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Patrick Collins Speaks to Somerset County Business Employers and HR Professionals on COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted on March 22nd, 2021

Patrick T. Collins, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, co-presented the webinar “Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccine Information and Your Role as an Employer” on March 17.

“The considerations surrounding how employers will address vaccines in the workplace are many and complex. This is a dynamic area that will continue to change as more employees get vaccinated and as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Employers and HR professionals need to stay on top of the latest guidance as employees continue to return to the workplace,” commented Collins.

About the COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Webinar 

Sejal Sharma, Director of Business Development at RWJUH Somerset, was co-presenter of the webinar, which was co-hosted by the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) HR Roundtable and Employee Wellness Roundtable. Sharma presented information about the vaccine and the vaccination process. Collins, as Chair of the SCBP HR Roundtable, addressed employment law issues regarding vaccinating employees with the COVID-19 vaccine; legal considerations under federal and state anti-discrimination laws and practical guidance on mandatory and non-mandatory vaccination policies and medical and religious exemptions from vaccine requirements; and additional vaccine-related legal considerations involving wage and hour issues, workers’ compensation issues, and vaccine incentive programs that may affect an employer.

About Pat Collins

A resident of Branchburg, Collins practices labor, employment, and personnel law on behalf of employers and management. He is experienced in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Collins represents parties in breach of contract claims, and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.

Collins has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings, and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.

Much of Collins’ practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions that will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. He regularly counsels his clients on matters concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. Collins has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, as well as drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. He has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.

Collins is a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and their Labor & Employment Sections, as well as the Somerset County Bar Association. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey and is a former member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s District XIII Ethics Committee and the Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court.

Collins received his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1983 and his B.S. from Glassboro State College in 1979.