Law & Policy Insights

Kemp v. Bottoms Unmasked: Emergency Powers and State Preemption

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response

July 23, 2020

Posttraumatic growth has been defined as “positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.” It is generally discussed as an individual phenomenon that may be supported in the clinical setting, but the concept may warrant consideration at the population level, as public health practitioners and policy-makers seek to address wide-spread traumatic experiences in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and racial trauma.

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State Mandates Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19

July 17, 2020

Many are optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine will allow us to return to “life as we know it,” with worry-free in-person gatherings like large sporting events and in-person university classes. While a vaccine is likely not the cure-all to the coronavirus pandemic and all it has brought with it, development of a safe and widely available vaccine will certainly signal a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Legal and Policy Action Now Can Lay the Groundwork for Posttraumatic Growth

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Mental Health and Well-Being

July 16, 2020
by Jill Krueger

Posttraumatic growth has been defined as “positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.” It is generally discussed as an individual phenomenon that may be supported in the clinical setting, but the concept may warrant consideration at the population level, as public health practitioners and policy-makers seek to address wide-spread traumatic experiences in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and racial trauma.

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The Navajo Nation Responds to COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Tribal HealthSocial and Community Context

June 30, 2020

The Navajo Nation has a long history of having morbidity and mortality rates that are much higher than the rest of the nation due to systemic oppression, underfunding by the Federal government, and lack of resources. In light of these factors, it should come as no surprise that the Navajo Nation is suffering extensively due to COVID-19 as compared to other parts of the U.S.

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Policing as a Social Determinant of Health: Addressing the Public Health Crisis of Systemic Racism

Law & Policy Insights

June 18, 2020

Although racism in the context of policing is often seen as a criminal justice issue, the reality is that racism and policing disparately affect health outcomes, and ultimately all aspects of life, for Black individuals and people of color. Racism and police violence are public health crises. We can begin to solve this crisis by prioritizing policing and systemic racism as critical social determinants of health. Doing so will truly begin to address the underlying needs of vulnerable communities.

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Workplace Disparities: Gaps in COVID-19 Protections for Grocery Workers

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Economic Stability

June 4, 2020

Outside of health care providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery store workers are among the most at-risk essential employees. Protections for grocery workers are particularly important due to the characteristics of the workforce, a significant number of which are people of color and those with disabilities, along with older adults. Despite having a legal requirement to protect employees in the workplace under federal law, and the added efforts many employers have taken, there are still significant gaps in protections.

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Reopening America: Protecting Employees as They Return to Work During COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Social Distancing Measures

May 29, 2020
by Sarah Wetter

Across America, governments are allowing businesses to reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Employees may be eager to return to their jobs and income, but could be at heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission. The "return to work" push is emerging with employees bringing various legal claims. Meanwhile, legislation is arising that could immunize companies complying with state-level or CDC reopening guidance. Yet adhering to guidance is not a foolproof guard against COVID-19, especially as the White House refused to implement CDC’s specific guidelines for reopening businesses such as restaurants, child care centers, churches, and schools. This blog examines legal claims available to employees returning to work and how new legislation could impact public health.

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