Lawyer Monthly - May 2022

MONTHLY ROUND-UP On 7 April, a US appeals court panel reinstated President Biden’s executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccines for federal civilian employees. On 31 March, a minimum pay standard for Uber and Lyft drivers was signed into law in Washington, making it the first state in the US to implement income standards for ride-hailing companies. Image by Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America - Joe Biden, CC BY-SA 2.0, US COURT REINSTATES BIDEN’S COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE FOR EMPLOYEES UBER AND LYFT DRIVER PAYGUARANTEE SIGNED INTO WASHINGTONLAW A 2-1 vote by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw the removal of an injunction issued by a Texas judge in January that had blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees. Last September, the US President had said he would require approximately 3.5 million government employees to receive their vaccinations against coronavirus by 22 November, with the exception of those with valid medical and religious reasons for not doing so. Failing to get vaccinated, employees would been vaccinated or are seeking medical or religious exemption. Back in January, Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination-orAcross Washington, drivers will now earn a guaranteed minimum of $1.17 per mile and 34 cents per minute with a minimum pay of $3.00 per trip. The new law will see drivers also be given access to paid sick leave, family medical leave, long-term care programmes, and be eligible for workers’ compensation. If removed from Uber or Lyft apps, drivers will now be able to appeal the decision. “This new law decisively gives drivers what they want – face discipline or lose their jobs altogether. The Biden administration said that the federal trial court had no power to hear the dispute, claiming that workers were required to raise any issues through the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA). However, the panel majority said the plaintiffs “seek to circumvent the CSRA’s exclusive review scheme.” According to the US government, over 93% of federal employees have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while approximately 98% have testing mandate for large businesses was blocked by the US Supreme Court, though it allowed a separate federal vaccine mandate for healthcare providers. LM to stay independent while gaining historic new benefits and protections,” said Uber’s head of public policy in the Western US, Ramona Prieto, in a statement. Prieto said Uber hoped the law could be replicated across other US states. Seattle passed its own ride-hailing pay standards back in September 2020, guaranteeing drivers minimum rates of $1.38 per mile and 59 cents per minute at a minimum of $5.17 per trip. LM 6 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | MAY 2022

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