Coronavirus/COVID-19

New York Legislation Provides Employees with Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations

New York’s Legislature recently passed a bill, which, if signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, would temporarily amend the New York Labor Law to require New York employers to provide employees with up to four hours of paid leave per injection to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Since the four-hour leave is per injection, employers will have to provide up to eight hours of paid leave for two-dose vaccination regimens, such as those being manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. It is also possible that additional paid leave time will be needed if vaccine “booster” shots are required in the future.

Any such “vaccine leave” must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay and is in addition to (and cannot be charged against) any other leave to which an employee may be entitled, including under the State’s recently-enacted mandatory paid sick leave law. However, the provisions of this vaccine leave law may be waived in a collective bargaining agreement provided it explicitly references the law. Read more…

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Responding to Law Enforcement Demands for HIPAA Protected Information

Medical providers are often asked, or feel obligated, to disclose confidential information about patients.  This blog post discusses when disclosures of confidential medical information involve law enforcement, but the general principles discussed herein are instructive in any scenario.  To protect patient confidentiality and avoid costly civil liability arising from improper disclosures, it is imperative that providers ask questions to assess the urgency of any request and to understand for what purpose the information is sought by authorities.  Knowing what questions to ask at the outset prepares providers to make informed decisions about disclosing confidential information in a manner that balances the obligation to maintain patient confidentiality and trust with legitimate law enforcement requests for information aimed at protecting the public.

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Regulators Clarify COVID-19 Relief Deadline Extension

Plan sponsors and administrators have been grappling with how to handle the possible expiration of the extension relief granted for certain deadlines applicable to group health plans under the “Joint Notice” published in May 2020 (the 2020 Guidance). With just two days to go before the 2020 Guidance was set to expire on February 28, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL), in coordination with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively with the DOL, the Agencies), issued the EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (the Notice), which clarified that the extension relief granted under the 2020 Guidance will extend past the February 28, 2021 statutory expiration date. Read more…

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Illinois Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Providing Leave for Employees to Get Vaccinated

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has issued March 2021 guidance for employers on “Compensation, Paid Leave and the COVID-19 Vaccine,” advising employers on providing employees with time off and flexibility in order to get the first (and as necessary, the second dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mandatory Vaccination Programs

The IDOL guidance states that pursuant to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employer requires employees to get vaccinated, then the time the employee spends getting the vaccine “is likely compensable,” even if the employee gets vaccinated during non-working time.

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Unlocking Value in Health Data: Truveta’s Data Monetization Strategy Carries Big Risks and Responsibilities

Alaap B. Shah and Nivedita B. Patel, attorneys in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, co-authored an article in MobiHealthNews, titled “Unlocking Value in Health Data: Truveta’s Data Monetization Strategy Carries Big Risks and Responsibilities.”

Following is an excerpt:

In today’s world, data is power. Healthcare providers have massive amounts of rich health data at their fingertips. Yet historically, third-party vendors to healthcare providers often have derived financial benefits from secondary use of this data through aggregating and brokering de-identified data to downstream customers.

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New York City Council Establishes Board to Assess Employers’ COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Protocols and Training

Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Nancy Guzenhauser Popper, Eric Emanuelson, and Christopher Shur of Epstein Becker Green have a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: “New York City Council Establishes Board to Assess Employers’ COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Protocols and Training.”

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New York City Council Establishes Board to Assess Employers’ COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Protocols and Training

The New York City Council is planning to evaluate how effectively both the City, as an employer, and private employers disseminated and implemented COVID-19 workplace guidance over the past year with the goal of strengthening how the public and private sectors manage future public health emergencies. On February 28, 2021, the Council enacted Int. 2161-2020 (the “Law”), which establishes a board to review the workplace health and safety guidance that agencies and private employers issued to their respective employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly formed board will ultimately submit a final report and recommendations to the Mayor and Speaker of the Council by December 15, 2021. The Law is effective immediately.

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OSHA’s role to expand in combating the COVID-19 pandemic

Until just recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for keeping employees safe at work, has played a very limited role in doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is about to change, however, with President Joe Biden’s issuance of an executive order on January 21, 2021, which calls the agency to action in protecting American workplaces. Read more…

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Chambers Global 2021 – Lidings Top-Ranked Intellectual Property Law Firm in Russia

Chambers and Partners Global has announced the results of its annual research of the leading legal advisors around the world. Lidings’ is recommended among the top legal advisors in intellectual property in Russia.

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SCOTUS Today: Court Declines Resolving Circuit Split on What Constitutes a “False” Claim, but Will Consider Legality of Trump Abortion Gag Rule

Our colleagues Stuart Gerson and Daniel Fundakowski of Epstein Becker Green have a new post on SCOTUS Today that will be of interest to our readers: “Court Declines Resolving Circuit Split on What Constitutes a ‘False’ Claim, but Will Consider Legality of Trump Abortion Gag Rule.”

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