The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has answered a question that has been troubling employers since the pace of vaccinations started to accelerate: when must an employer record an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine on its OSHA 300 Logs? In a new series of answers to its COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) issued on April 20, 2021, OSHA states that the answer turns on whether the vaccine is required or recommended by…
On April 9, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that an employee may be liable to his or her employer under the Commonwealth’s unfair and deceptive trade practices statute—which authorizes an award of double or treble damages for willful violations, as well as costs and attorneys’ fees—for actions that the employee engaged in during the course of his or her employment. In Governo Law Firm LLC v. Bergeron et al., No. SJC-12948,…
On April 16, 2021, the government of Ontario announced its strictest COVID-19 response measures to date, responding to a continued increase in daily case counts despite a province-wide lockdown. The stay-at-home order, effective April 8, 2021, will be extended for an additional two weeks, for a total of six weeks. The Ontario government has also added new restrictions and increased workplace inspections to ensure employers are complying with all COVID-19–related health and safety…
On April 7, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 20, enacting the Healthy Workplaces Act (HWA), which will require private employers in New Mexico with at least one employee to provide paid sick leave to employees. The new law becomes effective on July 1, 2022. Under the HWA, employers must allow employees, including part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, to accrue earned sick leave (ESL) at a rate of one hour…
On April 16, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 93 into law. This new statute creates California Labor Code Section 2810.8 and requires that employers in certain industries make written job offers to employees whom they laid off because of COVID-19. Employees have five business days to respond and, if more than one employee responds, the employer must award the job by seniority. Employers must keep records for three years. The California…
Hospitality and event center workers received additional job rights protection under a new ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council. The new ordinance requires employers to recall those workers, if and when they are needed in reverse order of seniority. Ordinance No. 2021-12, entitled “Hospitality Worker Right to Recall,” seeks to minimize the impact on affected employees in an industry particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and to stabilize the workforce. The ordinance becomes…
Mandatory arbitration clauses for employment disputes have received a great deal of attention in recent years. In the First Circuit, there is now more clarity regarding the factors used to determine the enforceability of online arbitration agreements. Overview The First Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision, Emmanuel v. Handy Technologies, Inc., concerns the appellant’s 2015 putative class action against Handy Technologies, Inc., which operates an online platform that allows users to hire housekeepers and…
The degree of pandemic risk in Mexico has been steadily improving nationwide, and since March 1, 2021, none of the 32 states has been required to halt all nonessential activities under the strictest tier—called the “red traffic light”—of the federal government’s four-tiered COVID-19 traffic light monitoring system. The traffic light system also shows improvement across the system’s other three categories, in decreasing order of restriction: 5 states in orange status (compared with 7…
On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, while touring a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, President Joe Biden imposed a deadline on every state to open up vaccination eligibility to all adults by April 19, 2021 (moving up the previous target date of May 1, 2021). The White House COVID-19 coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, told governors also on April 6, 2021, that more than 28 million doses of vaccines will be delivered to all of the states the…
On April 12, 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) would extend the sunset date for the state’s COVID-19 emergency rules, which were set to expire on April 14, 2021, for six more months. Included in the emergency rules is a controversial remote-work policy rule that requires Michigan employers to direct employees to work at home “to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be…