The Centers for Disease Control has issued new guidance regarding quarantine requirements for individuals who have been vaccinated, and for those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

For those who have received the vaccine, the CDC is no longer recommending quarantine following close contact with an infected person if the individual meets all three of the following criteria:


Continue Reading CDC Revises Quarantine Guidance For Those Who Have Been Vaccinated, Or Who Have Recovered From A COVID-19 Infection

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services has issued a guidance for Mass employers who may wish to have their employees vaccinated. The guidance is not a mandate, and is fairly complex regarding steps employers must take to have their employees vaccinated.

Continue Reading The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Issues Employer Vaccine Guidance on Heels of Federal EEOC Position Allowing Employers to Mandate Vaccines

Although Congress had the opportunity to extend the requirement that companies with 500 or fewer employees provide paid medical leave and family leave to workers impacted by COVID-19, it did not do so; and those mandates expired on December 31, 2020.  The eleventh hour stimulus package did keep in place, through March 31, 2021, the tax credit to employers who voluntarily continue to provide this paid benefit.

The USDOL has issued some guidance to provide “clarity around some of the novel issues that FFCRA’s expiration raises” according to Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton.  As of December 31, 2020, the DOL added two questions and answers (104 and 105) to its very helpful general FFCRA guidance located at  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.


Continue Reading FFCRA Leave: Gone But Not Forgotten as DOL Issues Guidance Post-Stimulus

The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, both part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, (collectively the “Stimulus Bill”) contain numerous provisions related to employer sponsored benefit plans. Below are some of the key provisions relating to welfare plans, retirement plans and other employer provided benefits.

Continue Reading Benefit Plan Provisions in the Stimulus Bill

President Trump last night signed into law a bipartisan bill extending a number of benefits set to expand on December 31, 2020 and expanding other pandemic relief benefits. A summary of the provisions which will impact individual employees and workplaces follows:

  • FFCRA Emergency Sick and Family Leave benefits were not extended and will expire as

Effective December 26, 2020, Massachusetts businesses will see additional restrictions on occupancy capacity and gathering sizes.  These new measures, which were announced by Governor Charlie Baker, are intended to prevent a post-Christmas surge of COVID-19 infections.  Massachusetts saw significant increases in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the pandemic following the Thanksgiving holiday, when many people failed to heed recommendations to avoid large gatherings.  The Governor hopes that these new restrictions will avoid a further spike in COVID-19 numbers following Christmas.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Governor Imposes Additional Restrictions, Seeking To Avoid Post-Christmas Surge

Employers have been asking for months whether they may mandate employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  According to the EEOC’s recent guidance, the short answer is “yes,” but with certain legal limitations.  Employers considering a policy on vaccinations should make sure they review this current guidance.

On December 16, 2020, the EEOC updated its Q&A

With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, employers are wondering whether they can or should require employees to receive a vaccine. After all, there could be significant benefits for the operations of many businesses if employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

There are no federal or state laws which prohibit an employer from mandating that employees receive vaccinations, including influenza or pandemic influenza vaccines. However, while employers may mandate influenza vaccines under certain circumstances, there are two primary exceptions to this principle that have been identified by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”): (1) when an employee has a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) that prevents the employee from being vaccinated; and (2) when an employee has a sincere religious belief that prevents the employee from being vaccinated.


Continue Reading Should Employers Mandate COVID-19 or Flu Vaccines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to issue shortly new guidelines for quarantine periods, according to Director Robert Redfield.

Under the expected new guidelines, the quarantine period for those who have come in close contact with an infected individual may end after 7 days for those who test negative. For those