Nevada OSHA Targets Hospitality Industry

Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) is performing targeted inspections of Nevada’s hospitality establishments. Even though Nevada OSHA’s “Inspection Targeting Plan and Emphasis Programs” document was last updated in August 2021, the programmed inspections are continuing with local emphasis programs related to hotels (NAICS 721110) and casino-hotels (NAICS 721120).

 

New York Appellate Court Stays Mask Mandate Injunction

On January 25, 2022, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department granted a stay of a Nassau County trial court’s injunction of the enforcement of the state’s mask mandate, which went into effect on December 13, 2021. The mandate, which was announced by Governor Kathy Hochul on December 10, 2021, required that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, unless a covered businesses had implemented a mandatory vaccination requirement.

California Announces New Deadline for Filing 2021 Pay Data Reports and Promises Updated Reference Materials

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently posted an announcement on its pay data reporting landing page stating the deadline for filing 2021 pay data reports is April 1, 2022. This is different from last year’s deadline of March 31, 2021, and earlier statements by the DFEH indicating that the filing deadline would be March 31 going forward after last year’s inaugural filing cycle. The announcement also provides notice that new versions of the filing portal, user guide, and template (a spreadsheet document including a blank pay data upload report, instructions, and two sample reports), and other resources will be available on February 1, 2022.

CMS Vaccine Mandate Update: Last, but Not Least, Texas Joins the Rest of the Country

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion staying preliminary injunctions issued in cases filed in Missouri and Louisiana challenging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare providers. The ruling stayed preliminary injunctions applicable to twenty-four states. Twenty-five states were already subject to enforcement under the CMS rule. This left Texas standing alone and in limbo.

New York Extends Mask-or-Vaccine Requirement

On December 13, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul instituted a mandate requiring that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, unless a covered business has implemented a mandatory vaccination requirement. The mandate was set to be reevaluated on January 15, 2022. However, as part of her “Winter Surge Plan 2.0,” and before the mandate’s original expiration date, Governor Hochul extended the mask-or-vaccine requirement for an additional two weeks, until at least February 1, 2022. As part of the announcement, the governor indicated that the state would reassess masking requirements in February 2022.

Twin Cities Issue Vaccine Mandates for Restaurants, Bars, and Entertainment Venues

On January 12, 2022, just one week after issuing mask mandates, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued executive orders mandating that places of public accommodation serving food and drinks indoors require persons to furnish proof of vaccination or negative PCR or antigen tests. Then, on January 13, 2022, and January 14, 2022, respectively, Mayor Carter and Mayor Frey each issued additional emergency regulations amending their January 12, 2022, orders.

Oregon OSHA Announces Stance on Federal Vaccine-or-Test Standard

On January 13, 2022, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced that because the Supreme Court of the United States has stayed the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), it “will not move forward with adopting the same or similar standard in Oregon.”

 

Minnesota OSHA Pumps the Brakes on Federal OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

Minnesota’s Occupational Safety Administration (MNOSHA) adopted the federal Occupational Safety Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on January 3, 2022, and began enforcing the rules on January 10, 2022. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United stayed the enforcement of the ETS and remanded the case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will now consider the merits of the case.

Colorado Cracks Down on Restrictive Covenant Agreements, Authorizing Potential Criminal Penalties

Colorado has enlisted the help of the criminal justice system to reinforce its strong public policy against restrictive covenants. Beginning on March 1, 2022, violations of Colorado’s restrictive covenants statute, C.R.S. § 8-2-113, may subject employers to criminal liability.

Illinois Adopts New Public Employer Rules on Federal OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS

On January 7, 2022, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) filed peremptory rules adopting the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). IDOL will require all state and local public employers in Illinois to comply with ETS sections (d)-(l).

New Orleans Revives Mask Mandate, Effective January 12, 2022

New Orleans has revived its mask mandate for indoor spaces, effective January 12, 2022. Citing increased COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, Mayor Latoya Cantrell has ordered that all individuals over the age of two who do not have breathing complications must wear masks “when in indoor spaces outside the household, unless actively eating or drinking.”

Oregon OSHA Announces Schedule for Implementing COVID-19 Vaccine or Test Standard

Oregon operates a state plan that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has approved that applies to both public and private employers. Accordingly, Oregon employers are subject to the state OSHA’s standards rather than the federal OSHA standards. Oregon OSHA may adopt an emergency temporary standard (ETS) related to COVID-19 that differs from the federal ETS, but Oregon OSHA’s ETS must be “as effective as” the federal ETS.

New York State Paid Sick Leave: Final Regulations Are Here

On December 22, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) published highly anticipated final regulations in the New York State Register regarding New York State Paid Sick Leave (PSL), which went into effect on September 30, 2020. These final regulations address comments received from the public following the issuance of proposed regulations published on December 9, 2020. The final regulations provide some additional clarification regarding the PSL and its requirements.

New York City to Restrict Use of Automated Employment Decision Tools: What Employers Should Know

Employers and employment agencies in New York City that currently utilize, or expect to utilize, automated tools to make employment decisions may wish to begin planning now for restrictions that will take effect on January 1, 2023, concerning the types of tools that may be utilized and the disclosures concerning such tools that must be provided to candidates for employment or promotions.

Minnesota Starts the New Year With New Rules: Lactation Breaks and Pregnancy Accommodations Law Takes Effect

As companies returned to work following the holidays, changes to Minnesota’s nursing mothers statute and pregnancy accommodations law (Minn. Stat. § 181.939) went into effect on January 1, 2022. Minnesota employers may want to take a moment to make sure their policies and practices are up to date.

California Department of Public Health Issues Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance

On December 30, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued its updated “Guidance for Local Health Jurisdictions on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public.” With the updated guidance, the CDPH’s position appears to be consistent with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently revised recommended five-day isolation and quarantine period for the general population.

Cook County, Illinois, Issues Proof-of-COVID-19-Vaccination Requirements for Restaurants, Gyms, and Indoor Entertainment Venues

On December 23, 2021, Cook County, Illinois, issued Public Health Order No. 2021-11, joining the City of Chicago in requiring certain indoor establishments (including restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, and entertainment venues) to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of patrons five years of age and older, effective January 3, 2022.

New York City Law Grants Employees Paid COVID-19 Child Vaccination Leave

On December 24, 2021, New York City enacted a law (Introduction No. 2448-2021) permitting employees who are parents to take paid time off to accompany their children when they receive COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, the law allows these employees to take paid time off to care for their children if they experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Washington Governor Clarifies That Employers Are Still ‘Legally Obligated’ to Pay Premiums Under the Washington Cares Act

On December 22, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) ordering it to not collect premiums under the Washington Cares Fund program until the legislature addresses some of the law’s issues. The letter acknowledged that “legislative leadership has strongly encouraged the employer community to pause collection of premiums from employees.”

LIRC’s View of the ‘Substantially Related’ Defense to Arrest and Conviction Record Discrimination Claims: Will Recent Events in Waukesha Prompt Change?

Wisconsin is one of a limited number of states that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of arrest or conviction records. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) protects “properly qualified individuals” from unlawful discrimination “by reason of their … arrest record[s] [or] conviction record[s].” Employers defending against claims of arrest- or conviction-record discrimination under the WFEA may raise a defense to liability that asks whether an employee’s or applicant’s charge or conviction “substantially relate[s] to the circumstances of the particular job[.]” That is, the WFEA provides that an employer is not prohibited from suspending an employee who is charged with a felony, misdemeanor, or other offense, or from refusing to employ an individual who is convicted of a crime that is substantially related to his or her position.