As many employers develop and implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies, the legal landscape for federal and private vaccine mandates continues to develop. Below are a few recent developments in this area for all employers to consider:
California signed into law last week a number of measures intended to address environmental concerns in consumer products and packaging, including a ban on use of the chasing arrows recycling symbol unless the product or packaging meets statewide recyclability criteria. The law takes effect January 1, 2024.
On June 25, 2021, the Supreme Court issued an important decision on Article III standing in class actions that will have a significant impact on the way class actions are certified – and will likely scuttle numerous settlements that have not yet received final approval. In TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez (2021) 141 S.Ct. 2190, the Supreme Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision certifying a class of 8,185 individuals as to whom TransUnion had erroneously placed an Office of Foreign Assets Control alert into their credit files – in effect, labeling them as a terrorist, narco-trafficker, or serious criminal — in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Through FCRA, Congress imposed a requirement on credit reporting agencies to make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of credit reports and created a private right of action which makes “Any person who willfully fails to comply with any [FCRA] requirement … liable to that consumer” for actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. § 1681n(a). A jury ultimately awarded the class $60 million in statutory and punitive damages.
A California federal district court has held that the website of Domino’s Pizza violates the ADA, following a long saga that included the Ninth Circuit’s reversal of the district court’s prior dismissal of the case.
As employers make plans to modify pandemic-related work-from-home arrangements and require employees to come into the workplace, many have wrestled with “the vaccination status question.” Should employers ask employees whether they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or even require employees to provide proof of vaccination before returning to work (subject to certain accommodation obligations)?
BCLP has been tracking enacted biometric privacy statutes and proposed legislation across the United States. This Alert provides a map highlighting the current status of biometric privacy-related laws and pending legislation. Existing laws have led to a boon of class action litigation for claimed violations of biometric privacy rights. It is therefore imperative that businesses remain informed of their obligations, which are increasingly expanding and arising in new jurisdictions. BCLP continues to monitor as newly proposed legislation proliferates. Please check back here periodically for updates.