Blog Post
By Robert L. Duston and Carolyn A. Pellegrini

On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID vaccine developed by Pfizer.  On December 18, 2020, the FDA granted similar approval to a vaccine developed by Moderna.  Despite various manufacturing, distribution and logistics issues, over 20 million doses have been administered, and approximately 100 million more doses are expected to be distributed by the end of April, providing significant protection to 60 million people in the U.S.  A third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson may be added in the coming months.  Wider distribution will occur over the following months based upon manufacturing capacity and distribution efforts, but it could be sometime in the fall before everyone who wants the vaccine can receive it.

Blog Post
By Ruth A. Rauls and Lisa M. Koblin

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently issued an Executive Order effective November 5, 2020, mandating new health and safety requirements in the workplace due to the increased spread of COVID-19. These health and safety mandates apply to every business, non-profit and governmental or educational entity that requires or permits any of its workforce to be physically present at a worksite. NJ employers should be prepared to implement daily employee health checks, as well as mandatory social distancing and face masks for all employees, customers and visitors, with very limited exceptions. Employers who fail to institute these measures can be subject to fines, penalties, or their worksites can be shut down by the State. Employers should review their COVID-19-related policies and practices as soon as possible to make sure they are compliant with the Governor’s new Order.

Blog Post
By Ruth A. Rauls and Erik P. Pramschufer

Mandatory arbitration provisions are common features of employment agreements, particularly for large employers. At the same time employers have consistently become more and more reliant on technology and electronic management and training tools for communicating policies to employees. These two initiatives clashed in the case Skuse v. Pfizer, Inc., where the New Jersey Appellate Division initially refused to uphold Pfizer’s arbitration agreement that was e-mailed to employees and contained within an electronic training module. On August 18, 2020, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued the final word, finding that an employee was bound by the arbitration provision by electronically clicking on an “acknowledgment” that she would be bound by the agreement if she continued working.