COVID-19

Next week, the Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers will hold its first conference in-person since early 2020. Everyone attending in person has been asked to submit proof of vaccination. I admit to over-excitement at sending that e-mail with the card. I’ve missed my nerd friends.
Those who do not wish to submit proof, for whatever reason, can attend virtually. And in any case, APRL is a voluntary bar and can make whatever vaccine rules it wants, and nobody is
Continue Reading Do Lawyers Have an Ethical Obligation to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

The Magic Language:

The Federal Acquisition Regulation Council (FAR Council) was charged with drafting contractual language to require compliance with the guidance from the SAFER Task Force (Guidance). For a more in-depth discussion of the Guidance, see our blog post from September 24, BREAKING NEWS! Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate!

The FAR Council issued a memorandum on October 1, 2021 in response to Executive Order 14042 (EO), including the contract language titled “Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Continue Reading Update for Federal Contractors: The Magic Language and Updated FAQs

One of the expected consequences of the COVID epidemic was disputes between parents regarding parenting children.

These disputes could be over any of these matters:

  • To vaccinate or not to vaccinate
  • To mask or not mask
  • Virtual schooling or in-person
  • The contact of children with unvaccinated people

Not surprisingly, there have been (to my knowledge, at least) no reported cases on any of these issues at the appellate level. This was expected given the length of time it takes
Continue Reading COVID and Custody: Surprising Lack of Litigation Among Parents Over Vaccines, Masks

On Friday, September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) issued its COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance) as directed by President Biden in an executive order (EO) on September 9, 2021. Click here to see the full Guidance (a helpful FAQ starts on page nine of the Guidance.)

Who: According to the Guidance, a “covered contract” is any contract or contract-like instrument that includes the clause specified in Section 2(a) of
Continue Reading Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his new COVID-19 plan entitled “Path out of the Pandemic” (Plan). While this Plan includes several provisions, this e-alert highlights a few of those of most interest to employers:

  • OSHA was directed to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  This ETS will require private sector employers with at least 100 employees to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID at least weekly. Employers will be required


Continue Reading Biden Orders Vaccine Mandates for Certain Employers

On August 18, 2021, President Biden announced that his administration would require all nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition to continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. The same day, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would develop emergency regulations to enforce President Biden’s initiative. CMS indicated it will issue the regulations by the end of September 2021.

In light of this announcement, nursing homes should review their obligations related to
Continue Reading COVID-19 Updates for Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a new opinion on August 26, 2021 which will perhaps be an end to the ongoing dispute over the legality of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (the “CDC”) eviction moratorium (the “moratorium”). A deeper dive into the terms of the moratorium and an analysis of the procedural posture as of the most recent renewal of the moratorium can be found in a prior KEW Tip, but a bit of context is
Continue Reading CDC Eviction Moratorium Upended by the U.S. Supreme Court

Recently, there have been numerous developments pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few key issues Wisconsin employers should be aware of related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food and Drug Administration Approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Previously, all COVID-19 vaccinations were approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. The EUA process allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products
Continue Reading COVID-19 Updates for Wisconsin Employers: Vaccine Approval, Mask Mandates and OSHA Guidance

As the Delta and other Greek-lettered variants plague our world, many employers are mandating, or considering mandatory COVID19 vaccinations for their employees. Indeed, some groups are advocating for COVID19 vaccine mandates, such as the Center for American Progress, which recently wrote that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should make COVID19 vaccines for health organization employees a condition of participation or condition for coverage under the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.  And fifty medical groups have
Continue Reading What Employers Should Know About Religious Exemptions to the COVID19 Vaccine

Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) announced a new, county-wide mask mandate on August 17, 2021 to go into effect on August 19, 2021. Citing evidence that fully vaccinated people can still transmit the Delta variant of COVID-19 to others, PHMDC noted that countywide 7-day case average has risen from 19 on July 19, 2021 to 91.6 on August 12, 2021, an increase of 382%. The text of the order can be found here.

 
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Continue Reading Dane County to Re-Issue Mask Mandate, Effective August 19

As employers nationwide have begun to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the workplace, legal questions have been presented as to whether these vaccine requirements are legally permissible under various laws. While the EEOC has issued guidance that generally permits mandatory vaccine requirements in the workplace so long as reasonable accommodations are offered for those with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, questions still remained as to whether mandatory workplace vaccine requirements were permissible under other laws, such as
Continue Reading U.S. Department of Justice Gives Go-Ahead to Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace

Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance recommending Americans to “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” The site includes a link so individuals can search their particular county to find out if transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.  As of the date of this writing, Ruder Ware’s office locations in Brown County, Eau Claire County, and Marathon County all remain at “moderate” transmission levels according to the CDC. 
Continue Reading CDC Now Recommends Masking Indoors for Certain Areas of Country and DOJ Clears Way for Employers to Mandate the Vaccine

In light of increasing concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant in the United States, the CDC has revised its recommendations regarding masks for fully vaccinated individuals. Although the CDC has reiterated that infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, people who are fully vaccinated may spread the virus to others. To stop the spread of COVID-19 and particularly the Delta variant, the CDC is recommending that those who are in an area of
Continue Reading Keeping up With the CDC: Update to Mask Guidance for the Fully Vaccinated

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just recently confirmed what had been surmised all along:  that employers can incentivize employees to get the COVID19 vaccine. However, as expected, there are some caveats and conditions that accompany this decision.

  • If You Merely Ask Employees for Proof of Vaccination by a Third-Party, Incentives to Vaccinate are OK.
  • According to the new EEOC guidance, an employer may incentivize employees to encourage the employee and their family members to get the
    Continue Reading EEOC Green Lights Incentives for COVID19 Vaccines

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on June 24 that it is extending its order, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, set to expire on June 30, until July 31. In issuing this extension, the CDC indicated that this is intended to be the final extension.

    The content of the moratorium remains the same as the that of the previous extension, in March of 2021. As a reminder, you can
    Continue Reading CDC Eviction Moratorium Extended Until July 31