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By: Alexandra Lapes and Tracey I. Levy All individuals affiliated with general hospitals and nursing homes who engage in activities at those facilities such that if they were infected with COVID-19, they could potentially expose other personnel, patients or residents to the disease, must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 27, 2021.  Affiliated individuals at various other types of group healthcare entities must meet an October 7, 2021 for their first…
By Tracey I. Levy Perhaps one of the most troubling quotes coming out of the investigation of sexual harassment allegations raised against Governor Andrew Cuomo was his statement, “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”  He added, “There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.” Indeed, there have been “generational and cultural shifts,” which were…
Summer 2021 has brought changes for employers throughout the New York tri-state area, as New York is mandating employers plan for the next pandemic; New Jersey is cracking down on wage law violations; and Connecticut passed four significant new employment mandates on cannabis use, nursing mothers, pay equity and voting. Employer obligations in response to COVID, on the other hand, are now dictated largely at the federal level. Our Summer 2021 issue of Takeaways covers…
By Alexandra Lapes and Tracey Levy After a very quiet 2020, this past legislative season has brought a series of new mandates for private employers in Connecticut.  These include new obligations regarding reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding employees, extended time off to vote, new parameters for pay equity, and updates to cannabis workplace protections, as Connecticut has joined New York and New Jersey to legalize recreational cannabis this year. Breastfeeding Workers Receive Additional Protections Beginning October…
By Tracey I. Levy The New York State Department of Labor yesterday posted on its website an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and industry specific templates (which can be accessed on a dedicated webpage) to implement the HERO Act.  The industry-specific templates cover agriculture, construction, delivery services, domestic workers, emergency response, food services, manufacturing and industry, personal services, private education, private transportation, and…
By Tracey I. Levy Under the Biden administration, the CDC has taken a strong position in support of vaccinating as many individuals in the United States as possible. The latest, very well-publicized carrot to incentivize that effort has come in the form of a lifting of COVID-19-related precautionary safety measures for those who are vaccinated. Masking, social distancing, workplace signage about effective hand washing – are all a relic of the past for those who…
By Alexandra Lapes and Tracey I. Levy As of June 15, 2021 New York State has lifted its general health guidance and New York Forward industry specific guidelines – including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, screening, and contact information for tracing.  Those guidelines are now optional for most establishments including retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services. …
By Tracey I. Levy and Alexandra Lapes Responding to the perceived lack of sufficient worker protections issued by OSHA and frustration with the lack of federal leadership in the prior presidential administration with regard to COVID-19 safety measures, New York State adopted the Health and Essential Rights (“HERO”) Act, which mandates a plethora of new safety standards for all employers.  The HERO Act officially takes effect June 4, 2021, but the Act itself only enumerates…
After a dearth of notable caselaw over the course of the pandemic, this past quarter brought five significant decisions across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — addressing the parameters of employer obligations to medical marijuana users, the scope of New Jersey’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, business executives’ liability for harassing conduct by a supervisor, and New Jersey’s ban on arbitration of discrimination claims. Our Spring 2021 issue of Takeaways summarizes all those decisions, as…
By Alexandra Lapes, Esq. On March 31, 2021, New York State joined the rising number of states to fully legalize cannabis for adult users by passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”).  Enacted just a month after New Jersey’s cannabis law passed, see our previous blog article here, the MRTA clarifies and establishes workplace standards related to cannabis including the rights and protections of both employers and employees, effective immediately.  The MRTA also…