North America

FAQ: EEOC Issues Guidance for Employers Regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace and how they may implicate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal laws. In short, the ADA and related federal laws generally do not prohibit employers from requiring vaccines for their employees so long as the employer provides reasonable accommodations for disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs. However, other laws may prohibit terminating the employment of an employee who refuses to get vaccinated.

Davis & Gilbert Labor & Employment attorneys Gregg Brochin and Sabrina Worthy summarize key questions and answers from the new EEOC guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. If you have additional questions, please contact any of the authors or the D&G attorney with whom you have regular contact. Read more…

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Congress reaches agreement on COVID-19 package breaking monthslong stalemate

Congressional lawmakers finally reached an agreement on a new $900 billion COVID-19 relief package during the evening of December 20. The feuding parties were forced to resume negotiations due to the looming expiration of several existing COVID-19 aid measures and a threatened government shutdown. Both Congressional chambers officially passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act on December 21, as part of the overarching $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government funded until September 2021. Read more…

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act and the impact on the Paycheck Protection Program: Here we go again…

After months of negotiations, Congress finally passed the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act late Monday night. It is expected that the President will quickly sign the act into law.

The act provides approximately $325 billion in business relief, including roughly $275 billion for another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding. The act also provides answers to questions regarding the first round of PPP loans that have so far gone unanswered.

While the act is extremely lengthy (5,593 pdf pages long), we have attempted to summarize the most important sections regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.   Read more…

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Video: COVID-19 Vaccine Challenges in the Workplace – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: Employers considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccination programs need to address challenges. For example, how will your company handle reasonable accommodations or the potential risk of liability for health problems caused by employer-mandated vaccines? Read more.

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EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance on Employer Administered or Mandated Vaccinations

As the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered across the United States, employers are considering whether to mandate and/or administer the COVID-19 vaccine to employees.  On December 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) released updates to “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers publication, addressing potential concerns with vaccine administration and anti-discrimination laws the EEOC enforces.

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States and Municipalities Respond to the COVID-19 Second Wave Surge by Tightening Restrictions

The first COVID-19 vaccines have started being shipped across the U.S. with the expectation that millions of doses will be administered over the next few weeks, with many times more over the coming months.  This is unequivocally good news and reason for optimism.  Meanwhile, however, the pandemic continues to spread nationwide and the numbers are rising rapidly.

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Ghost Kitchens: Are they here to stay?

Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens or digital kitchens are restaurants without dining space that focus solely on fulfilling online orders for delivery. With a global pandemic limiting indoor dining in 2020 and 2021, a great deal of our restaurant meals will be delivered to homes by in-home food delivery. Research indicates that 31% of us use third party delivery serves at least once per week.   Read more…

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Disclosing financial performance representations in franchise disclosure documents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many franchisors, as required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Franchise Rule and applicable state franchise laws, updated their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) in the spring of 2020. Those FDDs included information from the franchisor’s previous fiscal year, which, in most cases, ended on Dec. 31, 2019. Many franchisors included financial performance representations (FPRs) in Item 19 of their FDD based on revenue data for franchisee and/or company-owned units from fiscal year 2019, which predated the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…

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Value-Based Payments: A Comprehensive State Survey

Epstein Becker Green (“EBG”) has released Value-Based Payments: A Comprehensive State Survey.

EBG has researched, compiled, and analyzed state-specific content about the regulatory requirements involved in providers moving away from fee for service reimbursement (such as discounted fees and per diems) and towards value-based payment arrangements involving “downside” risk or insurance risk-sharing with insurers, HMOs, and other types of state-regulated health plans. Some types of risk-sharing arrangements include capitation, shared savings and losses, and percentage of premium reimbursement.

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CDC’s Revised Guidance Allows for Shorter Quarantine Periods for Close Contacts

In advance of the December holiday season, the CDC has issued a revised guidance on recommended quarantine periods.

The revised guidance provides shortened quarantine periods for individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. While the CDC maintains that the 14-day quarantine period provides greater protection for reducing transmission of the coronavirus, the agency has now provided two shorter options, which it says are designed to help alleviate the personal economic hardship associated with the extended quarantine period.

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