Following on the heels of an executive order by Oregon’s governor requiring full vaccination for teachers, staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools, the Oregon Health Authority issued a new rule requiring that healthcare providers and healthcare staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 18, 2021.  Read more from our Oregon colleagues here.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare employers, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace, on August 13, 2021.

While embracing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated recommendations for fully vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19, OSHA also echoes the protocol President Joe Biden adopted for many federal employees and on-site employees of federal contractors and suggests that employers may want to “consider” adopting a policy requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. Read more about OSHA’s updated guidance here.

A week after issuing the first in the nation order mandating all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, on August 11, 2021, the state of California issued an order mandating either vaccination or regular testing for all workers of schools throughout the state.

The order issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), applies to public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12. Home schools, childcare, and higher education are not included in the order. Read more about these new requirements here.

 

Pittsburgh has joined other American cities by enacting new legislation to address the uptick in COVID-19 cases from a sick leave perspective.

On July 29, 2021, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed a new ordinance granting COVID-19 sick time to certain employees working within the city (the “July 29 Ordinance”). Although the July 29 Ordinance is technically “new,” it is closely related to (and practically mirrors) Pittsburgh’s December 9, 2020, Temporary COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Time Law (the “December 20 Ordinance”). Similar to the December 20 Ordinance, the new legislation supplements the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (PSDA) and amends the PSDA by expressly permitting employees to take sick time under the PSDA before it is accrued if the reason for use arises directly from COVID-19. Read more about the new ordinance here.

Puerto Rico has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for additional industries after Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi extended vaccination requirements for employees in the health and hospitality sectors beginning August 16, 2021. Under new Executive Order (EO-2021-063), restaurants, theaters, and other establishments in the dining and entertainment industries must comply with requirements for mandatory vaccination beginning August 23, 2021. Read more about these new requirements here.

Federal contractors are being contacted by their contracting agencies about implementing requirements relating to President Joe Biden’s mandate that all federal employees and on-site contractor employees either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face repeated testing, and comply with strict social distancing and masking requirements. Read more about these new requirements and next steps for federal contractors.

Connecticut is requiring certain healthcare employees be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Connecticut joins other states, including Washington and Massachusetts, in mandating vaccination.

Connecticut’s Executive Order, issued on August 6, 2021, requires employees of long-term care facilities be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Executive Order broadly defines “Long-term care facility.” Read about this new law from our Connecticut colleagues Sarah Skubas and Jessica Murphy.

Puerto Rico Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi has issued an Executive Order (EO-2021-058) making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all public employees in the Executive Branch. EO-2021-058, which goes into effect August 16, 2021, also recommends that all commercial establishments and private entities that are open to the public implement similar requirements.

In addition, the Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico has issued an administrative order reinstating masking requirements for fully vaccinated people in all indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Governor Pierluisi also issued EO-2021-062, which goes into effect August 16, 2021, to expand the scope of EO 2021-058 and establish a mandatory vaccination requirement for the following individuals:

  1. Independent contractors in the Executive Branch, and their employees, who physically work in a government agency.
  2. Employees in the health sector (i.e., hospitals, laboratories, emergency rooms, medical services clinics, health centers, medical offices, therapy centers, pharmacies, blood banks, elderly care centers, medical cannabis dispensaries, among others).
  3. Employees and guests of all hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and short-term rentals across the island.

Read our full coverage here.

New Jersey is requiring employers in covered healthcare and high-risk congregate settings (“covered settings”) to establish a policy that: (1) mandates vaccinations or weekly testing for workers; (2) creates a system to track the results of the applicable testing requirements; and (3) creates a system to communicate the results of such testing to local public health departments.

Executive Order 252 (EO 252), issued by Governor Phil Murphy on August 6, 2021, takes effect on September 7, 2021. Employers in the “covered settings” must ensure adequate policies, privacy protections, and training or education procedures are in place to comply with the mandate. Read our full coverage here.