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Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Employers Goes Into Effect in Texas

Remember those federal vaccine mandates?  Well, one of them is still with us, and it has now started going into effect in Texas, the last state to be subject to the mandate. You may recall that when in January the U.S. Supreme Court nixed the Administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers, it allowed the vaccine mandate for health care employers, that is, Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) started setting deadlines for…

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Congress Nixes Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Cases

The President has signed a bill prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. The law’s name is a mouthful, the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.” The new law also forbids mandatory waivers of an employee’s right to bring class actions or their cousins, “collective actions.” The Act states the predispute mandatory agreements are invalid and unenforceable with respect to “cases” involving sexual harassment or sexual assault; that would seem to…

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U.S. Supreme Court Nixes One Vaccine Mandate, Allows Another

In decisions handed down just yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees but allowed a vaccine mandate for health care employers who receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.  The Court had heard oral argument in the two cases only last Friday, January 7th. The difference in the two decisions was Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh, both of whom voted to allow the health care mandate but not the mandate for large…

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Breaking! Court Allows Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers to Go Into Effect

Just yesterday, December 17th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati allowed the OSHA rule requiring employers with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be vaccinated. The rule had been blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans since November 6th. The Department of Labor has said that employers will now have until January 10th to comply with the rule.  OSHA is giving employers until February 9th before…

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Major Changes in Sexual Harassment Law Take Effect in Texas September 1st

On September 1st, Texans will see major changes in Texas law on sexual harassment, when Senate Bill 45 and House Bill 21 go into effect.  The bills were passed in the 2021 regular session of the Legislature. Taken together, the bills extend the prohibition on sexual harassment to every employer in Texas, not just ones with 15 or more employees, and extend the statute of limitations for filing a charge of sexual harassment with the Texas Workforce Commission from 180…

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Approval of Pfizer Vaccine Nixes Defense to Employer Mandate

In a landmark event in the COVID pandemic, last week the U.S. Food & Drug Administration  granted full approval to the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech.  Pfizer’s was the first COVID vaccine to receive full approval by the FDA. The FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine takes away a potential defense employees might raise to a vaccine mandate, that the vaccine had only emergency use authorization, and that under the law people had to be told they had the…

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Court of Appeals Nixes City of San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

Last week was not a slow news week for this blog!!! On March 10th, judges of the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio threw out the City of San Antonio’s “Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance.”  Some of you may be old enough to remember that the ordinance passed originally in 2018 as the “Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.” To make a long, convoluted story short, several business groups filed suit against the enforcement of the ordinance, and Judge Peter Sakai…

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President Biden Signs New COVID Relief Bill

On March 11th, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, the latest coronavirus relief bill.  The Act reportedly authorized $1.9 trillion in new spending, but, unlike previous relief bills, this one passed completely along party lines. Some of the best-known provisions of the Act are not directly employment related, like the $1,400 checks that will go out to many Americans, but there are a number of provisions that directly affect employers or their employees. To name just several,…

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Judge Wolff, Mayor Nirenberg Issue New COVID Orders

In response to Governor Abbbott’s executive order lifting the mask mandate and all capacity restrictions, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued their own new orders on the COVID pandemic on March 9th, the day before the governor’s executive order was to go into effect. Judge Wolff issued his order first, and Mayor Nirenberg followed with his later the same day.  The mayor’s adopted not only Judge Wolff’s order and Governor Abbott’s executive order, but…

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Texas Governor Lifts Mask Mandate and Capacity Restrictions Effective March 10th

On March 2nd, Governor Abbott announced the lifting of the State’s mask mandate and increases capacity of all businesses and facilities in the State to 100%.  The Governor issued an executive order (GA-34), lifting the mask mandate and capacity restrictions, which went into effect on Wednesday, March 10th. The executive order did state that, in areas where hospitalizations for COVID exceed 15%, county judges may institute restrictions, but may not reduce capacity below 50%, may not jail people for violating orders, and…

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