The San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) gives certain employees the right to request flexible or predictable work arrangements to assist with caregiving responsibilities. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance on October 8, 2013, and the law became operative on January 1, 2014.
Continue Reading San Francisco Passes Amendments to Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance

On March 14, 2022, the EEOC released a new technical assistance guidance document entitled “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law.

Essentially, the guidance reiterates that an employer may not discriminate against an applicant or employee under federal law on the basis of protected classes such sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), race, color, religion, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.  However, the purpose of the guidance is to illustrate how discrimination on the basis of a protected class can occur, possibly even inadvertently, if employers make assumptions and decisions based on an applicant’s or employee’s caregiving obligations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading The EEOC’s New Guidance Says Discrimination Against “Caregivers” May Violate Federal Law

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

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