Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked OSHA from enforcing a vaccine mandate for large private employers. This ruling essentially stays the OSHA ETS until further legal appeals can be resolved at the Sixth Circuit and perhaps again at the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that the January 10 and February 9 deadlines have been stayed pending further legal proceedings.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on challenges to both the CMS vaccine mandate and the OSHA vaccine-or-test Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for large employers. Most court observers agreed that a majority of the justices were skeptical of OSHA’s ability to impose its mandate, but seemed more receptive to the CMS rule. The Court’s ruling is expected any day.
Biden Administration Requires Insurance Companies, Group Health Plans to Cover At-Home COVID Test Costs Beginning Saturday
As part of an ongoing effort to expand Americans’ access to free testing, the Biden Administration is requiring insurance companies and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests, so people with private health coverage can get them for free starting this Saturday, January 15. The new coverage requirement means that most consumers with private health coverage can go online or to a pharmacy or store, buy a test, and either get it paid for up front by their health plan, or get reimbursed for the cost by submitting a claim to their plan.
Every year Home Care Pulse conducts the largest annual study on the private duty home care industry and publishes the results as the HCP Benchmarking Report. The Report is used by hundreds of agencies to learn best practices, analyze their performance, and make more informed decisions. The Report relies on home care agencies to contribute by taking the survey that supplies this valuable data. HCAOA encourages ALL members to participate – not only will you be helping the industry, but you will also receive discounts on your preorder of the 2022 HCP Benchmarking Report (over 80% off when you complete the survey by January 31st). You’ll also find valuable insights into your own business as you reflect on your 2021 data to prepare for the survey.
The Washington State Legislature and Gov. Inslee have announced plans to change and improve the WA Cares Fund during the 2022 legislative session, which is scheduled to conclude in March 2022. Per direction from the governor, ESD will not collect premiums from employers until April 2022 or until the Legislature gives further direction.
Massachusetts High Court Adopts Federal Standard for Joint Employer Liability Under State Wage and Hour Law
Last month in Jinks v. Credico (USA) LLC, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court concluded that the appropriate method for determining whether two companies were “joint employers” for purposes of the Massachusetts wage and hour laws is to evaluate the “totality of the circumstances of the parties’ working relationship.” This is the same test courts apply when analyzing this issue under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Effective January 1, a new Connecticut state law now require home care agencies to conduct a local and national criminal background check of prospective employees. Also, under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, benefit payments begin for approved paid leave benefit applications.
Chicago employers of domestic workers must provide workers, including home care workers, with a written contact beginning January 1, 2022, under a new ordinance enacted by the Chicago City Council. The ordinance applies to businesses and individuals in Chicago that employ “domestic workers,” including persons whose primary duties include housekeeping, nanny services, caregiving, personal care, or home health services. The contract, which must be written in the worker’s primary languages as requested by the worker, must include the wage and the work schedule agreed upon by the employer and the domestic worker.