In the hustle and bustle of year-end filings, the holidays and the rush and tumble of life, some may have overlooked a few of the more significant legal developments in 2021.  To help you stay “on track” for a successful 2022, this “Year-in-Review 2021” may help.  Of course, this post does not constitute legal advice, and no action should be taken based on it without first speaking to qualified legal counsel of your choice. 

COVID-19 Mandates

In March 2020, few predicted we would still be dealing with COVID-19 restrictions two-years later.  Yet here we are!  Conflicting mandates and restrictions have caused a good deal of confusion and frustration.  Here is a “score-card” of the status of things (which will likely change before you finish reading it!)

All employers that receive funds through Medicare or Medicaid must ensure all workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have applied for and have either received or are being considered for accommodations based on a sincerely held religious belief or a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The United States Supreme Court upheld this executive order in January 2022.

So-called large employers (those with 100 or more employees) are not required to mandate their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.  President Biden’s Executive Order imposing that mandate was overturned by the United States Supreme Court, which indicated a more “targeted” industry specific requirement may pass scrutiny.  Expect more developments in this area during 2022.

Certain Connecticut-based employers subject to Governor Lamont’s executive orders (primarily, but not exclusively, K-12 schools, certain municipal employers and health care employers) must require employees hired after September 27, 2021, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless the employee requests and receives or is being consider for an accommodation based on a sincerely held religious belief or a covered medical condition.  (Employees hired prior to September 27, 2021 may elect not to be vaccinated for any reason.)  Any non-vaccinated employee must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.  Employers must keep detailed records on employee vaccination status. 
Continue Reading The Year-in-the-Rear-View (2021)