In the ever-evolving landscape of COVID-19 regulations, Texas has taken a unique stance with Senate Bill 7, which was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on November 10, 2023. This legislation specifically addresses COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the private sector, introducing a series of measures aimed at protecting employees’ rights while balancing public health concerns.Continue Reading Texas Enacts Ban on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates from Private Employers
On March 23, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice in the federal register announcing a limited re-opening of the comment period regarding OSHA’s final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19. The comment period will end on April 22, 2022, and the virtual public hearing will be held on April 27, 2022. The Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 for healthcare and healthcare support service workers (OSHA Healthcare ETS) was originally published on June 21, 2021. OSHA has re-opened the comment period to allow stakeholders to address changes the agency is considering that depart from the June 2021 version of the OSHA Healthcare ETS.
Continue Reading OSHA Re-opens Comment Period and Schedules Public Hearing on ETS – Occupational Exposure to COVID-19
Throughout the COVID pandemic, healthcare employers have navigated the challenge of balancing safety concerns with employee requests for religious exemption from the vaccine. Since lifting the stay of the CMS rule requiring certain healthcare workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the US Supreme Court (Court) has refused to enjoin state and city vaccine mandates for workers who seek religious exemptions from such mandates. On March 7, 2022, the full Court rejected, without comment, an emergency application for an injunction that was previously denied by Justice Sotomayor to prevent enforcement of the New York City Department of Education’s COVID-19 mandate against suspended workers who refused vaccination based on religion. In the wake of continued challenges to vaccine mandates based on religion, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), released guidance on March 1, 2022 that addresses questions related to religious objections to vaccinations in the workplace. Healthcare employers should ensure that assessment of requests for religious exemptions for vaccine mandates comports with EEOC guidance.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues Employer Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccinations and Religious Objections
For many healthcare employers, phase one and phase two COVID-19 vaccine deadlines are either here or quickly approaching. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), in an exercise of enforcement discretion, has begun monitoring covered CMS provider and supplier types for implementation of COVID-19 staff vaccination requirements in accordance with the COVID-19 Healthcare Staff Vaccination…
This month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS requires employers to adopt a vaccine mandate obligating employees to either get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
Continue Reading Stay Prepared: Create Your Customized COVID-19 Policy
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Continue Reading Legal Considerations and Future Vaccine Mandates—How to Prepare for the Federal Vaccine Mandate
On June 28, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a new directive that establishes a change in its inspection and enforcement procedures to facilitate the uniform enforcement of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) with respect to workplace exposures to COVID-19 in the healthcare industry. The directive is effective for no more than 12 months from June 21, 2021, unless cancelled or extended by OSHA. State Plans must adopt enforcement policies that are identical to or at least as effective as the enforcement policies issued by federal OSHA by July 28, 2021.
Continue Reading Compliance Guidance for Healthcare: OSHA Directive for COVID-19 ETS
On June 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance on Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting and the deadline for providers to use their funds. Provider recipients can now begin submitting information in the PRF Reporting Portal on July 1, 2021. Summary of use and reporting timeline can be found…
On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long anticipated interim final rule and request for comments for the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). OSHA released the ETS one day after the approval of the standard was received from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office…
As of April 27, 2021, 29.1% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. With COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanding to the general public, and states and cities relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, employers face the new challenge of navigating a partially vaccinated workforce. We previously addressed questions related to return-to-work and vaccination issues for employers here. Below are some additional, and recent, questions we’ve received from clients related to this topic.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Employer Considerations for a Partially Vaccinated Workforce