The Legal Line®

EEOC Issues Guidance on Caregiver Discrimination

April 14, 2022

Federal employment discrimination laws do not prohibit employment discrimination based solely on an individual’s status as a caregiver.  But caregiver discrimination does violate federal employment discrimination laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, when it is based on another protected characteristic, like an individual’s … Read more

New Hampshire Supreme Court Says Employers Will Sometimes have to Grant Accommodation Requests to Use Medical Marijuana

February 14, 2022

Ever since New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana, employers have struggled with how to manage employees prescribed cannabis by their doctors.  There was concern that businesses might be violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act if they were perceived as permitting employees to use medical marijuana.  That is because the Controlled Substances Act characterizes pot as a … Read more

Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Vaccine/Testing Mandate

January 14, 2022

It is finally official.  After months of uncertainty, today the Supreme Court blocked the vaccine/testing mandate published back in November by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to deal with what the agency perceived as workplace dangers caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, OSHA issued the nationwide “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS) … Read more

The Saga Continues with the So-Called Federal Employer Vaccine Mandate

December 30, 2021

After months of controversy and legal challenges in Court, many employers have to be asking:  where are we on the so-called Federal OSHA vaccine mandate?  The shorter answer is that we are still in limbo, but hopefully with a final answer coming shortly.  While we wait, employers should begin taking steps to comply with OSHA’s … Read more

EEOC Tackles Controversial Topics of LGBTQ+ Rights and Biased Algorithms

December 8, 2021

As we prepare to turn the calendar to 2022, employers should be aware that in the last half of 2021, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has tackled the hot topics of LGBTQ+ rights and technology/artificial intelligence.  Briefly, here is what the EEOC has been up to in that regard: LGBTQ+ Rights Earlier this … Read more

OSHA Publishes Anticipated Federal Vaccine and Alternative Testing Requirements

November 10, 2021

Just days ago, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued its anticipated federal standard for mandating the COVID vaccine.  Briefly, the emergency temporary standard (ETS) requires employees of private employers with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated for COVID or submit to regular COVID testing.  Here is a summary of the key features … Read more

EEOC Issues New Technical Assistance Bulletin to Guide Employers through Religious Exemption Requests to Avoid Vaccine Requirements at Work.

October 26, 2021

The EEOC posted updated and expanded technical assistance yesterday related to the COVID-19 pandemic to address questions about religious objections to employer COVID-19 vaccine requirements under Title VII. The updated technical assistance covers how Title VII applies when an applicant or employee requests an exception from an employer’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement that conflicts with their … Read more

First Circuit Upholds Maine Vaccine Mandate

October 25, 2021

The State of Maine is the winner of the latest round in the battle over COVID vaccine mandates.  On October 19, the First Circuit refused to strike down a regulation that requires Maine health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. What is interesting about the decision was that the regulation did NOT contain a … Read more

Vaccine Mandates: Will you need to comply?

September 15, 2021

Regardless of whether you agree with President Biden’s new testing/vaccination policy for private employers with more than 100 employees, the Administration’s new approach to protect public health does present notable federalism and separation of powers issues under the Constitution.  Briefly, the Administration will be requiring private employers to test all their employees for COVID-19 every … Read more