Many companies and organizations will be updating their COVID-19 plans as a result of new CDC guidance this week. Based on a new case study, the CDC has significantly expanded when someone is in “close contact” with the virus. This definition is at the heart of almost every workplace, school, and healthcare COVID-19 policy. The broader definition will likely significantly expand social distancing, contact tracing and the number of people required to isolate after a case is discovered.

Continue Reading Change of plans: CDC significantly expands definition of “close contact”

While federal OSHA has not implemented new regulations for COVID-19, the push by some individual states to do so continues. Most recently, California passed a law that sets up new COVID-19 requirements for employers in the state, especially around providing notices and reports of workplaces exposures.

Continue Reading California to expand Cal/OSHA authority on COVID-19 starting January 2021

by Emily Lyons

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a checklist to assist human and animal food operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The checklist is useful for firms growing, harvesting, packing, manufacturing, processing, or holding human and animal food regulated by FDA

by Sydney Buckley

With scientists worldwide racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are asking if they can require employees to be vaccinated.  As with everything COVID-19, there are many open questions, but here are some of the major legal issues in considering mandatory vaccination policies.


Continue Reading Can you require your employees to get vaccinated when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available?

Today, Virginia’s new and detailed COVID-19 regulation takes effect. The rule, an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS), was adopted July 15th by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). Unlike general guidance and recommendations issued by CDC and federal OSHA, the Virginia rule requires all employers regulated by DOLI to develop, implement, and enforce COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures. Read on for a detailed summary of the rule’s requirements.

Continue Reading Detailed Virginia COVID regulation takes effect today for Virginia employers

After a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected an AFL-CIO request for an order requiring an emergency OSHA COVID-19 regulation, the union has petitioned for re-hearing by the entire Court. The rehearing request is pending.

Continue Reading After DC Circuit rejects union petition for emergency OSHA rule on COVID-19, union seeks re-hearing

While many employers consider whether and how to use COVID-19 tests of different kinds to help clear employees to return to work, the EEOC has clarified that not all tests are created equal in its eyes. Our partner, Barbara Grandjean, reports on the latest EEOC guidance.

Continue Reading EEOC: Employers can require viral COVID-19 tests, but not antibody tests, for return-to-work

COVID-19 has hit small and medium-sized businesses, and even regional companies, especially hard. On top of losing customers, trying to make payroll and rent, and being squeezed on either end, they have fewer resources to become experts on how to keep their workers safe. Many feel that they simply do not have the time or money to analyze pages of federal and state guidance and prepare detailed return-to-work plans. But, it need not be this way. We’ve got a solution.

Continue Reading Just in time, a little boost for small and medium-sized businesses planning return to work

All bets are off as regulatory agencies are tugged in every direction in pandemic world. Normally, an election year probably would not have seen particularly aggressive enforcement or rulemaking. For a while, COVID-19 health precautions and furloughed work sites meant reduced inspection activity. But, enforcement may be picking up, and a battle over new regulations is brewing. Here’s your full update.

Continue Reading OSHA and MSHA update: More enforcement? New regs? Deregulation? It’s all on the table.