SCOTUS Speaks – Federal Large Employer Vaccine Mandate Stayed; Healthcare Vaccine Mandate Now Enforced

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All Private Employers with 100+ Employees; Employers Who Receive Medicare/Medicaid Funds

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JAN 13, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court just issued two much-anticipated rulings on the federal vaccine mandates. In short, the mandate for large employers was stayed, and the stay against the healthcare mandate was lifted. Here is a breakdown of each case.

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COVID-19: EEOC Updates and Expands Employer Vaccine Guidance

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All Employers

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October 13 and 25, 2021

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated Section K (Vaccinations – Overview, ADA, Title VII, and GINA) of its “What You Should Know” publication for COVID-19 guidance. It also added a new Section L for how employer vaccine rules are impacted by Title VII and religious objections.

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NEW Interim Vaccine Mandate Rule for Healthcare Providers

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Certain Healthcare Employers receiving Medicare/Medicaid Funds

EFFECTIVE

November 5, 2021

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On September 9, 2021, as part of its Path Out of the Pandemic Action Plan (Action Plan), the White House announced a healthcare vaccine mandate for workers in most healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. On November 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule defining the vaccine requirements for healthcare workers.

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U.S. Releases New COVID-19 Travel Rules for Vaccination and Testing

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All Employers

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November 8, 2021

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On October 25, 2021, the Biden Administration announced new COVID-19 related rules for travelers entering or departing the United States.  Specifically, travelers coming to the U.S. must have proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and a recent negative test to be permitted entry to the country, with narrow exemptions.

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DOL Issues Final Rule for Tip Credits for Employees with Dual Jobs

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All Employers with Tipped Employees

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December 28, 2021

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a Tips Rule addressing tip credits for employees who perform tipped and non-tipped duties (dual jobs). In 2020, the DOL published a tips rule that was later partially delayed in 2021 (2020 tips rule). The DOL already issued a final rule for the assessment of civil money penalties (CMPs) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and now addresses the dual jobs issue.

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Tenth Circuit: Booting Up Computer is Compensable Work Time

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All Employers with CO, KS, NM, OK, UT, and WY Employees

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October 8, 2021

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In Peterson v. Nelnet Diversified Solutions, LLC, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal stated that employers must pay for regularly performed pre-shift activities that are integral and indispensable to the employees’ job duties. Even though employees spent an average of two minutes per shift on pre-shift activities, the court said that this time was not de minimis and was required to be compensated.

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Eleventh Circuit: Automatic Meal Period Deductions Impermissible During Compensable Time

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All Employers with AL, FL, GA Employees

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September 30, 2021

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In Gelber v. Akal Security, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit stated that an automatic meal period deduction for compensable air travel time violated the FLSA. Specifically, where time is deemed work time that is compensable, employers may not deduct pay from that time.

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California: DFEH COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance for Businesses

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All CA Businesses

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October 18, 2021

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The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently issued COVID-19 guidance under the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act), which prohibits discrimination from businesses based on an individual’s protected category status. The DFEH confirms that businesses may employ nondiscriminatory safety measures. The Guidance does not mandate new requirements, but interprets the current pandemic in concert with the Unruh Act.

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New York: NYDOL Publishes Guidance on Recreational Marijuana and Workplace Prohibitions

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All Employers with NY Employees

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October 8, 2021

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Earlier this year, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) became effective, legalizing recreational marijuana use and possession for adults aged 21 and older.  In October, the New York state Department of Labor published additional guidance and an FAQ addressing questions on employer rights and responsibilities with regard to managing marijuana usage and the workplace.

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New York: General Contractors are Jointly Liable for Construction Worker Wages

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All New York General Contractors

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January 4, 2022

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New York general contractors take heed: new legislation that becomes effective next year makes general contractors jointly and severally liable for wages, benefits, or wage supplements owed by subcontractors to construction workers, even if the general contractor is not ordinarily the employer or joint employer of the worker. The new law becomes effective January 4, 2022 and applies to new contracts as well as already-existing contracts that are extended or amended after January 4, 2022.

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