COVID-19: Supreme Court recap, reading the tea leaves, and a mailbag!!!

As fast and mercurial as HR compliance has been in the age of COVID-19, we hit hyperdrive in the past few months.

The headliner was the OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate that surfaced in November, only to be stayed, then unstayed, and then stayed again at the Supreme Court last week.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services healthcare COVID-19 vaccine mandate (the “CMS Rule”) requires the staff of twenty-one types of Medicare and Medicaid healthcare providers to be fully vaccinated. The CMS Rule got off to a rocky start. A federal judge in Louisiana had entered a nationwide injunction to block the CMS Rule. Then the Fifth Circuit lifted the injunction in several states. Last week, the Supreme Court had the final word and lifted the injunction across the country.

Finally, there’s President Biden’s Executive Order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees of certain federal contractors (the “Contactor EO”). In December, a federal judge in Georgia entered a nationwide injunction to block the Contactor EO. The Eleventh Circuit denied the government motion to stay the nationwide preliminary injunction of the Contractor EO pending appeal. A date at the Supreme Court seems likely.

Meanwhile, the CDC changed its guidance on quarantine and isolation. Then, it did it again. More than anything, this guidance reinforces the importance of COVID-19 boosters. Should your business require boosters if it mandates employee vaccinations?

Should it even be mandating vaccinations or testing since the Supreme Court stayed OSHA's vaccine-or-test mandate? Wat about masking? At the very least, a new COVID-19 workplace policy is in order.

My employment law colleagues and I had a lot to cover:

0:00 Introduction and Disclaimer
4:05 Recap of Supreme Court COVID-19 decisions
11:30 Update on Federal Contractor Mandate
17:30 Can employers mandate vaccinations?
23:20 Mandate booster shots?
26:30 Who pays for testing?
29:30 Updating your COVID-19 policy
34:47 Masks
37:40 Insurance coverage for COVID-19 tests
40:25 Recourse for fired employees
44:20 Scope of CMS Mandate
48:15 Sincerely-held beliefs (Religious Accommodations)
52:33 Considerations for multi-state employers
56:30 Contact tracing remote employees

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