COVID-19

Current News
COVID-19—OTHER AGENCY DOCUMENTS: CMS cautions states to take care with renewals when COVID-19 public health emergency ends
May 23, 2022

By Justin Marcus Smith, J.D. Unwinding the COVID-19 public health emergency continuous coverage requirement too quickly could cause inappropriate terminations in violation of federal law. Information issued by CMS attempts to refresh the states’ awar...

WORTH NOTING—Cases of note dealing with wage-hour issues
May 23, 2022

By WK Editorial Staff A roundup of recent decisions involving wage and hour issues of interest to the labor and employment community. D. Kan: Employee’s claims for unpaid bonus, and 401(k) contributions moves forward. An employee was granted his moti...

EMPLOYEE LEAVE—D.D.C.: Employee working remotely from Virginia was not covered by DCFMLA under temporary COVID-19 amendment
May 19, 2022

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D. Although the D.C. Coronavirus Support Emergency Act amended the DCFMLA to cover employees working from outside of the district, it did so only for purposes of COVID-19-related leave. An asthmatic manager working for Exelon an...

FCC Commissioners, Staff in Person at Meeting for First Time in 27 Months
May 19, 2022

Today’s monthly FCC meeting was held entirely in person for Commissioners and FCC staff involved for the first time in more than 27 months. Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told reporters during a call with reporters afterward that there will be an ass...

HEALTH CARE COMPLIANCE NEWS: Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes COVID-19-era rates of nursing facility staff vaccinations, boosters, shortages
May 19, 2022

By Kristofer Ray, PhD While several factors influence vaccination rates, researchers suggest that the federal vaccine mandate may have caused an overall increase in staff vaccinations without leading to a drop in staffing. The Kaiser Family Foundatio...

OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATION—FHFA inspector general notes accomplishments, challenges in semiannual report
May 19, 2022

By Nora Macaluso The office’s activities were mostly remote during the six-month period covered by the report, noted Inspector General Brian Tomney. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said it published 16 reports, ...

Pleading Cycle Set on Video Conferencing Public Notice
May 19, 2022

Comments are due June 21 and replies July 18 in CG docket 10-213 on a public notice released by the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau in April seeking input to refresh the record on the meaning of the statutory term “interoperable video ...

LABOR—ARBITRATION—Employee not entitled to more than FFCRA offered
May 18, 2022

By WK Editorial Staff Boiled to its essence, the Association was actually arguing that the grievant should not have been obligated to use any type of leave. An arbitrator denied an employee’s grievance to collect an additional 12 hours of pay. The em...

Treasury Could Issue Coronavirus Capital Projects Awards in ‘Days’
May 18, 2022

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Department of Treasury signed last week with the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to share information related to broadba...

WHISTLEBLOWERS—D. Minn.: Sales representative fired after refusing to return to office during COVID-19 shutdowns cannot advance claim
May 18, 2022

By Todd Harrison, J.D. The court found the employee had not engaged in protected activity for reporting hydraulic systems manufacturer’s alleged violations of governor’s executive orders during the height of the pandemic. An employee’s calls to a wor...

COVID-19 Resources

TOP STORY—CMS Letters: CMS issues guidance for Medicaid and CHIP coverage of “stand-alone vaccine counseling”

By Kristofer Ray, PhD While the guidance does not have the force of law, CMS believes it will help states provide clarity to the public regarding federal COVID-19 vaccine services. CMS has released guidance to states to help both administrators and t...

TOP STORY—CMS Letters: CMS issues guidance for Medicaid and CHIP coverage of “stand-alone vaccine counseling”
DISCRIMINATION—DISABILITY—S.D. Cal.: Run-of-the-mill COVID-19 infection does not qualify as disability under FEHA
May 17, 2022

By Tulay Turan, J.D. State regulations exclude from the definition of a FEHA disability those “conditions that are mild, which do not limit a major life activity, as determined on a case-by-case basis.” An employee who came to work with mild symptoms...

EXPERT INSIGHTS—Flexible I-9 Rules for Remote Workers Extended Through October
May 17, 2022

By Brian J. Coughlin Jeffrey D. Winchester of Fisher Phillips LLC It appears that ICE officials have acknowledged that some workers remain sensitive to COVID-19 risks, even as their employers return to business-as-usual. In a surprise move, federal i...

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS—N.D. Ill.: School administrator’s failure to sign employment agreement for following year doomed due process claim
May 17, 2022

By Marjorie Johnson, J.D. Neither the superintendent’s verbal recommendation for the administrator’s continued employment nor the board’s vote to accept her employment agreement was sufficient to confer a property interest in continued employment. A ...

MORTGAGES—CFPB releases study on mortgage servicing during pandemic
May 17, 2022

By Colleen M. Svelnis, J.D. The study included observations from data reported by 16 servicers from May–December 2021. In a follow-up to its previous report issued in August 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a report on mort...

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES—D.D.C.: Religious challenges to federal vaccine mandate pending review not ripe for judgment
May 17, 2022

By Leah S. Poniatowski, J.D. First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act-based claims were not “constitutionally” or “prudentially” ripe for review. Eighteen federal civilian employees filed a lawsuit against President Biden vis-a-vis Execu...

DISCRIMINATION—AGE—N.D. Ohio: 66-year-old account manager RIF’d during COVID-related layoff advances bias claims
May 16, 2022

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D. Even though the corporate account manager had superior qualifications to a much younger employee, he was terminated while the younger employee was retained. A corporate account manager for an instrumentation components manuf...

EXPERT INSIGHTS— Sign of the Times? New Law Protects Florida Companies from Misclassification Claims When Aiding Gig Economy Workers in Emergencies
May 16, 2022

By Brett P. Owens of Fisher Phillips LLC Any actions taken by businesses to provide emergency relief for gig economy workers will not destroy the independent contractor relationship, and they will remain shielded from misclassification claims. The pa...

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES—D.D.C: Challenge to COVID-19 vaccine mandate for executive branch employees fails
May 16, 2022

By Nicholas Kaster, J.D. Finding that jurisdiction is precluded does not foreclose all meaningful judicial review, the court held. The federal district court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a Navy employee’s suit challenging the constituti...