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4 Tips to Help Benefits Plans Achieve Mental Health Parity

As federal benefits regulators turn their focus toward plans' mental health offerings and California lawmakers expand plans' obligations in that area, now is a great time for employers to ensure their plan approaches mental health treatment the same way as traditional medical care. In a recent article by Law360, McDermott partner Judith Wethall helps explain the importance of mental health parity in benefits plans. Access the article.

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Can Employers Require Workers to Get Flu Shots?

Flu season is officially here, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic's continued effects across the country, doctors are imploring people to get their annual flu shot. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro discussed approaches and options for employers as they consider making the flu vaccine mandatory. Access the article.

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CCPA Amendment Update: California Legislature Approves Exceptions for HIPAA De-Identified Information and Other Health Data

On September 25, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law California AB 713, which amends the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to except from its requirements certain health information, including information that has been de-identified in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The bill’s enactment eases some of the CCPA compliance challenges experienced by the health care and life sciences industries by more closely aligning the CCPA with HIPAA and other laws governing human subjects research. The new law also amends the CCPA to except all business associates to the extent that they maintain, use or disclose patient information in the same manner as protected health information under HIPAA. Access the article.

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Healthcare Employers: What You Need to Know about the New FFCRA “Health Care Provider” Exclusion and California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Healthcare employers are immediately impacted by two recent developments in federal and California COVID-19 paid leave laws: a Department of Labor revision to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and a new California supplemental paid sick leave legislation. For both changes in the law, quick action is required for compliance. Access the article.

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Can Employers Make Vaccines Mandatory in a Pandemic?

Even though a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 isn't available yet, it's not too early for employers to start considering whether they will require employees to get the vaccination when it is ready. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partners Michelle Strowhiro and Sandy DiVarco highlighted some of the factors, considerations and accommodations that may be necessary once a vaccine is ready. Access the article.

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Employers Grapple with Workers’ Off-Duty Behavior

Employees gathering with friends, expressing their political views and posting about these things on social media have created for employers an increasingly urgent question: When the people engaging in unsafe or politically charged behavior are your employees, and the conduct happens off the clock, is it appropriate or even possible to discipline them? Access the article.

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California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act (AB 1867): Paid Leave, Notice and Posting Requirements Effective Immediately

On September 9, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1867, the California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Act. According to the law, employers with more than 500 employees nationally, and employers of healthcare-provider and emergency-responder employees previously exempted from Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements, must provide California employees with two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for specified COVID-19 reasons. Additionally, the law requires employers to comply with urgent-notice and posting requirements that are administratively burdensome. Access the article.

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