On October 11, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order expanding upon a recently passed law that generally prohibited Texas businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers. The new executive order applies to both consumers and employees and states, in part: “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.” The executive order does not define “personal conscience” or explain what “prior recovery from COVID-19” means in the context of objecting to a COVID-19 vaccine. The order also sets up a maximum fine of $1,000 for failure to comply with the order (although the order is unclear regarding how the fine would be calculated).
Continue Reading Texas Executive Order Creates Confusion for Mandatory Vaccination Policies

Today, President Biden announced the nation’s COVID-19 Action Plan, which is a six-prong, comprehensive national strategy designed to save lives, keep schools open and safe, and protect the nation’s economy while avoiding additional lockdowns and damage. The six prongs are:

  • Vaccinating the unvaccinated;
  • Further protecting the vaccinated;
  • Keeping schools safely open;
  • Increasing testing & requiring masking;
  • Protecting the nation’s economic recovery; and
  • Improving care for those with COVID-19.


Continue Reading Federal “Path Out of the Pandemic” Announced by the White House Implements New Requirements Affecting Private and Public Employers

On August 25, 2021, Cal/OSHA issued a press release which encouraged employers and workers to follow the recent update from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommending that all individuals wear face coverings while indoors regardless of vaccination status (August 25 Recommendation). The full text of the Cal/OSHA press release is linked here and

On August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released updated general industry guidance for COVID-19 that is applicable to all workplaces. OSHA’s general industry guidance, which is advisory and creates no binding legal requirements, focuses on unvaccinated workers and others who are “at risk” (i.e., immunocompromised individuals).

OSHA has added additional recommendations that

On March 12, 2021, New York passed a new law requiring all New York employers to provide up to four (4) hours of paid leave for the purposes of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. New York is the first state to implement paid leave specifically limited to time spent getting vaccinated. The law is effective as of March 12, 2021, and the law’s leave entitlement is set to expire on December 31, 2022. In addition to paid leave, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who request or take vaccination leave, or otherwise exercise their rights under the new law.
Continue Reading New York Implements Targeted Paid Vaccination Leave

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released long-awaited Guidance this morning regarding permissible activities and relaxed precautions for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second shot of a two-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna), or two weeks after receiving the single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).

Specifically, today’s CDC Guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals may:

  • Gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask;
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19; and
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure to COVID-19 if asymptomatic.


Continue Reading CDC Releases Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released an advice response memo concluding that a claim that a construction company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) “by laying off the charging party in the midst of a purported downturn in business due to COVID-19” and thereafter failing to recall the employee lacked merit. The Division

On the heels of its May 11, 2020 announcement that it would resume representation case hearings, the National Labor Relations Board announced on Friday that the Division of Judges would resume holding hearings on unfair labor practice complaints effective June 1, 2020. In an announcement posted on the agency’s website, the Board specified

In an order issued on May 11, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board lifted its April 30, 2020 stay order on representation case hearings and “clarif[ied] that representation case hearings that involve witness testimony should be conducted by videoconference, not telephonically.” Morrison Healthcare, 369 NLRB No. 76 (May 11, 2020). The Board further noted that it will permit telephonic conferences for representation case hearings “only when compelling circumstances exist and no witness testimony is involved.” Id. (emphasis added).

Continue Reading National Labor Relations Board Approves Use of Videoconferencing for Testimony in Representation Hearings; Continues Restrictions on Telephonic Hearings.