How Government Contractors Can Mitigate Potential Impacts of a Government Shutdown

As of this writing, and in the absence of a continuing resolution being enacted by Congress, there will be a shutdown of most government operations on October 1, 2021.  It is not clear whether the House and the Senate will be able to pass a continuing resolution before that date.  PilieroMazza summarizes below steps government contractors should consider to prepare for and mitigate damages arising from a government shutdown.  We also identify important labor and employment issues that contractors should keep . . . Read More

President Biden Issues Unprecedented COVID-19 Requirements for Private Employers and Government Contractors on National Scale

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced sweeping updates to its national strategy to combat COVID-19. The updates come less than a month after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and as the country continues to experience a rise in COVID-19 cases. The plan, which still leaves a number of unanswered questions, including in certain cases a timeline for implementation, is available here . Below is PilieroMazza’s summary of key updates to the Biden Administration’s vaccination . . . Read More

OFCCP Audits Are Coming: 7 Tips to Help You Prepare

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) just released its FY 2021 list of Supply & Service contractors it expects to audit (see FY 2021 CSAL Supply & Service ). With enforcement a primary goal of OFCCP, preparing for an audit is key. If your company is on the list, PilieroMazza ’s Labor & Employment Group suggests you follow these 7 tips to properly prepare for an OFCCP audit to avoid potential penalties and possible loss of your government contract. Get your paperwork in order and organize all your documentation, . . . Read More

DOL/OSHA Implements COVID-Related Employee Safety Standards for Healthcare Employers

Building on President Biden’s Executive Order on Protective Worker Health and Safety issued on January 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard ( ETS ) aimed at workers in healthcare settings. Specifically, the ETS, issued on June 10, 2021, requires certain healthcare employers to take measures to protect their workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.  This includes employees in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, . . . Read More

A Decision Right Up an Employee’s Alley: Recent Virginia Federal Court Opinion Weakens Protections for Companies Utilizing Consultants and Independent Contractors

Government contractors and commercial businesses alike frequently retain consultants and independent contractors to perform certain types of work, particularly in the construction, healthcare, and information technology industries. This is so because utilizing independent contractors, as opposed to employees, can offer some attractive benefits to companies. For instance, utilizing independent contractors may reduce company overhead, general and administrative, and fringe benefit expenses; it may allow for flexible work schedules, particularly on projects with indefinite schedules or workloads; and it may permit . . . Read More

Return to Work: Employer-Mandated COVID Vaccination Policies and Accommodating Employee Disabilities and Religious Beliefs

With over 50% of the adult population in the United States having received at least one dose of a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID), many businesses and employers are looking forward to a “return to normal” and their employees coming back to the workplace. One common consideration is whether an employer should implement mandatory COVID vaccination requirements as part of their return-to-work policies. Employers must be mindful of ensuring that their return-to-work policies, including any vaccination mandates, comply . . . Read More

Rescue Plan Update: The State of FFCRA and Other State COVID-19 Paid Leave

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law, providing an estimated $1.9 trillion in stimulus to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the various relief provisions are updates to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave requirements. While there is no mandate for employers to continue providing FFCRA leave, an employer who chooses to do so can still take the associated tax credits for an additional period of time, . . . Read More

Changes to Pay Equity Law Are Coming: It’s Time to Consider Auditing Your Pay Practices

Amidst all of the promises and actions taken by the Biden Administration, the topic of pay equity is gaining more and more attention. While there has been growing momentum on the issue for years now, the Biden Administration is making it clear that that momentum will materialize into actual changes in the law on the federal front. As such, it is critical that commercial businesses and federal contractors take proactive measures now, including conducting proactive pay analyses with legal counsel, . . . Read More

COVID-Related Construction Claims: 4 Key Strategies for Recovery

The construction industry has seen increased costs and contract performance concerns resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. For construction firms contracting with the government, it is critical to understand how to position the firm to recover increased costs. Following are four key recovery strategies to better prepare you before filing a claim or request for equitable adjustment (REA). 1. Understand How Contract Provisions Help Carefully examine the contract to identify provisions that may excuse delays or provide for recovery in . . . Read More

Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act: How It May Impact Maryland Employers

Although many employers have taken discretionary measures to protect essential employees, there are currently few mandated health and safety requirements at the federal or state level. On January 20, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly’s Senate and House of Delegates introduced the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act . With the bill, Maryland is now considering joining the growing group of states that are imposing requirements on employers who employ essential workers or require employees to work on-site. If passed, it would require employers who employ “essential . . . Read More