The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

HR and the Courts

by CUPA-HR

CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent rulings around New York City teachers contesting the validity of public and private employer vaccine mandates, student workers at a private university seeking union formation and bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act, several states considering contesting or altering the OSHA vaccine mandate, a sex harassment case and a disability discrimination case.

House Passes Bills to Protect Older Job Applicants and Strengthen Domestic Violence Prevention and Survivor Support Services

by CUPA-HR

On October 26 and November 4, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021, and H.R. 3992, the Protect Older Job Applicants (POJA) Act of 2021, respectively. Both bills passed by a close bipartisan vote — the former by a vote of 228-200 and the latter 224-200 — and are supported by President Biden.

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard and CMS Interim Final Rule on Vaccination Requirements Released

by CUPA-HR

On November 4, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued their highly anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard and interim final rule setting vaccination requirements for employers with 100 or more employees and healthcare workers, respectively. Under the new policies, covered employers with 100 or more employees, healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid, AND federal contractors requiring vaccinations under Executive Order 14042 will be required to be fully vaccinated — either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson — by January 4, 2022.

DHS Issues Request for Public Comment on Form I-9 Employment Verification

by CUPA-HR

On October 26, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Request for Public Input (RPI) “seeking comments from employers, employer organizations, employee groups, and other members of the public on document examination practices for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.” The RPI is the agency’s next step in determining whether the remote document examination flexibilities that have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic should be continued on a permanent basis.

House Passes Bill to Increase Workplace Protections for Nursing Mothers

by CUPA-HR

On October 22, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R.3110, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 276 -149 and was supported by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and advocacy organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

White House Reviews OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

by CUPA-HR

On October 12, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent their COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Rulemaking (ETS) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is the White House office responsible for reviewing regulations and proposed regulations before they are publicly released. 

HR and the Courts

by CUPA-HR

CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent rulings around student-athletes and whether they are considered employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), whether Black Lives Matter demonstrations and demonstrations opposing crackdowns on undocumented workers are protected concerted activity under the NLRA, and legislation aimed at softening federal workplace vaccine mandates.

3 Takeaways From the CUPA-HR Annual Conference

by CUPA-HR

Thank you to all who attended the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo in person and virtually this week! It was wonderful to welcome new and familiar faces, celebrate CUPA-HR’s 75th anniversary, and explore outstanding sessions with so many of you. For those who weren’t able to attend, here are three conference takeaways you can put to use wherever you are.

NLRB General Counsel Releases Memo on Employee Status for Student Athletes

by CUPA-HR

On September 29, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo released a memorandum stating her position that student athletes (or “Players at Academic Institutions,” as she refers to them in the memo) are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are afforded all statutory protections as prescribed under the law.

IRS Issues Employer Guidance on COVID-19 Paid Leave Tax Credits

by CUPA-HR

On September 7, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2021-53, which includes guidance to employers on reporting the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees for leave taken in 2021 as provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.