As the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout accelerates, the roles of various players continue to evolve among government, public companies, and private entities. Employers, pharmaceutical and supply manufacturers, healthcare service providers, educators, advertisers, transportation and logistics providers, and many others are continuously evaluating the potential implications of vaccine distribution for their industries and organizations worldwide. Morgan Lewis breaks down what opportunities, regulatory considerations, and legal obstacles still lie ahead.
Expectations for positive turns in many spheres of life, both commercial and social, have sprung at the arrival of COVID-19 vaccination. One of the popular questions is whether vaccination could change the current preference for working remotely (even as we see gradual easing of the remote work requirement in Russia) or whether it would be required as a condition to work in office. In this LawFlash we address whether an employer can require employees to vaccinate, whether the employee can seek to discontinue remote work following vaccination, and related matters.
Employers should note several recent legislative and regulatory developments in New York State related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation entitling all public- and private-sector employees in the state to up to four hours of paid leave per injection to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people that provide guidance on activities these individuals can engage in as well as ongoing precautions of which to be aware. These updates include directions that apply to non-healthcare settings and specifically describe activities that the CDC deems to be low or high risk for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Separate from the CDC guidance, various states are beginning to issue more vaccine-related guidance, including on whether employers can mandate vaccines and whether otherwise applicable quarantine requirements apply to vaccinated individuals, which is in line with prior CDC guidance.
With the United Kingdom’s vaccination programme well underway, many employers are struggling with the best course of action for how to approach COVID-19 vaccines and their workforce. As mantras like “No Jab, No Job” circulate around the news, it raises the key question of whether employers can require their employees to be vaccinated before returning to work. To date, the UK government has left it up to individual employers to decide what is appropriate and justified in the context of their own workforce, and those decisions should be made with care. Here are a few of the most important things to consider as an employer deciding on the best course of action for requiring or encouraging COVID-19 vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been actively reviewing its COVID-19 guidance over the past few weeks and as expected, the new administration has issued significant new guidance and updates. These updates include direction on topics relevant to employers, including testing, quarantining, and mask-wearing. First, new CDC guidance on testing advises employers to seek informed consent for any workplace-based COVID-19 testing program.
The Biden administration has vowed to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic production of essential supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Insight, we address key features of the DPA, guidance for companies that may receive a rated order, financing incentives offered by the DPA, and how we anticipate the Biden administration will use the DPA over the next year.
In response to delayed EU shipments of certain COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union, the European Commission (Commission) passed on 29 January 2021 Regulation 2021/111 (Export Authorization Regulation) which is in force from 30 January 2021. The Commission intends for the Export Authorization Regulation to apply until at least 31 March 2021.
As the United States races to deliver safe and effective coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines under the Biden administration, employers, healthcare providers, and many others are assessing what it means for their industries and organizations.
Morgan Lewis partner Klair Fitzpatrick and associate Daniel Kadish were quoted by HR Magazine in an article about mask policies in the workplace.
Partner Sharon Masling was interviewed by NJ Spotlight News about a new state law that opens the door to employer-mandated vaccinations before allowing employees to return to work.
Morgan Lewis partner Jacqueline Aguilera was quoted in an HR Magazine article about the COVID-19-related questions that are top of mind for employers.
Morgan Lewis associate Daniel Kadish spoke with the Washington Post about the potential for employers to compel employees to be vaccinated. “The thought process is the vaccine stops people from having severe illness or developing severe complications from COVID-19, and so it could help the individual from becoming a direct threat to themselves or others in the workplace,” said Dan.
In a recent International Employment Lawyer article, Morgan Lewis associate Daniel Kadish discussed the issues employers are considering around requiring employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Morgan Lewis associate Daniel Kadish was quoted in International Employment Lawyer, discussing the possibility of employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States.
Partner Sharon Masling was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about more employers offering financial incentives in exchange for their employees getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The quickly evolving situation touches on a number of areas in employment law, including health privacy laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Partner Susan Harthill was quoted in an HR Dive article about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s guidance that requires vaccinated workers to continue to take cautionary measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.