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COVID-19

What’s the Latest Protocol for COVID-19?

By Best Practices, COVID-19, Policies and Procedures

It appears that COVID-19 is here to stay; in fact, variants continue to evolve, with BA.5 (part of the Omicron family) the latest that is causing waves of infection globally. Employers must remain vigilant regarding employee health and safety related to COVID-19 exposure and infection. It was recently reported that OHSA extended its COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (NEP), which focuses on how hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities treat or handle COVID-19 patients. Following an…

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It’s Time to Stop Remote Verification of I-9 Forms

By COVID-19, Employment Law, I-9 Forms

During the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) relaxed the procedures for collecting the employee identification documents necessary to complete I-9 Forms. Understandably, some flexibility was necessary as employers were exercising precautions related to physical proximity and in-person meetings. During that time, DHS allowed employers to inspect I-9 identity documents remotely (such as through video link, fax or email) in lieu of performing a physical inspection. However, employers who utilized this option are now…

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End of COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Expired List B Identity Documents

By COVID-19, Employment Law

The Department of Homeland Security is ending its COVID-19 Temporary Policy for List B Identity Documents. Starting May 1, 2022, employers may only accept unexpired List B documents. The temporary policy allowed employers to accept expired forms of List B identity documents, such as driver’s licenses, state and military ID cards, and voter registration cards, in response to the difficulties with renewing documents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that barriers to renewal are largely gone,…

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What Guidelines Does OSHA Offer on Mask Use?

By Best Practices, COVID-19, OSHA Regulations

A client approached me recently about updating their company’s employee handbook to include COVID prevention policies. Specifically, we looked at whether or not OSHA has requirements on mask usage in the workplace. OSHA does not have a specific mask policy that applies to all businesses. However, here are some principles that businesses should keep in mind when creating their workplace policies. Safety first In the context of COVID, OSHA says that its guidance is advisory…

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The Vaccine Mandate is Dead. Now What?

By COVID-19, Vaccine Mandates

After months of speculation and legal challenges, the federal vaccine mandate for employers who have 100 employees or more that went into effect on January 10, 2022 (the “OSHA mandate”), was blocked by the Supreme Court on January 13. The Court did, however, uphold the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare’s (CMS) vaccine mandate for employees of healthcare providers that accept Medicaid or Medicare. What happens next? Businesses covered by the OSHA mandate are no longer…

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Some Businesses May Want to Require Vaccines

By COVID-19, Vacation Policies

Although the federal vaccine mandate overseen by OSHA was struck down by the Supreme Court on January 13, a number of FORTUNE 500 businesses still plan to enforce vaccine requirements for their workforces, even though they’re no longer legally bound to do so. If you believe that vaccine requirements are appropriate for your business, it’s important to put a system in place to track your employees’ vaccination status, as well as record COVID test results…

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How Long Should Employees Quarantine if They Test Positive for COVID-19?

By COVID-19

Absenteeism due to COVID-19 is a big problem for many businesses right now. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a surge in factory workers out sick threatens to worsen supply chain problems such as transportation bottlenecks and delayed deliveries. Masks are making their way back to manufacturing floors, and executives are employing various solutions to fortify their workforces and meet staffing needs. Almost everywhere you look – from trash collection services to restaurants and…

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Healthcare Provider Vaccine Mandate Still in Effect for January 4

By COVID-19, Healthcare Worker Mandate

Employees of healthcare providers that accept Medicare and Medicaid are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, in accordance with a federal vaccine mandate issued in November. However, the situation is a bit of a moving target with court challenges possibly affecting the deadline. What is the healthcare worker mandate? An emergency regulation was issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in November in conjunction with other federal vaccine…

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Vaccine Mandate Looms for Employers

By COVID-19, Employment Law, Employment News, OSHA Regulations, Vaccine Mandates

Under the federal vaccine mandate announced by the Biden administration, many large employers will be required to have their workers vaccinated or subject to weekly COVID-19 testing. The current deadline for compliance is January 4, but the situation is a moving target. On Saturday, November 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit halted the requirements pending their review. Republican attorneys general in at least 26 states have challenged President Biden’s vaccine and…

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