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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 32 posts by Lara A. H. Shortz.

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The Status of COVID Vaccine Mandates in the Shadow of FDA Action

For many here in the U.S., the COVID-19 vaccine remains a hot button and rather divisive issue. Some of those who have thus far refused to roll up their sleeves for inoculation have justified this decision with a common refrain: the federal government hasn’t fully approved COVID vaccines; instead, they’re only authorized for “emergency use.” This distinction has been a deal breaker for countless Americans.

But now that the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, that justification no longer holds water. Not surprisingly, in the wake of the FDA’s full approval, the share of adults flat out refusing to get the vaccine has dropped by 5%—this according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. In fact, nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. have received, or now intend to line up for, inoculation against the novel coronavirus. (Read More)

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Employers Face Potentially Higher Compensation Obligations for Meal, Rest, and Recovery Breaks

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a decision of great importance to employers statewide. In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the court ruled employees must receive premium payments at their “regular rate of pay” for missed meal, rest, and recovery breaks. (Read More)

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Cal/OSHA Reverses Course on Workplace Masking

Earlier this week, Michelman & Robinson, LLP reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board readopted Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards (ETS). In doing so, Cal/OSHA decided to phase out physical distancing requirements and place certain conditions upon mask mandates. (Read More)

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Cal/OSHA Set to Relax Certain COVID-Related Workplace Restrictions

Last Thursday (June 3) in a unanimous vote, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board readopted Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards (ETS). These regulations as proposed phase out physical distancing requirements, but still maintain or only slightly modify many existing pandemic-related workplace restrictions. The next day (Friday, June 4), the Board stated it may refine the ETS in the coming weeks to align its mandate with California’s anticipated widespread reopening on June 15. (Read More)

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California Legislature Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through September 30, 2021 for Employers with More than 25 Employees: FAQ Guide

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95, which requires employers in California with more than 25 employees to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to covered employees.  The bill takes effect on March 29, 2021, at which time the requirements will apply retroactively to January 1, 2021.  California’s previous supplemental paid leave expired on December 31, 2020 and SB 95 broadens the scope in various material ways. (Read More)

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At Long Last, Clarity Regarding Subsequent Violations Under PAGA

On the surface, a case just decided by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit looks to be one primarily of interest to those in the aviation space. In Bernstein v. Virgin America Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel ruled on February 23 that California wage and hour laws pertaining to meal and rest breaks are not preempted by federal law; namely, the Federal Aviation Act. (Read More)

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Attention Employers: California's High Court Has Nixed Rounding Meal Breaks

When is a 30-minute lunch break a 30-minute lunch break?

Certain employers have made it a practice of rounding time—up or down, typically in five- to 15-minute increments—in lieu of recording the actual time that employees spend working or for meal breaks. Until now, California law has generally permitted rounding time, provided certain criteria are met. For instance, an employer’s rounding policy must be fair and neutral on its face and cannot systematically undercompensate employees over a period of time. (Read More)

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Can Your Boss Force You to Get a COVID Vaccine Shot?

With the Biden administration all-in on the inoculation of America, meaningful plans for widespread COVID-19 vaccine distribution and availability are taking shape. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna offerings will surely be joined soon by Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine, and FDA approval of the promising Oxford-AstraZeneca product, which may even halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, seems inevitable. (Read More)

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Non-Essential Travelers Arriving in Southern California Now Subject to Mandatory Quarantines

Nationwide COVID-19 hotspot: that’s the unenviable title currently held by the County of Los Angeles. In response, L.A. is among several other Southern California counties discouraging non-essential travel by imposing a mandatory quarantine order upon certain travelers. (Read More)

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What Employees Need to Know About the $900 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package

The $900 billion COVID pandemic relief package passed as part of the broader Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, includes some very important details relevant to employment and the workplace. Michelman & Robinson, LLP highlights what employers need to know. (Read More)