General Updates 7/26/2022

EEOC Updates
There are lots of important subjects we’d like to update you on. First and foremost, the EEOC has updated its guidance on “COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws”. The update comes in the form of an update to several questions in the Q&A section, including a question about administering COVID-19 viral tests in the workplace. We’ve included a brief summary for convenience below:

Employers “will need to assess whether current pandemic circumstances and individual workplace circumstances justify viral screening testing” for employees, the agency said in an update to its technical assistance guidance.
Previously, it said COVID testing for on-site employees was legal across the board. Now, employers will have to prove that testing employees is a “business necessity,” which can be based on factors like community transmission, workers’ vaccination status, or certain working conditions.

Continued Reaction to Dobbs
The Biden Administration is relying on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) for the proposition that abortions performed to save a patient’s life or well-being are legally protected regardless of state laws that may prohibit them. The EMTALA requires hospitals to treat people experiencing emergency medical conditions, including pregnant patients whose health is in “serious jeopardy.”

“Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care — including abortion care,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release. “Today, in no uncertain terms, we are reinforcing that we expect providers to continue offering these services, and that federal law preempts state abortion bans when needed for emergency care.” We will continue to update you on developments with the Dobbs ruling as necessary, but please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions on how this ruling may impact your employees.

Things to Consider for Businesses with Remote Workers
For those employers with employees continuing to work remotely, we encourage you to read this article for best practices on setting pay and expectations for remote workers.

As the workspace has shifted to remote work, you might also want to reconsider how you onboard remote employees. This article offers great input on the best ways to onboard remote employees.

Social Security Administration Update
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed E-Verify operations. Starting July 15, 2022, employees whose E-Verify cases are referred to SSA on or after July 15, 2022, will have the normal 8 federal working days to contact their local SSA office to begin resolving the mismatch. We encourage you to read this update from E-Verify to be informed.

Federal Judge Blocks Guidance on LGBTQ Workers
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee last week temporarily invalidated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. EEOC that held LGBTQ+ employees are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit surrounds access to gender neutral bathrooms and the use of proper pronouns when speaking to transgender employees. We encourage you to read this article for a summary of the suit, as well as equal treatment and stopping discrimination for LGBTQ+ employees.

Finally, for those of you with open enrollment for benefits on the horizon, here is an incredibly well-written article for how to fine-tune your benefits plan before open enrollment begins.

Hope you are having a great week!
Dave and Teresa

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