DOL Officially Withdraws OSHA ETS

After having the OSHA ETS rejected by the SCOTUS last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) this week announced that it was officially withdrawing its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required that all employers with 100 or more employees require either their vaccination or a weekly negative COVID test. It also formally published…

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Employer Plans Pay for COVID Tests

Notwithstanding the fanfare with which DOL announced the ETS and its subsequent withdrawal (as detailed above), there was very little notice made about a new joint guidance issued by DOL along with the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury requiring employer health plans – whether fully insured or self-insured – to cover…

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New York Extends HERO Act Again

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has again extended the designation of COVID-19 as a “highly contagious communicable disease” and thereby kept the provisions of the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) in full force and effect. The designation, now extended to February 15, triggers obligations for New York employers to keep their airborne infectious…

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SCOTUS Blocks Large Employer Mandate!

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the employer mandate imposed by the Biden administration exceeds the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) putting an end to the vax or test mandate. The decision comes just days after the mandate technically took effect on January 4, although the…

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Bipartisan Effort to Resurrect RRF

Although it is not anywhere close to reality just yet, QSR franchisees and other restaurant operators can take some solace in bipartisan efforts currently underway in Congress to resurrect and recapitalize the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has again joined with…

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SCOTUS Hears Vaccine Mandate Today

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hold a special session today, January 7, 2022, to hear oral arguments on the large employer vaccinate-or-test mandate of the Biden administration. You’ll recall that the Appellate Court for the 5th Circuit Court had previously issued a temporary restraining order against the mandate back in November.…

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COVID as an ADA Disability

The Department of Justice along with Health and Human Services have issued an updated guidance relating questions of applicability of COVID-19 under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The guidance defines “long-COVID” which includes issues resulting from COVID exposure that last four or more weeks. In the wake of that guidance, the Equal Employment Opportunity…

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Additional News on Wages

As if the ongoing labor shortages coupled with these dramatic increases in minimum wages weren’t having a big enough impact on businesses still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic, some communities are piling on with additional mandates for business beginning tomorrow. A perfect case in point is the city of Portland Maine, where the…

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SCOTUS to Judge Final Round

The final round in the heavyweight fight over a couple of the Biden vaccine mandates – including the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for private employers with 100 or more workers – is set to be argued before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on January 7. In taking up the issues, the…

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More States, Cities Adding Mandates

As the nation now awaits the final decision by SCOTUS on these vaccine mandates, more states and cities are imposing their own versions of vaccine-or-mask mandates. In fact, just over the past week or two, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago, have all announced new local vaccine mandates for consumers to enter…

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