complicated, some regions have moved away from state and local mandates regarding COVID-19 safety protocols in the workplace,…
Yesterday, America celebrated Labor Day as a National Holiday for the 127th time. The very first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The first Labor Day was an outgrowth of the burgeoning union movement in America. New York’s first Labor Day celebration consisted of about 10,000 workers, who took unpaid leave and who marched to where else but Union Square? President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law…
Effective September 1, 2021, Texas has joined a growing list of states that have passed enhanced legal protections for victims of workplace sexual harassment. S.B. 45 amends current law relating to the prohibition against sexual harassment in the workplace. The new law is expansive in that it now affords protection to any employee working for an employer that employs even one employee; previously, only employers of 15 or more employees were covered by the Texas…
Mandatory Vaccination Policies are on the Rise On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. In the days that followed (and encouraged by President Biden), employers across a variety of industries have expressed an increased interest in establishing mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policies. Under most mandatory vaccination policies, employees are required to submit proof of vaccination by a specified date as a condition of…
In response to a growing surge of COVID-19 cases around the country, many states and municipalities have reverted to face covering advisories and, in some cases, mandates.  Massachusetts is no different.  Indeed, at this time, four Massachusetts cities have issued guidance “strongly recommending” that both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons wear face coverings when in any public, indoor setting, while 10 other cities have mandated face coverings in all municipal buildings.  The city of Boston, however,…
State and federal courts shut down all in-person operations in March 2020 based on the COVID-19 health emergency. Since then, many have struggled to reschedule the significant backlog of jury trials. While most courts adopted virtual platforms for motions proceedings, conferences and nonjury hearings, few courts impaneled juries because of the health risks of exposing court personnel, parties and large groups of potential jurors, as well as their families, to infection. With the rapid rise…