COVID-19 and its Delta variant continue to wreak havoc in the workplace. A continually changing landscape of guidelines, mandates, and federal emergency temporary standards (EST) make it increasingly difficult to stay abreast of the private employer’s increasing responsibilities. With more and more private employers implementing – or considering implementing – vaccination mandates, it is important to remember the employer’s duty to safeguard employee medical information.

A new directive from the White House has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tasked with implementing a new emergency rule mandating that employers with 100+ employees require their workforce to be vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to produce negative COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis. Building on earlier vaccination-related mandates – requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated and initiating mandatory vaccinations for employees of federal contractors – President Biden continues to push forward his pandemic recovery battle plan.

The Department of Labor has created a Model Notice of Expiration of Period of Premium Assistance to help COBRA Administrators prepare for the upcoming American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) COBRA subsidy program expiration date of September 30, 2021. Assistance eligible individuals must receive notice of the subsidies expiration date 15 to 45 days in advance (September 15, 2021). 

Teresa McQueen

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