Employers continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and with more and more states reopening, some areas already are experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and experts predict a resurgence in many other areas.
Here are some best practices employers should keep in mind during this time:
- The CDC, state, and local guidance continues to frequently evolve and is expected to continue to do so. Appointing someone on your team to stay on top on these changes will help to keep your policies and procedures compliant.
- Remind and enforce. Enforcement of your own policies and procedures is just as important as implementing them.
- With the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) set to expire on December 31, 2020 amid employees' continued increasing use of FFCRA leave, employers should prepare for a possible extension of FFCRA by Congress, states to implement their own leave laws to fill the gap if FFCRA expires, and/or for employees to look to their employers for job protected leave for childcare and COVID-related matters.
- Assume there will be workplace exposures; prepare your plans now.
- While an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine will not likely be available until well into 2021, employers should plan now for whether and how to approach employee vaccinations as part of an overall workplace safety program. For most employers, mandatory vaccination policies are fraught with liability risks and practical challenges. Instead, employers should consider encouraging employees to get vaccinated on a voluntary basis through education and on-site vaccination clinics.
Please reach out to me or your Nixon Peabody Labor & Employment attorney with any questions.