On November 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its much-anticipated mandate-or-test workplace vaccine emergency rule (“the Rule”).  The Rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate covered employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require covered employees that are not fully vaccinated to test for COVID-19 at least weekly and wear a face covering.  The Rule went into effect immediately on November 5 with employers expected to comply by no later than January 4, but implementation has since been halted due to pending legal challenges.  For more information of the Rule requirements and specifics, see our prior article It’s Here: OSHA’s Rule Mandating COVID Vaccinations or Weekly Testing for Employers.

Continue Reading Challenged – OSHA’s Rule Mandating COVID Vaccinations or Weekly Testing for Employers Halted

On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law (the “Law”) that will require employers to provide written notice to employees before engaging in electronic monitoring of telephone, email, and internet access or usage.  The Law will take effect on May 7, 2022.  Key takeaways are summarized below.
Continue Reading New York State Employers to Require Transparency in Electronic Monitoring

In 2018, California passed Senate Bill 820, the STAND Act (Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure Act), in response to the #MeToo movement.  SB 820 prohibited the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements where the underlying claims were based upon sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex.  The law did not extend to claims based upon other protected characteristics.  Therefore, a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement could not prevent an individual from discussing the factual information related to sexual harassment or sex discrimination allegedly experienced in the workplace, but could preclude an individual from discussing factual information related to harassment or discrimination based upon any other protected characteristic (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.).  You can read our prior blog article here.

Continue Reading California’s SB 331 Extends Sweeping Changes to Workplace Settlement and Separation Agreements

On October 25, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expanded its prior guidance “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” to include recommendations for employers who receive religious objections from employees in response to the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.  Specifically, the EEOC added section L to its prior guidance, which addresses specific questions relating to religious objections.  The newly added questions are set forth below.  All employers should review and familiarize themselves with this guidance as they continue to face objections and accommodation requests from employees with respect to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Continue Reading EEOC Publishes New Guidance Regarding Objections to COVID-19 Vaccines Based Upon Employee Religious Beliefs

On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 646 (“SB 646”), which creates a limited exception from the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) for certain janitorial employees performing work under a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). SB 646 will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

Continue Reading California Legislature and Governor Approves New PAGA Carve-Out

The much-anticipated vaccine rule is here.  On November 4, 2021, and in response to President Biden’s Executive Order, the Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Commission, issued the Emergency Temporary Standard (“the Rule”), requiring mandatory vaccination or weekly COVID testing for many U.S. employers.  The Rule is effective immediately.

Continue Reading It’s Here: OSHA’s Rule Mandating COVID Vaccinations or Weekly Testing for Employers

Prior COVID-19 Travel Bans Repealed as of November 8, 2021

On October 25, 2021, President Biden announced the suspension of the COVID-19 travel bans from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  Previously, a National Interest Exception waiver was required.  With this new Proclamation, the White House announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national air travelers and authorized the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide specific regulations.  The White House announcement can be found here.


Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Travel Checklist ‒ New Vaccination Travel Restrictions for Entry Into the United States: Air and Land Rules Effective November 8, 2021

On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 62, also known as the Garment Worker Protection Act, into law.  SB 62 makes California the first state to require an hourly minimum wage for garment workers by banning piece rate pay.  SB 62 expands the definition of a garment manufacturer and extends the scope of liability for wage and hour violations to clothing brands—and likely some retailers.  Under SB 62, “any person contracting for the performance of garment manufacturing” is joint and severally liable with any of their manufacturers and contractors, thus creating upstream responsibility for unpaid wages, attorney’s fees, and civil penalties arising from Labor Code violations.  Although the new law does not become effective until January 1, 2022, companies that contract or subcontract for garment manufacturing, or have employees who perform garment manufacturing functions in California, should begin familiarizing themselves with SB 62 and determining whether/how it affects their business.

Continue Reading California Passes Law Establishing New Wage and Hour Requirements for Employers in the Garment Industry

In a move sure to generate controversy, confusion, and litigation, on October 11, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order effectively prohibiting all private businesses from requiring employees or customers be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Continue Reading COVID Confusion: Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Effectively Banning Vaccine Mandates

To close out the 2021 legislative season, Governor Gavin Newsom signed dozens of bills into law, many of which directly affect California employers.  In addition to the coverage in prior blog posts, which are linked below, this article provides an overview of key new employment laws.

Continue Reading 2021 California Legislative Update: California’s New Employment Laws