The Practical Employment Law Podcast: Labor & Employment Update - COVID-19 Issues

There have been several new developments in 2021 that broadly impact employers’ approaches to COVID-19.   In this episode:

FFCRA Leave - The FFCRA has again been extended on a voluntary basis so that employers can offer leave through September 30, 2021.  Employers who elect to continue offering leave need to be aware of some changes to FFCRA leave.

COVID-19 Vaccinations - Last year, the EEOC issued its guidance for employers on COVID-19 vaccination policies that allows employers to require vaccinations with certain exceptions.  Several states are not considering legislation that would make mandatory vaccination policies unlawful and at least one lawsuit has been filed over a mandatory vaccination policy.

Federal Unemployment Benefits - Most stats have taken the position that employees who refuse to work based on a generalized fear of contracting COVID-19 are not eligible for unemployment benefits.  In recent guidance, the U.S. Department of Labor has stated that employees may refuse to work and still be eligible for benefits if they certify that their employer is not following applicable safety guidelines, such as requiring masks and social distancing.

New OSHA Program - On March 12, 2021, OSHA instituted a National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to COVID-19.  The program has several elements but most importantly for employers, it requires OSHA regional offices for focus their inspection efforts on COVID-19 and creates a list of high risk industries, businesses in which may be subject to OSHA inspections.  More information on the OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) regarding COVID-19 is here.

Listen in to find out what these issues mean for your business. You can listen to the podcast episode here.

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.


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