The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, and because of that, so are the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) official guidelines.
Just recently, the CDC gave the green light for completely vaccinated people to gather indoors without masks or social distancing.
With this announcement and everyone ready to get back to normal, a lot of people might incorrectly assume workplace safety measures aren’t necessary anymore.
But there are still a lot of considerations employers must make.
Ask yourself this
Before bringing workers back full time, here are some questions you should ask yourself, straight from the CDC’s website:
- Are any employees primary caregivers, or do they live with someone at higher risk of a severe case of COVID-19? Some accommodations like remote work may still have to be made for certain employees who have people at home depending on them.
- How long will employees be interacting with each other? Can you minimize those? You may have to reorganize the layout of your workspace to keep people as distanced as possible. It’s also a good idea to continue virtual meetings to prevent overcrowding in conference rooms.
With certain regulations relaxing, it’s up to employers to figure out what kind of COVID-19 safety protocols they want to have.
Here are recommendations from employment law attorneys Mark Goldstein and Alexandra Manfredi of the firm Reed Smith LLP:
- Employee screenings. Employers should continue to take workers’ temperatures and inquire about possible COVID-19 symptoms.
- Face coverings. Employees should still be wearing masks in the workplace, especially when social distance isn’t possible. Employers should provide face coverings.
- Written safety plan. Companies with in-person operations must have a written plan detailing all the protocols they have in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- Travel procedures. Some travel restrictions are still in place, so it’s important to make sure employees are complying with these. Consider if workers should isolate upon returning from their trip.
- Sick leave. While federal-mandated COVID-19 sick leave has expired, employers still may want to offer this benefit.
Info: bit.ly/guidance624, bit.ly/CDC624