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COVID-19 Task Force

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OSHA Pursues A Different COVID Strategy

Effective January 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees were vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.  OSHA’s decision to scrap the ETS follows the United States Supreme Court’s January 13, 2022 decision that halted OSHA’s enforcement of the ETS ...
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COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

The COVID-19 pandemic’s duration is approaching the two-year mark, leading to significant “COVID Fatigue” for everyone. However, the recent spike in confirmed cases makes ignoring the potential impact globally on business owners’ critical. According to the World Health Organization, confirmed cases rose by nearly 10 million in recent weeks; far higher than at any other time during 2021, with most of those confirmed cases being, in order of magnitude,  the Americas, Europe, and South-East Asia.  Shifts in ...
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Supreme Court Issues Two Important Decisions On COVID-19 Vaccination And Testing

Today, the United States Supreme Court decided to block the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) requiring that employers with 100 or more employees ensure that their employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. While the decision is not a final ruling on the validity of the OSHA ETS, it suspends the vaccination or testing requirement and effectively spells the end of the requirement. In ...
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COVID-19 Task Force Wearing a Mask

COVID Updates for the New Year

As 2021 winds down, there have been a few developments regarding COVID-19 that employers should be aware of: The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) for employers with 100 or more employees is back on, at least for now. This rule will require employers to either mandate that all employees get vaccinated, or that unvaccinated employees submit to regular testing and wear masks. The Fifth Circuit ...
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LEGAL ALERT: Federal Court Issues Nationwide Injunction Against Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued a preliminary injunction on December 7, 2021, stopping the federal government from enforcing the federal contractor vaccine mandate, Executive Order 14042. Under the mandate, contractors with covered federal contracts are required to abide by the Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce Guidance, which mandates that all covered contractor employees be vaccinated by January 18, 2022 ...
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Court Extends Order Blocking Vaccine and Testing Requirement for Private Employers

On Friday, November 12, a federal appeals court extended its November 6 order temporarily staying (or suspending) the enforcement of OSHA’s new rules that require that employers with 100 or more employees ensure that their employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for Covid-19. We reported on OSHA’s new rules here and on the temporary stay here. Procedurally, the same or another federal appeals court will ...
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Court Temporarily Blocks Vaccine and Testing Rules for Private Employers

On Friday, we reported on OSHA’s new rules that require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for Covid-19.  On Saturday, a federal appeals court temporarily stayed (or suspended) the enforcement of the rules. What this means for the future of the rules is uncertain.  The court may eventually decide to remove or extend the stay, ...
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OSHA Has Issued Its Emergency Temporary Standard for Businesses with 100 or More Employees

OSHA’s long-awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) will be published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021. The ETS applies to businesses with 100 or more employees, requiring them to either mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all covered employees or adopt a policy requiring covered employees to elect between vaccination and regular testing and face masks. This article highlights the major provisions of the ETS: The ...
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Masks, Vaccines, and a Return to the Workplace = Continued Economic Strength in the Construction Industry

Upturn in construction activity expected; the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index through August 2021 indicates continued economic strength despite growing supply chain issues. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the country reporting on activity of “work-on-the-boards.” The data is compiled by the American Institute of Architects Economics & ...
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Legal Alert: New Vaccination Requirements for Federal Contractors

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an ambitious plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations. On that same date, he signed an Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (“EO”). The EO requires that (1) by November 14, 2021, all new federal contracts and contract-like instruments solicited on or after October 15, 2021, and (2) by October 15, 2021, all extensions or ...
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Virginia’s Permanent COVID Standard Has Been Revised, Again

Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has made additional changes to Virginia’s safety standard on COVID in the workplace, the Permanent COVID Standard. In July 2020, Virginia became the first in the nation to issue workplace safety rules regarding COVID-19, with its emergency temporary standard. DOLI revised the emergency temporary standard and made it permanent in January 2021, with the Permanent COVID Standard. Now, ...
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Legal Alert: Biden’s Plan Will Expand Vaccination Requirements

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an ambitious plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations. Here are the highlights of this plan with the greatest impact on private-sector employers: Vaccine Mandate for Businesses with 100+ Employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully ...
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Employers Likely Not Liable for Vaccine-Related Injuries to Employees

*This article was authored with the assistance of Summer Associate, Albert Gutiérrez. Albert is pursuing his JD at the University of Richmond School of Law. - Vaccine mandates are the subject of much discussion and controversy in nearly every industry, both in America and abroad.  As protests rage across the country, many workers question the ability of employers to mandate vaccinations.  We covered that issue in ...
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Yes, private employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccines — and it’s becoming more common, lawyer says

<< Interview by Elizabeth Moore for The Virginian-Pilot. >> Face masks and COVID-19 vaccines have been politicized, but the law regarding what an employer can require of employees is clear. Months ago, the outlook for return to life and work was optimistic. Now, the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 creates a unique situation for businesses that have begun the transition back to in-person work ...
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Governor’s Office Issues New Mask Policy

Last month, Governor Northam made news when he announced that the Virginia mask mandate had been lifted for fully vaccinated people, but the devil is in the details. On May 14, 2021, the Governor’s office set forth its updated policy by issuing Executive Order (“EO”) 79 replacing EO 72, effective May 28, 2021.  This EO updates mask guidance to align with Center for Disease Control ...
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Positive Economic News from the Construction Industry as the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic decrease

Positive signals in the construction industry; the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index through April 2021 indicates a strong rebound as the effects of COVID-19 continue to subside. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the country reporting on activity of “work-on-the-boards.” The data is compiled by the American Institute ...
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Community Associations Legal Alerts: Ending of Certain Public Health Restrictions Effective May 28, 2021

Effective May 28, 2021, certain public health restrictions that have been in place for well over a year will end.  Executive Order Number 79 (“EO79”) terminates the Seventh Amended Executive Order Number 72 and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine (“EO72”) on May 28, 2021.  EO79 can be found here and EO72 can be found here. For Virginia community associations this means that amenities, such ...
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The ARPA Extends and Expands the FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credit for Employers Who Opt To Use It

ARTICLES Author(s) Related Practices Related Articles By: Share This Article Buried in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the massive COVID relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a provision allowing employers to continue to provide, voluntarily, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave and claim the corresponding tax credits through September 30, 2021. As the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, no ...
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OSHA Issues COVID Guidance

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (“OSHA Guidance”). The OSHA Guidance is similar to the Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (“Virginia Standard”) recently approved by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”) Program. This firm previously wrote about the Virginia ...
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Hindsight is 2020 – A Look Back at Impact of COVID-19 on Community Associations Focuses Efforts Moving Forward

Since March 2020, society has learned how to navigate through and adjust to many upheavals and changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is certainly true for community associations conducting business and carrying out routine operations. Looking back on what was an extraordinary year due to the pandemic provides clarity for Virginia community associations about where to focus in 2021 and the future.  Governmental Orders ...
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