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By T. Christopher Bailey on January 13, 2022 at 3:30 PM

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions addressing COVID-19 vaccine mandates implemented by the Biden Administration. In the first opinion (National Federation of Independent Business v. OSHA), by a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court blocked implementation of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required all employers with 100 or more employees to adopt a policy requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing and masking policies for employees. OSHA’s ETS had recently taken effect, and the vaccination/testing requirements were set to become effective as of February 9. This ruling from the Supreme Court appears to signal the end of OSHA’s ETS.

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By Nicholas Coyle, Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on January 3, 2022 at 4:15 PM

As in 2020, employment law in 2021 was dominated by COVID-19 as employers grappled with whether to voluntarily extend employee benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, issues with working remotely, and returning to work. The new year begins with uncertainty as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of several employer vaccine mandates in just a few days. The pandemic’s challenges are sure to keep employers busy in 2022. Here are our picks for the highlights of last year and a look at what’s to come in the new year.

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By Nicholas Coyle, Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on January 3, 2022 at 4:10 PM

Missouri

Other than a new state minimum wage ($11.15 per hour), 2022 is starting off quietly in Missouri. However, last year brought two major developments affecting employers that are summarized below. The COVID-19 Liability Shield is exactly as it sounds, providing protections for employers against suits by individuals who claim they were exposed to COVID-19. Similarly, the Domestic Violence Leave Law provides job-protected leave for individuals who need to address issues related to domestic violence.

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By Dennis Collins on November 17, 2021 at 2:45 PM

On November 5, 2021, OSHA released a previously announced Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with at least 100 employees to enact a policy requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID‑19 or submit to weekly testing. Employers are required to have a policy in place by December 5, 2021, with enforcement of the ETS to begin on January 4, 2022.

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By Scott Cruz on April 21, 2021 at 2:15 PM

A new Ordinance in the city of Chicago will prohibit Chicago employers from firing or disciplining workers who leave work to get a COVID-19 vaccine during the workers’ normally scheduled work hours. The Chicago City Council unanimously approved the Ordinance on April 21, 2021, and the Ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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By Scott Cruz on March 17, 2021 at 3:45 PM

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Among its many provisions, the ARP addresses paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and payroll tax credits for providing such paid leave.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 8, 2021 at 12:30 PM

In a year marked by federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies managed to finalize some non-pandemic legal developments in 2020: the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule and joint employer test both went into effect, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a handful of Obama-era precedents. With Joe Biden’s election as president in November 2020, the coming four years will likely bring some reversal of the impact of the Trump administration, particularly on the DOL and NLRB. The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was relatively busy for employment, including a major development for Title VII. Of course, much of the energy and resources of the federal agencies overseeing employment laws were spent on providing guidance to employers related to COVID-19 issues. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2021.

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By Lauren Daming on January 7, 2021 at 2:15 PM

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, represents a second-round stimulus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the CAA includes certain virus-related provisions, including stimulus checks issued to some individuals, the act allowed the mandatory leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to expire on December 31, 2020. As a result, employees are no longer guaranteed paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA unless their employers voluntarily agree to provide it. As an incentive for employers to voluntarily offer FFCRA leave, the act extends the availability of tax credits to employers related to employees who take qualifying leave under the FFCRA through March 31, 2021.   

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By Dennis Collins on December 21, 2020 at 10:45 AM

On December 16, 2020, the EEOC issued an update that addresses the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations and questions they may raise under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). If an employer elects to administer a COVID-19 vaccine or contract with a third party to do so, the employer must meet certain requirements under federal anti-discrimination laws.

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By Scott Cruz on September 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised FFCRA regulations that clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, specifically the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). 

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