Labor & Employment E-Note - November 2021

Burr & Forman


Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Updates Guidance for Federal Contractors

On November 10, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force updated its Guidance for Federal Contractors (“Guidance”). As discussed in earlier updates, all federal contracts meeting certain criteria issued after November 15 incorporate the Guidance through FAR Clause 52.223-99 or an agency-specific version of it.

Read the article, written by Mike Rich.

Burr Morning Show Webinar Recording – New COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Rules

On November 9th, Burr & Forman’s health care, government contract, and labor & employment attorneys presented a webinar summarizing the new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers; guidance for federal contractors with respect to vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 safety protocols; and OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard requirements on COVID-19 vaccination and testing.

Click here to view the recording. Speakers included Mike Rich, Angie Smith, Scott Williams, and Amy Jordan Wilkes.

State of Alabama Passes Law Governing COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Requests

On November 5, 2021, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill governing COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests. The law is intended to provide safeguards to employees who refuse an employer-required COVID-19 vaccine, as long as that individual submits a completed exemption form to the employer. The provisions of the law are immediately effective.

Read the article, written by Cayman Caven and Amy Jordan Wilkes.

Interaction of HIPAA and Employer Vaccine Mandates, Birmingham Medical News – November 2021

As we approach various deadlines for COVID-19 vaccine mandates, both in the private and the public sector, there appears to be confusion over when vaccine information may be shared with employers and what obligations employers have, if any, under The Health Information Portability and Accounting Act to protect such information once obtained. To address some of that confusion, the Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance entitled “HIPAA, COVID-19 Vaccination, and the Workplace.”

Read the article, written by Kelli Fleming.

Exploring the Evolution of Marijuana Laws in the Remote Workplace, published in’s November 2021 issue of Corporate Counsel

“Hiring employees to work remotely in states with recreational marijuana laws can raise complex issues. An employer who hires an employee in a state with recreational marijuana laws should ensure that its hiring practices align with state law.”

Read the article, written by Matthew Scully and Diamond Stewart.

Employers in Limbo After Latest Development on OSHA’s Vax Rule published in HR Daily Advisor

Birmingham Partner, Amy Jordan Wilkes, was quoted in this HR Daily Advisor article about OSHA’s new vax-or-testing rule for larger businesses. Read the full article here.

OSHA Issues New Rule for Employee COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

On November 5, 2021, OSHA will publish a new Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) setting forth employee COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees. The ETS becomes effective immediately and requires employers to establish, implement, and enforce an acceptable vaccination policy by December 5, 2021.

Read the article, written by Meghan Cox, Amy Jordan Wilkes and Scott Williams.

Tennessee Passes New COVID-19 Legislation

On October 30, 2021, the Tennessee General Assembly passed significant legislation that severely curtails the ability of private employers in Tennessee to implement COVID-19 restrictions in the workplace. The new law is expected to be signed by Governor Lee later this week and then to take effect immediately.

Read the article, written by Emily Mack, Stephen Price, and Diamond Stewart.

EEOC Issues New Guidance for Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

On October 25, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued new guidance regarding religious objections to workplace COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The new guidance is included in the EEOC’s larger guidance document, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws. These questions and answers collect and expand upon pre-pandemic guidance to help employers navigate issues related to COVID-19 vaccination and the interaction with federal equal employment opportunity laws.

Read the article, written by Nafela Hojeij Helou and Amy Jordan Wilkes.


DOL to Recruit Employees to Turn in Unvaccinated Co-Workers (Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2021-11-09)

U.S. Settles Lawsuit Easing Visa Holders’ Spouses Access to Work (Source: The Hill, 2021-11-10)

DOL Initiative Aims to Raise Workplace Retaliation Awareness (Source: CBS DFW, 2021-11-11)

Employers Increase Mental Health Benefits to Support Workers (Source: Fortune, 2021-11-10)

Small Firms Entice Workers with No Vaccine Mandate (Source: HR Dive, 2021-11-08)

50% of Workers Would Take Pay Cut to Continue Working Remotely (Source: USA Today, 2021-11-11)

OSHA Asks for Public Comments on Workplace Heat Safety Rules (Source: Insurance Journal, 2021-11-01)

Coronavirus Resource Center

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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