Tagged: Layoff

EEOC Injects Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Practices in the Workplace

In the wake of the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addressed a question weighing heavily on the minds of businesses and their employees: can an employer require its employees to get vaccinated? The EEOC’s December 16, 2020 guidance answered that question in the affirmative, but, as with most pronouncements during the pandemic, the issue is far from simple, and employers must pay close attention to what the guidance says, and what it does not say, when crafting their COVID-19 vaccination policies. The EEOC Guidance characterizes an employer-mandated vaccine as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-permitted, safety-based qualification standard, akin to “a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.” Employers can require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but must allow for exceptions where employees are unable to receive the vaccine because of either disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs. Employees with Disabilities: Where a mandatory vaccination policy would screen out an individual with a disability, the employer must show that the unvaccinated employee would pose a direct threat in the workplace due to a “significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or...

The New Jersey WARN Act and the Coronavirus Epidemic—An Update

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law new amendments to the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act, more commonly referred to as the New Jersey WARN Act. The new amendments apply to the current statute and to prior amendments enacted on January 21 of this year that were to take effect on July 19, 2020. A full discussion of the January 21 amendments can be found here. Once the January 21 amendments go into effect, the Act will require employers with 100 or more employees to give advance notice to the affected employees of any reduction in force involving at least 50 employees. Employees not given the required notice currently may bring a civil action for damages; when the January 21 amendments take effect, even when an employer complies with the Act’s notice requirements, each affected employee will be entitled to severance pay in an amount equal to one week of pay for each year of service. The new amendments to the Act have important implications for the Act’s notice and severance provisions. On March 13, 2020, President Trump utilized the National Emergency Act to declare a national emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak. Under the current WARN Act and the January 21 amendments, an...

NJ WARN Act May Apply to Parent and Affiliated Companies

The Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (the “New Jersey WARN Act”), may apply not only to the direct employer, but also to parent and affiliated companies if certain factors are present. In DeRosa v. Accredited Home Lenders, Inc., et al., the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that, “in determining single-employer status under the New Jersey WARN Act, [] courts should apply the five-factor test” applicable to its federal counterpart, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (the federal WARN Act). Those factors, set forth at 20 C.F.R. 639.3(a)(2) are:”(i) common ownership, (ii) common directors and/or officers, (iii) de facto exercise of control, (iv) unity of personnel policies emanating from a common source, and (v) the dependency of operations.” The appellate court left open the possibility that other tests may also apply, such as the common law standard for piercing the corporate veil and the integrated enterprise or integrated employer tests.