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Labor & Employment

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Cleaning Up Its Mess – the Virginia Assembly Ditches Virginia’s Overtime Wage Act

Well, that was fun! Last year, on July 1, 2021, the Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA) went into effect, causing significant headaches for Virginia employers because it differed starkly from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on a number of key points. Employers were left reeling as they tried to untangle the new law’s complexities and restructure their pay practices to comply. It was ...
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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Effective January 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees were vaccinated against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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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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New Certification Requirement for Federal Contractors

Beginning this year, federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors will be required to certify that they have developed and maintained an affirmative action program (AAP) for each establishment. Previously, while most federal contractors have been required to have an AAP, they did not have to show that they met this requirement unless the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) specifically asked them to ...
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Federal Contractors Now Restricted in Questioning Applicants about Their Criminal Records

Federal Contractors Now Restricted in Questioning Applicants about Their Criminal Records

Hidden deep within the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2020 is a “ban the box” provision that restricts federal contractors’ inquiries into their applicants’ criminal histories. This new provision, which went into effect on December 20, 2021, prohibits federal contractors from requesting “the disclosure of criminal history record information regarding an applicant for a position related to work under” a federal contract “before the ...
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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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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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