Labor & Employment

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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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Heat-Related Illness Prevention: Training and Supervision

In the previous article, we highlighted tips for creating a heat-related illness prevention plan (HRIPP) and discussed the importance of considering total heat stress and personal risk factors. In this article, we will focus on the importance of adequate training and day-to-day supervision in preventing heat-related illness in the workplace. Training is one tool that, when used effectively, can have a significant impact on reducing/preventing ...
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Heat-Related Illness Prevention: Creating an Effective Plan

In the last article, we discussed federal standards related to heat-related illness. As it warms up this summer, now is a perfect time to update or create a heat-related illness prevention plan (HRIPP) for your business. In this article, we will highlight the benefits of creating an effective HRIPP as well as helpful tips for creating your plan. Creating a HRIPP has many benefits. First, ...
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Heat-Related Illness Prevention: Introduction to Federal and State Standards

Heat-related illness can affect various industries and work environments. As temperatures rise this summer, it is important for businesses to have a plan to address heat-related illness to protect both the employer and its employees from avoidable harm.  This article is the first in a three-part series and will highlight sources of federal and state standards related to heat-related illness. This three-part series is an ...
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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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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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2021 Special Session Imposes New Obligations on Employers Under the Virginia Human Rights Act

The 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session wrapped up earlier this month with a number of changes that will impact employers. Among the bills that have been signed into law is HB 1848, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”). The new law implements two main changes to the VHRA: (1) including discrimination on the basis of disability as an unlawful discriminatory practice; and ...
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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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VOSH STANDARD REVISIONS APPROVED

Last month, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program released its Revised Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SAR-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19.  Vandeventer Black released a summary of those proposed permanent revisions to the temporary standard, which can be found here. On January 4, 2021, VOSH issued an updated final standard which was approved by the Virginia Department of Labor ...
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The FFCRA Paid Leave is Dead (Unless You Liked It)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid leave provisions have expired. The law, which was effective from April 1 through December 31, 2020, required businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency family medical leave (EFMLA) in limited coronavirus-related circumstances, and provided businesses with a refundable tax credit for the leave provided. The Consolidated Appropriations ...
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Can my Company Compel Compliance with an COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Policy? It’s a Definite Maybe…

In the past week, millions of Americans watched as volunteers and government officials received the first COVID-19 vaccinations on U.S. soil.  Businesses of all sizes are feeling the pandemic’s devastating effects and employers are likely contemplating whether they may legally implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees. The answer, as one might expect, depends a lot on the nature and extent of the proposed policy ...
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COVID CONFUSION: Recent Updates from the CDC and Governor Northam Leave Employers with More Questions and No Clear Answers

On top of all the other challenges posed by the COVID crisis, employers have had to grapple with ever-changing and contradictory guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Virginia, and various government agencies. Most recently, CDC updates and Governor Northam’s Executive Order (“E.O.”) 72 have created additional confusion for businesses regarding quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and face coverings. Post-Exposure Quarantine Since early in the ...
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VOSH Standard Revisions

On December 10, 2020, The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program released its Revised Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SAR-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19.  Generally, these revisions serve to clarify previously existing requirements or reduce the impact of some requirements that were found to be excessive, impractical, or in conflict with existing laws and updated CDC guidance. The revisions, if ...
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Virginia’s New COVID-19 Reporting Change and Online Reporting Portal

Effective December 8, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has determined that employers no longer need to report single COVID-19 positive cases to the Virginia Department of Health. However, after an outbreak of two or more cases, employers shall continue reporting all cases to VDH until the local health department notifies the business that the outbreak has been closed. Closure is an effective ...
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Virginia Federal Court Dismisses Employee’s COVID-19-Related Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

For Virginia employers, 2020 has turned their world upside down between the complicated issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic and a wave of new state employment laws.  However, a recent decision issued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia lends some support to employers exercising discretion and caution in this time of unprecedented health risks.  On November 12, 2020, the ...
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DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying Independent Contractor Status

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has proposed a new rule interpreting independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide clarity as to when a worker is an independent contractor, and not an employee, under the FLSA. If adopted, the proposed rule would operate as DOL’s sole interpretation of independent contractor status. Note that, ...
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Federal Contractors Beware: New Executive Order Prohibits Certain Anti-Discrimination Training

On September 22, 2020, President Trump signed the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (“EO”). Under the EO, executive departments and agencies, the military, federal contractors, and federal grant recipients are required to include specific provisions pertaining to workplace training in every government contract entered into after November 21, 2020. The EO, which applies to all government contracts subject to Equal Employment Opportunity ...
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