On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on employer vaccination policies in the form of additional Q&As. Some of the Q&As relating to mandatory vaccination policies, accommodation, and confidentiality supplement and clarify EEOC guidance that was originally issued on these topics on December 16, 2020. Other Q&As are new as of May 28, 2021, including those relating to employer-provided incentives for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Guidance addresses COVID vaccine issues raised under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and Title VII (including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act). The EEOC expressly states that it is “beyond the EEOC’s jurisdiction” to discuss the legal implications of Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) by the FDA, and whether or how that may affect employer-mandated vaccine policies. The EEOC directs readers to the FDA’s EUA page for more information about the legal implications of the FDA’s EUA for vaccines.

Key provisions of the Guidance are summarized below. All reference to vaccines or vaccinations in this publication refer to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Continue Reading EEOC Updates Vaccine Guidance: Accommodation, Confidentiality, Employer Incentives, and More

Remember August 2019? Before COVID? Before masks? Before shutdowns, limited reopenings, resurgences, and renewed shutdowns? Before presidential election drama?

Fifteen months seems like a lifetime ago. And for many of us, at least a few action items that were important at the time have since slipped to the back burner. That doesn’t make us bad people or even procrastinators; we’ve had a few emergent issues to address that have taken priority. But we’re now about five weeks away from a deadline that was instituted for Illinois employers in August 2019, and if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to ensure compliance with the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA).


Continue Reading Last Call: Illinois Employers Must Provide Sexual Harassment Training by Year End

Many companies were caught off-guard in the spring when diagnoses of COVID-19 multiplied rapidly and forced businesses to close or drastically change their policies with little warning. Now companies that have reopened must prepare for the future. As we have seen in recent weeks, resurgences may occur at any time in different parts of the country. And epidemiologists have warned about a potential second wave of infections in the fall.
Continue Reading Reopening and Readjusting: Preparing for a Diagnosis or Resurgence in the Coming Months

The City of Chicago has enacted an anti-retaliation ordinance effective immediately aimed at protecting employees from retaliation if they refuse to work at an employer’s premises in compliance with a public health order issued by the City or the State of Illinois. The ordinance also protects employees from adverse employment actions if they do not report to work at the employer’s worksite due to direction from their healthcare provider to stay at home or to care for an individual who has been directed to stay at home.
Continue Reading Chicago’s Anti-Retaliation Ordinance Protects Some Employees from Reporting to Work

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed A10153, a bill designed to provide paid sick leave and wage replacement for workers who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While the bill provides public assistance for employees affected by the pandemic, it requires certain employers to provide additional paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19. The new law’s provisions took effect immediately once Governor Cuomo signed it on Wednesday.

Continue Reading New York Law Now Requires Employers to Provide Additional Paid Sick Leave to Employees Affected by Coronavirus

The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19—recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization—has created a myriad of practical and legal issues for employers seeking to prioritize employee health and wellness while continuing to meet business and customer needs.  The situation remains extremely fluid, with new developments and issues emerging by the minute.

Continue Reading Coronavirus Pandemic: Top Questions and Answers for Employers

Although not yet (and hopefully never) classified as a pandemic, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is already impacting U.S. companies in a variety of ways, including from an HR perspective. Although as of the date of this posting 90 percent of reported cases of coronavirus are in China, all employers, regardless of size or location, must be ready to respond to employee questions regarding the virus and to take appropriate measures if the virus continues to spread. In this post, we highlight five things your company can do now to prepare.
Continue Reading Coronavirus: 5 Things Employers Can Do Today to Prepare for Tomorrow

On July 24, 2019, the Chicago City Council voted to pass the Fair Workweek Ordinance that will require covered employers to, among other things, provide employees with at least 10 days’ advance notice of their work schedules and provide additional compensation to employees for any unscheduled changes to their scheduled work hours. Mayor Lori Lightfoot publically supported and is expected to sign the ordinance, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020.
Continue Reading Chicago Fair Workweek Law Set to Impose Sweeping Predictable Workweek Requirements

The haze of Springfield’s recent legislative session has cleared, and Illinois has become the latest state poised to legalize marijuana. Like many other businesses throughout the country, Illinois employers will be faced with the complexity of enforcing their drug and substance abuse policies while their employees have the legal right to use marijuana outside of the workplace.
Continue Reading Weeding Out the Issues of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

Earlier this month, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a memo instructing regional agency officials on how to assess workplace rules in light of the new standard established by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017). Together, the Boeing decision and the General Counsel’s memo shift the presumption regarding facially neutral workplace rules back in favor of the employer.

Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Issues New Guidance for Workplace Rules