Employer-Provided Vaccines and Workers' Compensation Liability

The labor lawyers at Michael Sullivan & Associates, LLC poses this scenario: An employer arranges vaccinations for its employees. A health-care employer provides its employees with vaccinations. An employer encourages its employees to get vaccinated. An employer tells employees that they may not return to work unless they are vaccinated. Then something goes wrong. An employee has an allergic reaction to the vaccine, or is injured. A claim is filed. Is this a valid work-related injury? The short answer probably is yes, in most cases. Special rules apply to health-care organizations that provide vaccinations to their employees. For all other employers, if the vaccination is caused at least in part by the employment, any resulting injury would be compensable.

Urgent Report: New Executive Order Reduces Quarantine Periods

Two weeks after Cal/OSHA voted and approved emergency COVID-19 regulations, Governor Newsom has issued an Executive Order (PDF) making changes. The changes are intended to relax certain rules to accommodate economic necessities within the confines of safety. They include a reduction in the mandatory quarantine periods, relaxed rules for migrant farm labor, and for retired employees who go back to work. There are also changes made to allow for extension of some tax returns, and appointments to administrative Boards.

Special Report: The WCAB Prepares Local Offices for Walk-Throughs

On Dec. 15, 2020, the WCAB issued its seventh en banc decision regarding COVID-19, “In Re: COVID-19 State of Emergency En Banc –– NO. 7.” This decision suspends CCR 10789(c) which applies to the assignment of judges for walk-through cases. The effect of this is to grant the local district offices the flexibility to manage walk-throughs. This should allow the local district offices, when they are reopened for walk-throughs, to reestablish walk-throughs in a way that their available resources will allow.

How to Preserve Your Company’s Trade Secrets and Employees When Negotiations Are Unsuccessful

If you are contemplating selling your business, you should consider having the acquirer sign an agreement not to disclose your company’s trade secrets or to solicit your employees in the event the acquisition is unsuccessful. In Hooked Media Group, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) had recruited several engineers from Hooked Media Group, Inc. (“Hooked”) to work for them after negotiations to acquire Hooked failed. Though the former Hooked engineers developed for Apple “a detailed plan for a . . . system much like Hooked’s version,” the Court of Appeal held that Apple was not in violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).

Special Report: Cal/OSHA's Sudden COVID-19 Regulation

Cal/OSHA has approved emergency COVID-19 prevention regulations. Upon the expected approval of the Office of Administrative Law, they will become effective by November 30. These extensive and complex regulations place significant and immediate new requirements on employers. They mandate training, demand the drafting and implementation of new COVID-19 prevention manuals, and include provisions requiring the payment of wages and employer-paid COVID testing in certain circumstances.