[Webinar] Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Company Trade Secret and Non-Compete/Non-Solicit Agreements

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. ET, join Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked for a webinar regarding Common Pitfalls of Company Trade Secret and Non-Compete/Non-Solicit Agreements.

Employment agreements and settlement agreements can be an effective way to address employer concerns regarding unfair competition and trade secret protections. Equally important is avoiding the pitfalls of non-compliant provisions. This webinar will review the scope of permissible provisions relating to non-compete and other restrictive covenants, state law efforts to push back on overly broad and restrictive agreements, and best practices for avoiding potential employment claims.

Participants in this webinar will learn: Continue reading

OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing, and Face Coverings Emergency Temporary Standard [Webinar Recording]

On November 10, 2021, Eric ConnKate McMahon, and Lindsay DiSalvo presented a webinar regarding OSHA’s new COVID-19 vaccinate-or-test emergency rule.

In September, President Biden revealed a new COVID-19 Action Plan with one of several key goals to “Vaccinate the Unvaccinated.” The most notable aspect of that plan was a directive to federal OSHA to develop another COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard requiring many employers to implement a “soft” vaccine mandate; i.e., to require employees to either be fully vaccinated or submit to a weekly testing. The President also directed OSHA to include in this new ETS a requirement that employers provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects of the vaccine.

OSHA moved quickly in response to the President’s directive, and published the final ETS in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021. During this webinar, the attorneys from CMC’s OSHA and Employment Law practices provided a detailed analysis of the rule and addressed these important questions raised by the latest development on the COVID-19 front: Continue reading

Employment Law Implications of the OSHA ETS: Paid Time Off for Vaccination

A,Doctor,In,A,Clinic,Giving,A,Coronavirus,Vaccine,ToOn November 5, 2021, OSHA published its latest Emergency Temporary Standard (“Test-or-Vaccinate ETS”) to address the effects of COVID-19 in the workplace – “COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing, and Face Coverings.”  Under the Test-or-Vaccinate ETS, employers with 100 or more employees must implement a program to facilitate (1) a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all employees or (2) a combination of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement and weekly testing for those employees who choose not to get vaccinated.  Per OSHA’s stated intent to strongly encourage vaccination through the Test-or-Vaccinate ETS, the rule specifically requires employers to provide paid time off for vaccination AND to recover from vaccine-related side effects.  In the Preamble to the Test-or-Vaccinate ETS, OSHA asserts that these requirements ensure unvaccinated employees can be vaccinated without having to sacrifice pay or their jobs.

Below we review the two different types of leave, including their individual nuances, that are required by the Test-or-Vaccinate ETS.

Paid Leave for Vaccination

Under 29 C.F.R. 1910.501(f)(1), employers must provide reasonable time – up to 4 hours per dose – to each employee to receive their primary vaccine dose or doses during work hours.  This includes time spent:

  • Making the appointment and completing related paperwork;
  • Waiting to get and actually getting vaccinated, as well as post-vaccination monitoring; and
  • Traveling to and from the vaccination site as necessary. 

OSHA guidance does clarify that an employer is not required to reimburse an employee for transportation costs incurred to receive the vaccine, just for the actual time to receive each vaccine dose.  Even where an employer facilitates a vaccination event on site, it must provide reasonable paid time to employees to receive each primary vaccination dose, though the time may be more limited as it takes out travel and making the appointment.  Notably, if an employee chooses to receive a primary vaccination dose outside of work hours, the employer would not be required to grant paid time to that employee for that dose.  However, because of the paid leave scheme, it does seem less likely that an employee would make the choice to go outside of their work hours. 

Time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay and only applies to the primary vaccination doses; i.e., time required to receive a booster shot is not required to be paid under the Test-or-Vaccinate ETS.

Importantly, this paid time cannot be offset by other forms of leave, such as sick leave or vacation leave.  As a justification for prohibiting the use of other paid leave for this purpose, OSHA explains that it created this new bucket of required paid time because it believes employees could be discouraged from getting vaccinated if they have to dip into their accrued sick leave or general PTO to get vaccinated. Continue reading

New York HERO Act: COVID-19 Designation as Highly Contagious Communicable Disease Extended Until October 31, 2021

As we previously reported, on September 6, 2021, the New York State Commissioner of Health issued a designation determining COVID-19 to be “a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health in New York State.”  Such designation triggered requirements on employers to activate their airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans in accordance with the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (“HERO Act”).

The New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) issued the HERO Act Standards and model plan, which set forth the minimum requirements employers must provide to address exposure to airborne infectious diseases in the workplace.  As explained in our prior blog post, those requirements include:

  • employee health screenings;
  • employee face coverings;
  • personal protective equipment;
  • workplace hand hygiene stations and protocols, which includes adequate break times for employees to wash their hands;
  • cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces and high-risk areas;
  • social distancing;
  • complying with mandatory or precautionary orders of isolation or quarantine issued to employees;
  • air flow, exhaust ventilation, or other special engineering design requirements;
  • designation of one or more supervisors with the responsibility to ensure compliance with the prevention plan and any applicable federal, state, or local laws, rules, or guidance on preventing the spread of an airborne infectious disease;
  • notice to employees; and
  • verbal review of the infectious disease standard, employer policies, and employee rights under the NY HERO Act.

Employers were required to adopt a model plan Continue reading

Employee Handbooks, Training, and Internal Audits [Webinar Recording]

On September 21, 2021, Aaron R. Gelb and Beeta B. Lashkari presented a webinar regarding Employee Handbooks, Training, and Internal Audits.

While few, if any, employers had time to develop state-of-the-art policies or revamp their training programs in 2020 for matters unrelated to COVID-19, they would be wise to consider taking proactive steps as the world returns to some semblance of normalcy. As employees begin to focus on more mundane matters, they would do well to remember that a well-drafted, up-to-date employee handbook tailored to your organization is an essential element of your compliance program. Effective and engaging training is necessary to communicate your policies and priorities to your employees, and to ensure your managers understand their roles and what is expected of them. A state-of-the-art handbook and top-shelf training will be of little value, however, if your employees and/or managers are not following those policies, it is critical that you conduct compliance audits to ensure your organization is walking the talk.

Participants in this webinar learned: Continue reading

Q&As About Fed OSHA’s New COVID-19 Vaccine-Mandate Emergency Rulemaking

By Conn Maciel Carey’s COVID-19 Taskforce

Last Thursday, September 9th, President Biden announced that he is directing OSHA to issue a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would require many employers to provide paid time for employees to get and recover from getting vaccinated and to implement “soft” vaccine mandates; i.e., require employees either to be fully vaccinated or get weekly COVID-19 testing, as well as issuing new Executive Orders requiring federal contractors to implement “hard” vaccine mandates.

While we anticipated OSHA would reconsider the need for a broader COVID-19 ETS applicable beyond just the healthcare sector in light of the impact of the Delta variant, President Biden’s decision to use a new ETS focused on vaccinations and testing as a central element of his newly unveiled Path Out of the Pandemic – COVID-19 Action Plan raises a host of challenges for employers across the country.  To help our clients and friends in industry prepare for and navigate this emergency rulemaking, we have prepared an extensive list of Q&As about OSHA’s Emergency Rulemaking for a COVID-19 Vaccine-Mandate ETS.  Also, here are links to an article we prepared summarizing OSHA’s new emergency rulemaking, a recording of the webinar about the ETS we conducted last week, and the slides we used.

We understand from our contacts at OSHA that the agency will move much more quickly to prepare and send this ETS to the White House, so it is imperative that the employer community come together now to identify shared concerns and considerations and begin advocating to OSHA and OMB so that this new ETS is one with which industry can reasonably manage.  To that end, Conn Maciel Carey LLP is organizing a coalition of employers and trade groups to advocate for the most reasonable fed OSHA COVID-19 emergency rule focused on vaccination and testing possible.

For several reasons, we believe this emergency rulemaking may be the OSHA rulemaking that has the most opportunity for industry influence that we can recall.  First, Continue reading

[Webinar] Employee Handbooks, Training, and Internal Audits

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET, join Aaron R. Gelb and Beeta B. Lashkari for a webinar regarding Employee Handbooks, Training, and Internal Audits.

While few, if any, employers had time to develop state-of-the-art policies or revamp their training programs in 2020 for matters unrelated to COVID-19, they would be wise to consider taking proactive steps as the world returns to some semblance of normalcy. As employees begin to focus on more mundane matters, they would do well to remember that a well-drafted, up-to-date employee handbook tailored to your organization is an essential element of your  compliance program. Effective and engaging training is necessary to communicate your policies and priorities to your employees, and to ensure your managers understand their roles and what is expected of them. A state-of-the-art handbook and top-shelf training will be of little value, however, if your employees and/or managers are not following those policies, it is critical that you conduct compliance audits to ensure your organization is walking the talk.

Participants in this webinar will learn: Continue reading

Biden’s New COVID-19 Action Plan:  Wage and Hour Issues with Vaccine Mandates

As we advised last week, on September 9, 2021, President Biden issued a new COVID-19 Action Plan that directs federal OSHA to issue a new Emergency Temporary Standard requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week.  In response to this Action Plan, we are getting a number of questions from clients relating to various employment-related issues, including a variety of wage and hour issues.  Given that it is a safe assumption that many of you either already have, or will have, similar questions, we thought it would be beneficial to set forth some of the common questions we have received below:

Question 1.  For employees who claim that they cannot receive the vaccine due to religious or medical reasons and thus will need to receive weekly COVID-19 testing, who will be required to pay for that testing? 

Answer:  Biden’s announcement and Action Plan do not say whether it is the employer or employee who is responsible to pay for testing. Thus, we cannot answer this question with absolute certainty.  Nevertheless, there are subtle signals in the language of the Action Plan that appears to indicate the Administration’s intentions to place the cost burden on the employees:

Continue reading

Employee Misconduct Defense, Discipline, and Employment Law Issues [Webinar Recording]

On August 11, 2021, Lindsay A. Disalvo and Ashley D. Mitchell presented a webinar regarding Employee Misconduct Defense, Discipline, and Employment Law Issues.

Disciplining employees, a critical tool in enforcing workplace rules, has the potential to create problems, especially when relationships deteriorate and emotions run high. Even in situations where an employer is disciplining for the right reason, if it is handled incorrectly, a costly lawsuit or labor grievance could result. Employers, however, cannot ignore misconduct and/or poor performance that negatively impacts productivity, employee morale, workplace culture, or the organization’s ability to meet key goals. Consistent employee discipline can also benefit employers in litigation, union grievances, and inspections and investigations by the EEOC and OSHA.

This webinar will give you a blueprint to lawfully discipline employee and mitigate the risk of future litigation. Participants in this webinar learned about: Continue reading

Announcing Conn Maciel Carey’s Labor & Employment Webinar Library

Since 2015, Conn Maciel Carey LLP’s Labor • Employment Practice Group has conducted monthly webinars to give employers insight into legal labor and employment developments. We have compiled the recordings from that Annual Labor & Employment Webinar Series and have created a comprehensive webinar library so you can easily navigate and find relevant employment law programs.

Also, subscribe to our YouTube channel to access all of our past webinars and get an email notification when new recordings become available.  

Click the links in the schedule below for program descriptions for the rest of the 2021 Labor & Employment Webinar Series and register today Continue reading