Businesses Left in Limbo on COVID-19 Mandate

Following a US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision to temporarily block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new vaccine requirement rule, many employers have found themselves in a state of confusion. According to this article published in The Hill, businesses could face steep penalties if they willfully violate the rule, such as fines of more than $130,000. But even though the rule is temporarily blocked, McDermott Partner Michelle Strowhiro said businesses should continue preparing for important OSHA deadlines.

“I think it’s prudent for employers to proceed with planning assuming that the OSHA rule, at least in some form or fashion, will be implemented pending final resolution of the various court cases,” Strowhiro said.

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Artificial Intelligence Myth Versus Reality: Where Do Healthcare Experts Think We Stand?

As the healthcare industry evaluates how to pay for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, industry experts say data and real-world evidence are essential for reaching any payment decisions. In this Forbes article, McDermott Partners Dale C. Van Demark and Jiayan Chen provide insight into some of the regulatory challenges AI presents.

“For AI to be paid for, you need data that shows your product is making a difference,” Chen notes. “To do that, you need massive quantities of data to develop the tool or algorithm, but you also have to show that it works in a real-world setting.”

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Vaccine Exemption Requests Put Legal Departments in Tricky Spot

As more employers mandate vaccines for their workforces, in-house legal departments are encountering a host of challenges, including understanding religious accommodations and minimizing litigation exposure. According to this article published in Law.com, employers should have the ability to navigate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII-related accommodation requests. However, McDermott Partner Carole Spink said many employers have never encountered the current breadth of religious exemption requests from their workforces.

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IRS Announces 2022 Employee Benefit Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase.

View the adjustments here.




California Employers: Your Online Job Advertisements Could Get Your Business in Hot Water

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently announced a new affirmative effort to detect and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act (FCA)—California’s ban-the-box law—by using online technology to identify words and phrases in job advertisements that violate the FCA. The FCA was first enacted on January 1, 2018, to prohibit employers with five or more employees from asking job candidates about their conviction history before making them a job offer.

Read more here.




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