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Beth is a Shareholder and Chair of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Group. She is admitted to practice law in California and Washington. She has years of experience assisting employers in all aspects of their employment relationship with their employees. Her practice focuses on counseling and training employers, HR professionals, and managers.

On Friday, December 17, 2021, the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency motion to dissolve the stay of the federal OSHA COVID-19 vaccine or test mandate for large employers.

Background.

On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS or the standard) to protect the health of employees by mitigating the spread of this historically unprecedented virus in the workplace. The ETS requires that employees who work for an employer with 100+ employees, as well as certain government employees, to either obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular weekly tests. The next day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed the ETS pending judicial review, and it renewed that decision in an opinion issued on November 12. Multiple petitions challenging the ETS—filed in Circuit Courts across the nation—were consolidated into the Sixth Circuit to be decided together.
Continue Reading OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine or Test Mandate Is BACK in Play… For Now

Due to the increase in COVID-19 infection numbers and the rising number of hospitalizations in recent weeks, the California Department of Public Health has issued a mandate requiring all individuals in California wear masks in all public indoor settings regardless of their vaccine status. The mandate is for a one month period from December 15,

As you’ve probably read in the news, a number of legal challenges have been filed against the OSHA COVID-19 vaccination/testing ETS for large employers.  The 5th Circuit issued a stay on enforcement of the ETS on November 6th and then, later on November 12th reaffirmed that stay holding that the challengers of the ETS are likely to succeed on the merits of the case.
Continue Reading Update: No Enforcement of OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS

UPDATE: Fifth Circuit blocks enforcement of the federal OSHA COVID-19 vaccine/testing mandate.
On November 6, 2021, a panel of the fifth circuit issued a stay against the enforcement of OSHA‘s new emergency temporary standards mandating large employers to require vaccination or testing of their workforce. The court found that there are grave statutory and constitutional issues related to the mandatory emergency temporary standards that need to be addressed.


Continue Reading 5th Circuit Temporarily Blocks OSHA’s New COVID-19 Standards Mandating Employers With 100 or More Employees to Require Vaccination or Regular Testing

For what it’s worth, on October 25, 2021, the EEOC updated its guidance “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” and added Section L entitled “Vaccinations – Title VII and Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates.”  While employers have been waiting for some guidance from the EEOC on this issue given the onslaught of requests for religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, the guidance doesn’t really provide any new guidance addressing the unprecedented pandemic we are all living through.  Instead, the EEOC essentially repeats much of its prior guidance on how to generally address requests for religious accommodations in the workplace.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues Guidance Regarding Religious Accommodations in Connection with Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies