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

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

Maggie Spell, a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group, was recently quoted in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report article “Mandate or Not? The Question Vexing Employers Over COVID-19 Vaccine.” Maggie explains that as vaccines become more readily available, employers should consider the possible courses of action for vaccinations in their

On December 29, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued two guidance bulletins addressing compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The first made clear that telemedicine visits will permanently[1] be allowed as an FMLA-approved visit if certain conditions are met. The second permits employers to provide FMLA-required postings electronically to employees when the work is being performed remotely.


Continue Reading DOL Eases FMLA Compliance Regarding Telemedicine Visits and Required Postings

You’re probably used to having Plan A, Plan B, and a plethora of contingency plans to deal with the many challenges posed by the pandemic. Because the government has not decided whether to extend the “flexibility” given to employers with respect to the verification of I-9 documents, employers might need to be ready for the procedures to return to “normal.”

Continue Reading The Pandemic Is Far from Over, but I-9 “Flexibility” Might Be

COVID-19 has caused many challenges in the workplace. Employees are working from home, working hybrid schedules, and conducting meetings by Zoom and other “not in person” methods.

While things in today’s workplace range from fluid to uncertain to sometimes chaotic, employers are not relieved from complying with federal and state employment laws and requirements. There is no “COVID-19” exception to Title VII. Employers must still comply with federal and state employment rules that existed prior to COVID-19. With this in mind, employers need to make sure they are operating their businesses in a manner that allows them to defend the types of claims and allegations that often occur in the workplace.


Continue Reading The COVID-19 Workplace is Not a Time to Forget Your Normal Workplace Rules and Policies

With kids going back to school, new questions regarding eligibility for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are cropping up. Thankfully, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently supplemented its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to answer some of the questions that have arisen thus far.

Continue Reading Return to School Raises FFCRA Leave Questions

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey entered an amended order to her original Safer at Home order on July 15, 2020. It generally requires masks or face coverings to be worn when people are within six feet of someone from a different household in the following situations: (1) indoor spaces that are open to the public; (2) in vehicles operated by transportation services; and (3) in outdoor public spaces where 10 or more people are gathered. There are a number of exceptions to the requirement, however, and generally businesses are not legally obligated to exclude customers or employees who refuse to wear a mask when required.

This order specifically impacts the workplace. It goes into effect on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and runs through Friday, July 31, 2020. The following items relate particularly to employers and their employees:


Continue Reading Governor Ivey Imposes Statewide Mask Requirement for Alabama

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