1.  I have a unionized workforce. Do I need to bargain before mandating that my employees are Covid vaccinated before reporting to work?

With the CDC largely ending mask requirements for those who are Covid vaccinated, many employers will look anew at whether they will require vaccinations for their employees to participate in the workplace. While this whole topic raises a myriad of questions related to vaccine certificates, maintenance of medical records, and exceptions that might apply to employees because of religious or health accommodations, an entirely separate question comes up as to whether employers may mandate their union workforce to be vaccinated in order to work.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Is a vaccine mandate a subject of bargaining?

As more businesses begin to reintegrate employees into their pre-pandemic workplaces, many of our clients have questions regarding return-to-work issues. In this edition of Funny You Should Ask, we address three questions many of our clients have asked during the past few weeks. The answers below focus on compliance with federal law. As always, employers will need to take state and local laws into consideration in addition to federal law.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Employer Considerations for Rehiring Employees

The Texas Legislature in April passed H.B. 1445, which adopted amendments to the Texas sales tax law regarding medical and dental billing.  Governor Greg Abbott on April 30, 2021, signed the bill, which aims to clarify the state law that has been in force since 1987.
Continue Reading 2021 Texas Legislature Amends Texas Tax Code to Define Medical and Dental Billing Service and Address Texas Comptroller Policy

Since last year, the Husch Blackwell privacy attorneys have been working with various healthcare providers—from hospitals to hospices, to independent physician groups—to comply with the Information Blocking rule (the Rule) implemented by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.  Recently, Education clients have been asking, “We’re a university – does the Information Blocking rule apply to our student health center?”  We discuss the answer to that question, along with practice tips, in this blog post.
Continue Reading Information Blocking: College & University Student Health Centers – Does the Rule Apply to Us?

On April 2, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively the “Departments”) jointly released nine (9) questions and answers (“FAQs Part 45”) related to recent changes made to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”) by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Appropriations Act”).

FAQs

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