President Biden: Mandatory vaccines or weekly testing, or bust!

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You heard the following directive yesterday from President Biden: Private employers with 100 or more employees must ensure their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.

Everyone should take a deep breath. Nothing is required at this point. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which will (hopefully) help applicable employers determine what is required and when. We anticipate that the ETS will require applicable employers to provide paid time off for the time it takes employees to get vaccinated or recover after receiving the vaccine.

In the meantime, these are some of the questions we are asking (we are sure you are asking them, too):

  • Who is paying for this?
  • What type of test will be required?
  • What about employees who work remotely?
  • Will the COVID-19 booster shot be included?

Until we hear more, we will just have to wait and see. But fear not, many businesses are already doing what might be required.

So breathe deeply (for now) and stay tuned! And, as always, feel free to reach out to our team with any questions. We will navigate this together.

The 4-Day Workweek May Not Be A Pipe Dream After All…

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In our “Breaking Through the Noise” segment, my peers and I discussed our predictions for the future of the workforce (if you want to hear our thoughts, go to timestamp 1:57:54-2:16:49).  One of the trends we discussed was the potential shift to more flexible schedules, including the 4-day workweek.  We are not the only ones that are thinking about this, this is a topic around the world!

A current worldwide decline in both physical and mental health has led employers to examine various strategies to improve employee morale. Many companies have already become increasingly flexible regarding how and where people work (in-person vs. remote work). Interestingly, there could also be a shift in employer receptiveness regarding when people work.

Recently, researchers in Iceland have found that a four-day workweek, without a pay cut, improved workers’ well-being and productivity.

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President Biden Encourages FTC to Address Restrictive Covenant Agreements

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In “Breaking Through the Noise,” my colleagues discussed restrictive covenants, including non-compete agreements, as a hot trend in the employment litigation cycle (if you want to hear their thoughts, go to timestamp 44:55-1:00:35).  This topic is so hot, the President even had something to say about it!

With the stated goal of removing barriers to employment, promoting competition, and stimulating economic growth, President Biden has issued Executive Order 14036 (an accompanying fact sheet can be found here).  This order asks the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to limit or even entirely ban covenants not to compete with former employers, among other things.

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It’s Hurricane Season Once Again!

With Hurricane Elsa heading towards Florida, people are beginning to stock up on water, batteries, gas, and canned food. While it important to be prepared and plan ahead for your home and family, as an HR professional, it is equally as important to make sure your business is safeguarded and appropriate procedures are in place.

In my “Breaking Through The Noise: Labor & Employment Issues Post-Pandemic” segment, we heard from Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross on this season’s forecast and I shared my preparedness tips for employers when dealing with hurricanes.

Please listen to my segment (timestamp: 1:44:47-1:53:00) and see additional suggestions below.  If you still have employees working from home due to the pandemic, my post from last year included tips to consider if you have remote employees.

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Working on the Holidays… Downtime or Overtime?

As mandates are lifted and more Americans are getting vaccinated, many people are beginning to feel comfortable in group settings, especially outdoors.  After more than a year of limited in-person celebrations, 4th of July is the first major holiday that may see more people gathering and wanting to embrace the time off work.

This holiday is always eagerly anticipated, so much so that many employers have started providing employees with a four-day weekend when the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, or a three-day weekend, when the holiday falls on a weekend, Monday or Friday.  Other employers provide employees with a half day off on July 3rd.  It is natural, then, that when the holiday falls mid-week, employers find themselves fielding PTO requests for the days surrounding the holiday.  The truth is, however, that the vast majority of employers only provide employees with the day off on July 4th itself, no matter what day of the week it falls on.

This leads to an interesting question.  Does an employer have to pay an employee overtime for requiring them to work on July 4th?

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Top Takeaways from “Breaking Through the Noise: Labor & Employment Issues Post-Pandemic”

Thank you to our clients and friends who have watched ”Breaking Through the Noise: Labor & Employment Issues Post-Pandemic” so far! We hope you enjoyed it and were provided with timely, relevant and valuable insight.

If you have not tuned in yet, the program is available on demand to watch at your leisure. CLICK HERE TO WATCH! Below are some top takeaways from each segment:

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Ready to watch? Breaking Through The Noise AVAILABLE NOW!

IT’S SHOW TIME!  

Breaking Through the Noise, our much anticipated 2.5 hour “TV News” program addressing employment issues that you will need to know about in a post-pandemic business environment, is available NOW.

CLICK TO WATCH!

Block off some time on your calendar now through Sunday, June 20th at 11:59pm ET to enjoy the program!  Only available for a limited time.

Feel free to forward the link to your friends and colleagues.  The program is approved for HRCI (2 hours), SHRM (2 hours) & Florida Bar CLE (General: 2.5, Bias Elimination: .5, Labor & Employment Law: 2.5) credits.  Credit information will be emailed after viewing.

A list of topics can be found here.

SAVE THE DATES – Breaking Through The Noise: Labor & Employment Issues Post-Pandemic

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!  

We are excited to announce the air date for Breaking through the Noise, our much anticipated 2.5 hour “TV News” program addressing employment issues that you will need to know about in a post-pandemic business environment.

The program will be available to view on our website at your leisure from Wednesday, June 16th at 12:00pm ET through Sunday, June 20th at 11:59pm ET so be sure to block off some time on your calendar and get that popcorn ready!

The program is approved for HRCI (2 hours), SHRM (2 hours) & Florida Bar CLE (General: 2.5, Bias Elimination: .5, Labor & Employment Law: 2.5) credits.

CLICK HERE for a list of topics.

Stay tuned… more information on how to access the program will be sent soon!

Coming Soon in June to a Screen Near You!

For the last 30 years, we have put on a live, all-day conference attended by hundreds of our clients and friends across Florida.  Unfortunately, due to COVID, the seminar was cancelled again this year.  As we know almost everyone is Zoom-ed and webinar-ed out, we thought we’d do something different this year – a two-hour news program featuring our Labor & Employment attorneys and hosted by 6x Emmy-Winning Journalist, Laurie Jennings.

Because businesses are quickly reopening their doors, we wanted to help you “Break Through the Noise” by addressing employment issues that you will need to know about in a post-pandemic business environment.

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Vaccine Passports for the Workplace?

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Vaccine passports seem to be the hot button issue of the day.  Most of the media coverage and remarks from politicians have focused on businesses requiring customers, guests or students having proof of vaccination before returning to school or entering the business establishment.  But what about employers?  Can an employer require a new employee to present proof of vaccination as a condition of employment or provide a hiring preference to applicants who have been vaccinated?

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