As vaccine distribution becomes widespread, and employees begin to return to work, we continue to field questions related to return-to-office plans in a post pandemic world. We previously compiled a list of FAQs, addressing COVID-19 safety protocols (here, here and here)  that should be considered as the workplace opens for business. Below are some additional, and recent, considerations related to this topic.
Continue Reading Opening for Business? Your Return-to-Work Policies Answered

On February 25, 2021, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted 2021 Wisconsin Act 4 (the “Act”), which, in part, grants immunity to business entities from civil liability related to COVID-19 exposure, with certain exceptions.

Specifically, the Act immunizes certain entities from civil liability for any act or omission in the course of performance or provision of the entity’s function or services, that leads to death or injury to an individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting from or relating to exposure directly or indirectly to COVID-19 (or its variants), or conditions associated with the infectious disease.  However, civil immunity does not extend to acts or omissions that are reckless, wanton conduct, or intentional misconduct.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Business Entities Granted Civil Immunity for COVID-19 Exposure

Over the coming months, we can expect to see many significant changes to labor issues affecting healthcare and other sectors of our marketplace. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is almost certain to reinstate the standards of what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit as set forth in a 2011 case, Specialty Healthcare, allowing unions to

As mandated by President Biden’s January 21 Executive Order, OSHA has announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) designed to protect workers from contracting COVID-19.  On March 12, 2021, OSHA announced its new national emphasis program that targets high-risk establishments in high-risk industries for programmed inspections and provides a heightened focus on employers that retaliate against employees who report or complain about unsafe working environments. In conjunction with the NEP, OSHA also issued an updated Interim Enforcement Plan to provide guidance on the policies and procedures it will employ to reduce and eliminate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The issuance of the NEP is a strong indication that OSHA enforcement activity will increase in the short term.
Continue Reading OSHA Enforcement Activity Relating to COVD-19 Exposures Expected to Increase Under New NEP and Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan

Join Husch Blackwell Partner Bruce Arnold and Anthony Long of Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting for a live 90-minute CLE webinar presented by Strafford on Wednesday, March 31 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT. This CLE webinar will guide healthcare counsel through the new changes under the new Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the impact on physician

On Friday February 26, 2021, several agencies including The Departments of Labor, health, and Humans Services (HHS) published FAQs regarding health insurance issuers’ obligations under the FFCRA and CARES Act for governing diagnosing testing for COVID-19 and related items and serves during the public health emergency.  This new guidance is helpful for plans, providers, and individuals alike and provides clarity on the nuances of coverage for COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
Continue Reading Multi-Agency FAQ Issued Regarding COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage by Health Plans

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) goes into effect January 1, 2021, and the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment adopted final regulations on November 10, 2020, regarding equal pay transparency. Since our last update, on December 18, 2020, the Division issued its Interpretive Notice and Formal Opinion #9 (INFO #9) in yet another effort to provide clarity around the job posting and pay transparency provisions of EPEWA. These provisions have generated the most questions from human resource and internal legal teams. Below we have revised and updated our earlier FAQs to provide the most up-to-date guidance in a single resource.
Continue Reading UPDATED | FAQs: Colorado’s Equal Pay Rules for Job Posting and Pay Transparency

On December 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a proposed rule that would revise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

In its news release, OCR noted that the changes “seeks to promote value-based health care by examining federal regulations that impede efforts among healthcare providers and health plans to better coordinate care for patients.”  The proposed changes come on the heels of the recently delayed Information Blocking Rule, which seeks to prohibit interferences with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI).   The key proposed changes are discussed below.
Continue Reading Department of Health and Human Services Releases Proposed Changes to HIPAA

The FDA could approve two COVID-19 vaccines within a matter of days. However, drug makers have tried to keep expectations in check about how much vaccine they can deliver immediately and over the next few months as they grapple with supply chain and manufacturing challenges. In Safety Law Matters, we write about limited and

Register today to join our very own Healthcare lawyers, Jenna Brofsky and Timothy A. Hilton, and Husch Blackwell Labor and Employment and Health and Safety lawyers Brittany M. Falkowski and Avi Meyerstein as they present various issues and action steps employers should consider as they develop plans involving the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. While there