Ten years ago, would you have guessed that public health law would be a hot topic now? (Or election law, for that matter?) As much as the Affordable Care Act has withstood repeated assaults since its passage, the realm of public health law had remained something of an obscure redoubt. No longer. Since the start of the pandemic, the Marin Lawyer has covered some of the attendant legal issues and we continue to do so with this issue that brings you updates on health regulation.

We start with two articles on a topic much in the headlines of late: vaccination and the workplace. Returning contributor Cari Cohorn gives us a broad overview of the law regulating vaccine mandates in the workplace, including alternatives to mandates, confidentiality and required exemptions. Diane Marie O’Malley and Sandra Rappaport give us a quick history of the caselaw on vaccine mandates and then explore in more depth the EEOC’s recent guidance on the issues stemming from workplace vaccine mandates. A short article from Cynthia Moreno educates us that COVID-19 can be an occupational injury and a cause for worker’s compensation.

Moving beyond the realm of COVID-19, Kelly Matayoshi and MaryJo Lopez inform us about the FASTER Act and that not only will we be seeing “sesame” on food allergy labels now, we can expect more changes in food allergy laws. If you are not familiar with the Ritter Center, be sure to read our nonprofit profile to learn how connected housing is to health even in normal times but especially with COVID-19.

Marin County Law Library Director Laurie Vaala-Olsen reports that the library is approaching normal operations but two of its major programs take place via Zoom, including Lawyers in the Library. Lawyers in the Library is celebrating its five-year anniversary and if you have not yet volunteered for this program, I encourage you to see how rewarding it is and how convenient to do with Zoom. Read Laurie’s article to see how easy it is to sign up.

MCBA board member Kris Cirby (who is being honored at next week’s MTLA Annual Judges’ Dinner!) interviewed Assistant County Administrator Angela Nicholson. Read Kris’ interview to learn about Angela and her role in Marin’s pandemic response. And if you missed Congressman Jared Huffman’s conversation with MCBA during last week’s general membership meeting, we recap the many important topics covered, from the infrastructure bills to fires to drought and climate change more broadly.

Finally, I encourage everyone to watch MCBA President Tim Nardell’s video president’s message. In case you are not aware, Legal Aid of Marin has greatly expanded its capacity in the face of ever-expanding demand for its services, not least from the pandemic. Tim interviews Laura McMahon, LAM’s new pro bono manager. Many of you know Laurie Joyce, LAM’s wonderful former pro bono coordinator, a job she did part-time. The job has now expanded to a full-time position to reflect how critical the numerous pro bono volunteers are—many from MCBA’s membership—to the success of LAM’s mission. I have been volunteering through LAM and Vivalon with Marin’s seniors for a number of years and find it deeply rewarding. If you don’t already count yourself as one of LAM’s volunteers, I encourage you to get in touch with Laura and see what pro bono opportunities suit your expertise and desires.