Can California Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine?

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has updated its COVID-19 FAQs and has issued its long-awaited guidance regarding employers mandating COVID-19 vaccines.

As a preliminary matter, the DFEH explained that it is not providing guidance on whether or to what extent an employer should mandate vaccination within its workforce. Rather, the DFEH stated that its guidance/FAQs are to address how employers comply with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) if employers require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an FDA-approved vaccine.

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Minnesota Employers Are Given the Green Light to Return to the Office, Subject to Continued Limitations

On March 12, 2021, nearly one year to the day after Minnesota declared a peacetime emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 21-11, which rolls back certain restrictive measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Chief among the changes is a relaxation of the mandate that all employees who are able to work remotely must do so. Commencing on March 25, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order 20-20, Minnesota employees have been required to work remotely whenever they are able. This requirement will cease on April 14, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Employers are now strongly encouraged to allow Minnesota-based employees to work from home when they are able to do so. Employers are also strongly encouraged to implement reasonable accommodations for those employees who are at-risk for infection or who reside with a household member with an underlying medical condition that has not yet become eligible for vaccination. This softens obligations previously set forth in Executive Orders 20-54 and 20-55 in light of the expanded access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Travel Bans and Quarantine Hotels: Traveling to the U.K. During COVID-19

Those contemplating travel to the U.K. should be cognizant of new border policies and restrictions implemented earlier this month. In this episode, Faegre Drinker’s Hodon Anastasi answers questions regarding the U.K. government’s latest actions concerning COVID-19, including:

  • Under what circumstances will travellers be expected to stay in government-controlled quarantine hotels? How long will they be expected to quarantine? Who is exempt from this policy?
  • What documents should travellers be expected to produce upon arrival to the U.K.?
  • What are the penalties for breaching new border policies?
  • Do these rules apply for visa holders? Under the present circumstances, is it worth applying for a U.K. visa?

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Can U.K. Employers Make COVID-19 Vaccinations Mandatory?

With the arrival of a new year and a promising COVID-19 vaccine, many U.K. employers have expressed renewed interest in returning to the workplace. But those hoping a mandatory vaccination policy will serve as a silver bullet to reopening plans should proceed with caution. Whilst there may be certain settings in which such a policy is reasonable, pursuing it could trigger a number of legal implications.

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EEOC Issues Opinion Letter on Older Workers Benefit Protection Act Disclosure Requirements for Non-U.S. Employees

In a new Opinion Letter published January 14, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clarified a long-standing ambiguity as to whether non-U.S. employees working outside of the United States should be included in the description of the “decisional unit” in OWBPA-compliant waivers of federal age discrimination claims. This opinion presents helpful guidance to multinational employers who face a byzantine process when it comes to workforce reductions.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Top 3 Employee Mobility and Restrictive Covenant Issues to Watch For in 2021

With 2020 finally in our rearview mirror, we can begin to look ahead to a promising and prosperous 2021. As the cloud of COVID-19 starts to lift (thanks to several vaccines), we expect employers will slowly begin to reopen their offices, employees will travel more, and the job market may revert back to the low unemployment levels that predated the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. The ever-changing landscape of restrictive covenants certainly could affect all of this employment-related activity, including non-competes and non-solicits. Here are our early predictions for the Top 3 hot-button issues to look out for in the coming year.

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