Updates

Updates

The Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Vaccination and Testing Requirements but Upholds HHS Vaccination Requirements

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a “stay” that prevents OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) from taking effect for the time being. On the same day, the Supreme Court also issued a “stay” that allows the Health and Human Services (“HHS”) mandatory COVID-19 vaccination rule for all Medicare and Medicaid funded facilities to go into effect. Given that both of these rulings involved applications for preliminary or emergency relief, neither of them represents the final word on the enforceability of the vaccine and/or testing mandates, and additional litigation is a certainty as the lower courts further evaluate the legality of the mandates.

read more

New Technical Assistance Updates from the EEOC

In October, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 Technical Assistance, providing additional guidance for employers on the interaction between COVID-19 vaccine workplace policies and federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws. Here are key updates to the Technical Assistance:

read more

OSHA ISSUES EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARD WHICH REQUIRES A VACCINE MANDATE POLICY WITH AN EXCEPTION FOR WEEKLY TESTING

OSHA issued its much-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) late last week on Thursday, November 4, 2021. In general, the ETS requires employers to establish, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. The ETS provides a limited exemption from the vaccine mandate which permits an employer to establish a policy which allows employees to choose either vaccination or regular weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering in the workplace as an alternative to vaccination.

read more

Understanding the Privacy Rule Under HIPAA as an Employer Requiring Proof of Vaccination

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently published a new guidance on disclosures and requests for information regarding a person’s receipt of the COVID-19 vaccination in relation to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (more commonly known as HIPAA). As employers continue to develop COVID-19 vaccination policies in the workplace, this guidance may be important.

read more

MA LEGISLATURE EXTENDS AND EXPANDS COVID-19 TEMPORARY EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE PROGRAM

On September 29, 2021, the day before it was set to expire, the Massachusetts legislature amended the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (MA EPSL), extending it until April 1, 2022 or the exhaustion of $75 million in program funds, whichever is earlier. Additionally, the amended MA EPSL expanded the reasons for which employees can use sick leave to include “to care for a family member who needs to obtain or recover from a COVID-19 immunization.”

read more

A Toolkit of Federal Guidance for Developing a Workplace COVID-19 Vaccination Program

In recent weeks, a growing conversation has unfolded about COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace. This conversation was further thrust into the spotlight last night, on September 9, 2021, when President Biden outlined a far-reaching COVID-19 Action Plan, which particularly seeks vast vaccine mandates in the workplace.

For employers, implementing a vaccine policy can be intimidating given the variety of state and federal regulators who have issued guidance on the subject. Additionally, a COVID-19 vaccine mandate may carry an extra threat of workplace polarization of which many employers are understandably wary. The purpose of this Client Alert is to summarily outline a toolkit of federal guidance, including President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, that an employer may consult, in part, when considering whether to implement a COVID-19 vaccine program in their workplace. Please note, all numbered headings below are hyperlinked.

read more

OSHA’s Issues New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards for Healthcare Industry and Additional COVID-19 Guidance for Other Industries

On June 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) unveiled its long-awaited emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) for curbing health and safety risks associated with COVID-19. Significantly, the ETS has a limited reach as it is required for only the healthcare industry with some exceptions. Unlike previous OSHA guidance, the ETS is a mandatory rule for covered employers.

read more

US SUPREME COURT LIMITS PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS’ REGULATION OF OFF-CAMPUS STUDENT SPEECH

In a decision that is sure to draw the attention of students, parents, and school administrators, on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the United Stated Supreme Court held that a Pennsylvania school district violated a student’s First Amendment rights when it disciplined her for posting vulgar language and gestures on social media from an off-campus location. While finding in favor of the student based on the particular facts of the case, the Court also addressed potential circumstances where a student’s off-campus conduct could be grounds for discipline, thereby leaving open the possibility that future cases could be decided differently.

read more

MASSACHUSETTS AMENDS THE OPEN MEETING LAW TO TEMPORARILY ALLOW A PUBLIC BODY TO HOLD MEETINGS THROUGH REMOTE PARTICIPATION UNTIL APRIL 1, 2022

Today the Governor signed Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, which authorizes remote participation for all public bodies until April 1, 2022. This temporary measure provides public bodies with the time needed to orderly transition from fully remote meetings to in-person meetings. In response to public demand and interest from cities and towns, the General Court will take this time to determine whether remote participation is here to stay.

read more
Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Recognized as a Top Women of Law Honoree for 2022

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is proud to announce that Attorney Kathryn Murphy, a Partner at the firm, has been selected as a Top Women of Law 2022 honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The honorees are selected based upon their “ significant contributions to the legal profession while also serving as role models for women entering the law.” Ms. Murphy is the first attorney at the firm to receive this prestigious honor. She has been practicing law at Read More

Legal Updates

NEW LEGISLATION ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH HAS IMPACTS ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

On August 10, 2022, Chapter 177 of Acts of 2022, “An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health” was signed by Governor Baker. For public schools, it has impacts on student discipline, special education services, and emergency response plans. The bill goes into effect on November 8, 2022. Set forth below are summaries of the new law’s impact in the identified areas.

Braintree, MA

50 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 410,
Braintree, MA 02184

Boston, MA

75-101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Tel: (617) 479-5000
Tel: (888) 841-4850
Fax: (617) 479-6469

Quincy, MA

Crown Colony Plaza
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
P.O. Box 9126
Quincy, MA 02169-9126

Join Our Newsletter


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, 300 Crown Colony Drive, Quincy, MA, 02169, http://www.mhtl.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

© 2023 Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. All Rights Reserved. Website by Interactive Palette