Lawrence & Bundy Expands its Litigation Team with the addition of R. Javoyne Hicks, Monica Owens, and Bria Stephens
ATLANTA (February 16, 2022) - Lawrence & Bundy, a nationally recognized boutique litigation firm, announced today the addition of three attorneys to its Atlanta office. The new hires reflect the firm’s continued strategic growth over the past several months.
By Allegra Lawrence-Hardy and Lisa Haldar
Unsurprisingly, our 2022 employer resolutions are generally all tied in some way to
the COVID-19 pandemic -- vaccine protocols, remote work and even vacation
policies. While these issues are not new, the landscape under which employers are
addressing these issues has changed dramatically and continues to do so as the
Lawrence & Bundy Named in U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Firms” and Benchmark Litigation “Leading Law Firm” Rankings
For the sixth consecutive year, Lawrence & Bundy has been named to the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list. As part of the 2022 selection of distinguished firms, Lawrence & Bundy received one national ranking and six regional rankings, including two highest regional Atlanta rankings in the areas of commercial litigation and labor & employment litigation. Rankings are reflective of professional excellence, quality of legal practice, professionalism, integrity, and the high level of respect a firm has earned from clients and peers.
OSHA’s Large Employer Vaccine Mandate in Limbo Following Court Action: Ten Steps Employers Should Still Take Now
On November 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) giving companies with at least 100 employees two choices: 1) require all employees except those with religious or medical accommodations to become fully vaccinated (which does not include receiving a booster shot) before January 4; or 2) require employees who are not fully vaccinated to begin wearing a face covering when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes after December 5 and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing after January 4.[i] Through the ETS, OSHA intends to preempt any State or local requirements that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, face-covering, or testing.
The 2020 election saw the highest voter turnout in the U.S in over a century, breaking records nationwide despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet since then, many states have either proposed or enacted legislation to make it more difficult for voters to vote.
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On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a six-pronged national strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Several of these initiatives will significantly impact employers, the most notable being that all companies with 100 or more employees (including private employers) must require their employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.2 Large employers must also provide paid time off to employees for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or recover post-vaccination.3 While many large employers, including Google, Facebook, McDonald’s, Walmart, and Microsoft, had already announced some form of vaccine mandates, many other employers are still grappling with the decision. For better or worse, President Biden has taken the decision away from those employers subject to his action plan.
Only months after issuing guidance excusing most employers (outside of the healthcare and transportation industries) from taking steps to protect their workforce from COVID-19 exposure, the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) seemingly backtracked. Based on increased risks associated with the Delta variant of the virus and updated direction from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), OSHA updated its prior COVID-19 safety guidelines on August 13, 2021 (“OSHA’s Update”). We address what OSHA’s Update provides; its legal/regulatory impact; and its impact on employers generally.
Lawrence & Bundy LLC is pleased to congratulate seven of its attorneys who were selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® and Ones to Watch 2022. Leslie J. Bryan, Thomas R. Bundy III, Celeste Coco-Ewing, Maia Cogen, Kathy Glennon, Allegra J. Lawrence-Hardy, and Michelle L. McClafferty* received the distinction after undergoing Best Lawyers® extensive peer-review process.
Department of Labor Issues Updated COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines and Required Safety Standards for Healthcare Employers
On June 10, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued updated COVID-19 safety guidelines for all employers1 and a long-awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”)2 containing safety requirements to protect workers who face the highest COVID-19 hazards – workers in healthcare settings treating suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. The updated guidelines were anticipated in light of the CDC’s updated guidance regarding safety protocols for fully vaccinated individuals. Employers in healthcare in particular should take note of the new standards.
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