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Jane Heidingsfelder can be reached at jheidingsfelder@joneswalker.com or 504.582.8306.

In a 2–1 decision, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the stay that had prevented implementation of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring COVID-19 vaccination or testing. Within hours of that decision, numerous emergency appeals were filed with the US Supreme Court asking that the stay be put back in place pending Supreme Court review. Justice Kavanaugh set a deadline of 4 p.m. Dec. 30 for the Biden administration to respond to the appeals.
Continue Reading OSHA ETS ‘Vaccine or Test’ Mandate for Private Employers (100 or more employees) Is Back in Play

Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its much-anticipated emergency temporary standard (ETS) addressing COVID-19 vaccination and testing. Unlike other OSHA standards that count employees on an “establishment” basis, the ETS covers any private employer with 100 or more employees across the entire company. This broad definition is much more inclusive and will affect many more employers than many previous OSHA standards. Part-time, full-time, and remote employees are all included in the count. The new ETS applies to all employers with 100 or more employees except for those covered by the Executive Order on Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors and those covered by the Healthcare ETS.
Continue Reading The Suspense is Over — OSHA Finally Releases its COVID Vaccination/Testing Rule — What it Means for You?

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently updated its COVID-19 response plan. Last year, OSHA focused much of its COVID-19 related attention on healthcare, elderly care, and prisons. This new Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 and National Emphasis Program — Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidance shifts its focus to other industries where OSHA feels there could be spread of COVID-19. As part of the guidance, OSHA specifically targeted full-service and limited-service restaurants for inspections.
Continue Reading Recent OSHA Update Targets Restaurant Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued COVID-19 guidance for workers and employers in the oil and gas industry. While this guidance is specifically geared to the oil and gas industry, the guidance is not unlike other best practices OSHA has recommended for other workers in general industry.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues COVID Related Guidance for the Oil & Gas Industry

On May 19, OSHA released updated enforcement guidance for inspections related to COVID-19 complaints, referrals and severe illness reports.

In response to the reopening of many parts of the country, OSHA plans to operate within the following framework:

  • In areas where community spread of COVID-19 has significantly decreased, OSHA will return to its regular

On May 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its policy for when employers have to record COVID-19 cases in their injury and illness logs.

Under the revised policy, employers who are otherwise required to keep OSHA logs must make a determination as to whether workers’ COVID-19 cases are job-related. Previously, OSHA took the position that only healthcare employers, corrections facilities, and emergency-response providers were required to make that determination.Continue Reading OSHA Issues Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19

On May 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new safety alert for restaurant and food and beverage businesses operating during the pandemic. In the alert, OSHA suggests that restaurants providing curbside and takeout service should reserve parking spaces near the front door for pickup, avoid handing food off directly when possible, and allow workers to wear masks.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Alert to Restaurants & Beverage Vendors

OSHA is assessing and responding to numerous complaints about employee protection from the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to keep everyone informed, OSHA has launched a website that provides information on prevention of COVID-19, specifically for employers and workers. The website is being updated as more information is learned about the virus and

With hurricane season upon us, employers are justifiably concerned about the potential impact of a natural disaster on their business. A hurricane, natural disaster, or any other crisis in the workplace can bring a business to a screeching halt and devastate the lives of a business’s most valuable asset, its employees.

To minimize the impact of a natural disaster, employers should have plans in place before disaster strikes, including, for example, a crisis management plan, a communication plan, and a disaster response and recovery plan. These plans must take into account the effect a catastrophe may have on workers and include ways to help impacted employees return to work as soon as practical to ensure continued productivity at the workplace following a natural disaster. Any enacted plan should consider the application of relevant federal and state laws to ensure compliance and avoid any employment-related lawsuits or any agency enforcement action following a natural disaster.
Continue Reading Planning for a Catastrophe