Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

An In-Depth Look at Medical Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Monday, October 4th, 2021

An increasing number of employers are making vaccination against COVID-19 a condition of employment. In the near future, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the North Carolina Division of Occupational Safety and Health (NC OSH) are likely to require most larger employers to adopt a vaccine mandate (see here). Vaccine mandates are […]

COVID-19 and the Workplace Part 2: Infection, Exposure and Return to Work

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

COVID-19 never really went away but now, with the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, local governments have an increasing problem. They are finding that employees are unable to work because they are infected with Delta or have been exposed to it. Over the course of the pandemic, official recommendations for dealing with these […]

COVID-19 and the Workplace Part 1: Vaccine Mandates, Vaccine Incentives and More

Monday, August 16th, 2021

In December 2020, I published a blog post titled May a Public Employer Require Vaccination Against COVID-19?. In that post I concluded that a public employer may require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. That conclusion has not changed. But much has happened since then, including publication of the […]

The American Rescue Plan Act: Employers Who Voluntarily Extend FFCRA Leave May Be Eligible for Substantial Employment Tax Credits

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Local government employers are now eligible for credits against the social security and Medicare tax payments that they must make, if they voluntarily extend Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA leave) through September 30, 2021. Through most of 2020, governmental employers had to make the same special wage payments […]

FFCRA Not Extended; Expires December 31, 2020

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed in March as the federal government’s first response to the COVID-19 crisis, is a law with many parts. The Emergency Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act are the two most familiar to public employers. The stimulus bill that passed late last […]

May a Public Employer Require Vaccination Against COVID-19?

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

UPDATED MARCH 25, 2021 Every year many employers choose to require employees to undergo vaccination against seasonal influenza (flu). This year, however, a different decision will confront employers: whether to require employees to undergo vaccination against COVID-19. The flu vaccine has been around for a long time and its side effects and efficacy are well […]

IRS Issues Guidance on the Employee Social Security Tax Deferral

Monday, August 31st, 2020

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order  as part of an effort to put more spending money in consumers’ pockets and stimulate the economy.  The Order authorized employers to defer the withholding and deposit of the employee portion of the social security tax. To be technical about it, the President directed the […]

Furloughing Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

To slow the spread of COVID-19, to comply with Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order, and to deal with budget stresses,  many local governments are considering furloughs. A furlough occurs when one or more employees are put into a temporary leave without pay status during which they are instructed not to perform any work. There are no […]

Electronic Meetings During the COVID-19 Emergency: Recommended Practices

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

[UPDATE: Section 4.31 of Session Law 2020-3 enacted new G.S. 166A-19.24, which imposes a variety of procedural requirements on remote meetings held by public bodies during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or General Assembly. As defined by G.S. 166A-19.24, a “remote meeting” is one at which at least one board member participates […]

Can We Really Ban In-Person Attendance at Board Meetings During the Coronavirus Emergency?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

[Update 11/18/2020: Section 5.2(a) of the Governor’s Executive Order 169 (extended by Executive Order 176) generally exempts “government operations” from the order’s prohibitions on mass gatherings.  The NC Department of Public Safety interprets “government operations” to include local government board meetings. Section 5.2(a) expressly does NOT exempt government operations from the capacity limits imposed by Sections 3.2 […]

How the Paid Sick Leave Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Affect Government Employers

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 On March 18, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Families First Act”). The Families First Act is actually a compilation of a number of different acts with different purposes, all sharing the goal of providing […]

Failures to Vote by Board Members Participating Remotely

Friday, March 20th, 2020

[UPDATE: Section 4.31 of Session Law 2020-3 amends G.S. 160A-75 to apply the default “yes” rule discussed below to the unexcused failures to vote of council members who attend meetings electronically during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or General Assembly. In that situation, the default “yes” rule applies only while “simultaneous communication” […]

Preparing Local Government Workplaces for the New Coronavirus

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Yesterday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it was a matter of when, not if, the new coronavirus would begin to affect communities here in the United States. “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when […]