On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued his “COVID-19 Action Plan” that orders OSHA to establish a rule to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for all employers with 100 or more employees. The plan also includes an Executive Order with similar requirements for certain federal contractors. While many questions remain regarding what the final

Released on July 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on return to work. This version has been revised to address an inconsistency for critical infrastructure employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 (the CDC has not updated that guidance since December). To make this section consistent with the CDC’s new guidance for vaccinated employees, that section now states that asymptomatic critical infrastructure employees can continue to work but, regardless of vaccination status, employees should be tested 3-5 days following the known exposure and should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. Unvaccinated employees should continue to mask and practice other precautions (e.g. social distancing) outdoors as well for 14 days or until a negative test result is received.

Continue Reading CDC Updates Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employee Exposure

In a recent case, Judge Barry Ashe gave a thorough summary of the Louisiana law for claims against insurance brokers for failing to obtain coverage for COVID-19 government mandated shutdowns. B&P Rest. Grp., LLC v. Eagan Ins. Agency, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88330 (E.D. La. May 10, 2021).

The case is instructive for both insureds and brokers because it emphasizes the need for a clear statement by the insured of what coverage it is requesting and a clear statement by the broker of what coverage it has obtained.


Continue Reading Insurance Brokers and COVID-19 Shutdowns

As noted in our previous alerts regarding the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) COBRA subsidies and return to work issues, employers have until May 31, 2021, to notify “Assistance Eligible Individuals” of their potential right to subsidized COBRA coverage during the six-month period from April 1 to September 30, 2021 and potential right to enroll or re-enroll in COBRA coverage.

Continue Reading Reminder – ARPA COBRA Notice Deadline Approaching; IRS Provides Much-Needed Guidance

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

On March 22, 2021, the US Coast Guard released a change notice to its COVID-19 guidance in Marine Safety Information Bulletin Number 02-21.  This change includes sea ports (maritime transportation hubs), provides additional information on applicability for mask wear in the marine transportation system, and includes links to Coast Guard and CDC Frequently Asked Questions

As of March 22, 2021, all energy and transportation workers, including river pilots, are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards expanded vaccine eligibility to all essential workers in Priority Group 1-B, Tier Two, including transportation, construction, manufacturing, and energy workers. An updated list of all eligible individuals and essential

In response to last year’s devastating hurricane season and other natural disasters, the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act, which is a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the Act), included various relief provisions (similar to those under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2021 (CARES Act)), designed to assist individuals who suffered an economic loss as a result of these disasters. The Act, signed by former President Trump on December 27, 2020, provides individuals with increased access to their retirement plan accounts as well as plan loan and hardship distribution-related relief as described in more detail below. The relief under the Act generally expires on June 25, 2021.


Continue Reading Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans Disaster-Related Relief