he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released updated guidance today applicable to individuals recently vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Notable, the update recommends that “fully vaccinated” people (defined as two or more weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine), with no COVID-19 symptoms, who have had close-contact exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, do not need to quarantine. This guidance also applies to employees of non-healthcare and low-density workplaces.
On January 20, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its guidance to inform employers how to identify the risk of exposure and transmission in the workplace and determine appropriate control measures to implement. This article provides a recap on where we stand on lawful pandemic-related employment practices in February 2021.
As many employers are aware, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act Expansion set forth in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are set to expire on December 31, 2020.
On November 16, 2020, Governor Philip Murphy signed Executive Order #196 which, limits indoor and outdoor “gatherings” to ten (10) and one hundred fifty (150) people, respectively. “Gatherings” now specifically include both indoor and outdoor sports competitions and practices, although Order #196 includes exceptions for indoor sports.
In response to the surging number of COVID-19 infections throughout New Jersey, Governor Philip Murphy imposed new requirements for every employer (i.e. all businesses, non-profits, governmental and educational entities) pursuant to Executive Order #192.
An effective vaccine could protect our populations from the devastating social and economic effects of COVID-19 spread, and allow employers to operate at full capacity.
On May 15, 2020, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed P.L. 2020, c. 34 into law, which allows public bodies (e.g., municipalities, boards of education, etc.) to conduct public meetings remotely during a state of emergency, and permits the Director of Local Government Services to enact emergency regulations clarifying the new law. In late September, the Director enacted emergency regulations that establish “minimum procedures to be followed” by all public bodies, and currently are in effect.
Employers have known for some time the necessity of providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. For most employers, since the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in 1990, providing these accommodations has become routine, if not simple. As a result, “accommodations” and “individuals with disabilities” have come to fit together like the proverbial “lock” and “key.”
On August 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor released new guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in a question and answer format. The guidance was released to address various questions regarding teleworking, remote learning, and other issues that are sure to surface as schools open throughout the country.
The fits and starts of the COVID-19 pandemic have unleashed a number of challenges on businesses and our economy. One such challenge facing the multitude of companies who were forced to furlough some or all of their staff when the pandemic hit is how to recall those furloughed workers as activity picks up in a manner that is fair, sound, makes business sense and mitigates risk. This article will briefly identify and address some of the most critical questions those employers face.