By Samantha L. BrooksKarla Grossenbacher, and A. Scott Hecker

Seyfarth Synopsis: On July 12, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated guidance for employers on the interplay of workplace bias laws and COVID-19 workplace testing, vaccinations, and other return-to-work issues, including reasonable accommodations and access to employees’ confidential medical information.  Employers continue to face these
Continue Reading In Policy Pivot, EEOC Revises Pandemic Guidance To Move Away From A “Direct Threat” Analysis and Focus on “Business Necessity” As Employers Return Employees To The Workplace

By Adam R. YoungA. Scott Hecker, Brent I. Clark, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: Omicron BA5 strain has become dominant and has evolved to render vaccinations and boosters less effective, resulting in many employers revisiting their COVID-19 policies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,
Continue Reading Still Coughing: Now-Dominant COVID-19 Variant Can Elude Current Vaccines, Prompts FDA Action

By A. Scott Hecker, Benjamin D. Briggs, Adam R. YoungPatrick Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth SynopsisOn May 25, 2022, Douglas Parker, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee regarding his vision for the
Continue Reading The Slow and the Furious: OSHA’s Rulemakings Continue at Various Stages with Infectious Diseases a Priority

By Adam R. Young, Brent I. Clark, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal OSHA is rolling out an aggressive COVID-19 enforcement program to inspect “high hazard” employers, as well as re-inspect those healthcare employers who have received COVID-19 complaints in the past. 

In March 2022 at the ABA OSHA conference, OSHA enforcement leadership publicly declared the “COVID-19
Continue Reading COVID-19 “Endemic” is Not Over: OSHA is Opening New COVID-19 Programmed Inspections

By Ilana MoradyPatrick D. Joyce, and Coby Turner

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 21, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (“Board”) voted 6-1 to approve a third adoption of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (“ETS”). The revised ETS will likely go into effect the first week of May and will expire on December 31, 2022.

Background

As
Continue Reading Third Iteration of the Cal/OSHA ETS Approved

By James L. CurtisAdam R. YoungA. Scott Hecker, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposal to reconsider or revoke Arizona’s State OSHA plan, which may lead to federal OSHA takeover regulation of private employers in the state. 87 FR 23783 (4/21/22).

23
Continue Reading Arizona OSHA is on the Chopping Block: DOL Announces Proposal to Reconsider or Revoke Approval of Arizona’s State OSHA Plan

By Ilana MoradyPatrick D. Joyce, and Coby Turner

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Cal/OSHA Standards Board (“Board”) has published proposed language for the third adoption of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (“ETS”), which will be voted on during the upcoming April 21, 2022 Board meeting. The ETS, assuming it is readopted, will expire on December 31, 2022.
Continue Reading Third Iteration of the Cal/OSHA ETS is Around the Corner

By Benjamin D. BriggsA. Scott Hecker, Adam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: CDC’s new COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation calculator “takes the stress out of deciding when, and for how long, individuals with COVID-19 and close contacts need to stay home, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask.”

The new CDC calculator may
Continue Reading CDC Publishes New Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

By Benjamin D. BriggsAdam R. Young, A. Scott Hecker, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reopened its rulemaking record and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on specific topics that relate to the development of a permanent OSHA standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support
Continue Reading Rulemaking Continues on New OSHA COVID-19 Permanent Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers

By Robert S. Whitman and Amanda Williams

Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York Commissioner of Health has declined to extend the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease under the NY HERO Act. Employers are no longer required to activate their safety plans.

As previously reported (most recently here), the New York State Commissioner of Health, on September
Continue Reading NY HERO Act Update: COVID-19 Designation Expires