COVID-19 Vaccination Planning for Employers: Questions to Consider for Policy and Practice

As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely accessible, and certain localities relax COVID-19 restrictions, employers hoping to ramp up on-site operations or reduce absenteeism face a new challenge: navigating employee vaccination. Employers are evaluating whether to mandate, strongly suggest or simply remain neutral regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and on-site work.

The considerations surrounding workplace vaccination programs are complex. Business justifications and accommodation issues, potential public relations and employee relations pitfalls, the impact of vaccination on workforce safety procedures, litigation risks on multiple fronts — these are just the beginning. To help piece together this business and regulatory puzzle, we have compiled a list of issues organizations should consider as they set policy and communication plans regarding on-site work and COVID-19 vaccines. We have also identified issues to consider with regard to the practical application of any such policy and the development of related communications to employees or others.

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NLRB General Counsel Rescinds Trump-era Memos, Signaling Shift Toward New Policy Objectives

Signaling the beginning of what likely will be a major policy shift, Peter Ohr, acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, revoked 12 administrative guidance memoranda issued by his predecessor, Peter Robb. Both union and nonunion employers should keep a close eye on further action by Ohr.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Starting With a Bang: Biden Shakes up the NLRB

On day one of his administration — and within hours of being sworn in — President Joe Biden made significant changes at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After Peter Robb, the Board’s Trump-appointed general counsel (GC), refused a request to resign, Biden fired him. The following day, the Biden administration fired deputy general counsel Alice B. Stock after she, too, refused to resign from the Board. At the same time, Biden named Lauren McFerran, the only Democratic member of the Board, as chair, replacing Republican member John Ring.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Potential Changes to Labor Policy Under a Biden Administration

Employers should anticipate major changes to national labor policy when President-elect Joe Biden assumes the Oval Office. Through a combination of legislation and revisiting Trump-era NLRB decisions, the incoming administration will likely seek to increase union membership by facilitating organization, shortening election periods and reducing the bargaining period for the first collective bargaining agreement.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division Provides Work From Home Guidance

On August 24, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) published guidance addressing employer obligations to track employee hours while teleworking. The DOL emphasized that though the guidance is being issued in part due to the increase in teleworking arrangements with COVID-19, it applies to all telework or remote work arrangements, not only those caused by the pandemic.

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Veteran Focused Reviews Are Underway: Are You Next?

On August 4, 2020, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced via email that it has begun scheduling Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) focused reviews.

VEVRAA focused reviews are dedicated to evaluating contractor compliance with VEVRAA equal employment opportunity requirements. The OFCCP evaluates contract compliance through a variety of methods, including evaluation of:

  • Hiring and compensation related data
  • Policies and practices — including recruitment, hiring and accommodation requests
  • Onsite interviews of managers and employees

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