This week, two different sets of guidance were published that impact employers’ COVID-19 policies.
First, on July 27, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance to recommend that all persons, including those who are vaccinated, wear masks in indoor public settings in locales with substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19.
Second, on July 29, 2021, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 224, which “strongly encourage[s]” employers to follow the CDC guidance and also verify the vaccination status of employees and ... Read More
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated Question and Answer Guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations today. The new guidance clarifies several issues that were making some employers reluctant to provide incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated. They also provide some clarification for employers implementing vaccination policies that differentiate among vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. Below are some of the highlights from the new guidance:
- Employers may require that all employees physically entering the workplace be vaccinated ...
On March 8, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. (A person becomes “vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.) The public guidance is based on a contemporaneously issued science brief describing preliminary evidence that the vaccines are effective against a variety of coronavirus strains (except a strain out of South Africa) and a growing body of evidence that vaccinated people may be ... Read More
On Dec. 2, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance to local health departments regarding their options and choices for shortening the length of quarantine after a person is exposed to the COVID-19 virus or has traveled internationally.
Prior guidance required that a person quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure to a COVID-positive person, regardless of any negative test. The purpose of the quarantine period is to prevent spread of the virus by people who may be contagious but never develop symptoms, and to ... Read More
The one constant in the COVID-19 pandemic is that the guidance keeps changing. We have highlighted it before and we’ll do it again: Part of every employer’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan needs to include the designation of someone in the company who will periodically review the website for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other key organizations such as the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services for changes to their guidance on COVID-19 precautions.
On Monday, the CDC changed key elements in its recommendation for determining when a ... Read More
As doors are re-opening and employees are returning to work, businesses should take measures to protect themselves—including their employees, customers, finances, and brand—as much as possible. Outlined below are a few measures businesses can take now to avoid pitfalls from COVID-19.
What steps should I be taking to protect my business going forward?
Measures to take may include:
- Familiarize yourself with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). If you employ 500 or fewer individuals, your employees are likely covered by the FFCRA. The FFCRA provides for ...
Three agencies have provided updated guidance for employers on essential COVID-19 issues:
- The Department of Labor (DOL) addressed how new leave laws apply to these situations:
- Domestic workers;
- Those working through temporary agencies;
- Employees who previously were working from home without the need for leave, but now need leave to care for children;
- Handling employees absent for symptoms of COVID-19; and
- Leave to care for children as schools close for the summer rather than due to COVID-19.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clarified how to handle the return of ...
As shelter-in-place orders begin to lift around the country and here in North Carolina, it is time for companies to shift from disaster response—making it through the immediate needs of the COVID-19 crisis and related shutdown—to plans for long-term business operations in the new normal.
Although the details remain murky in many ways, there are steps that business can take now to ensure their best chances at viability in a changed social and economic environment. Business owners will need to keep close tabs on the latest legal requirements and analyze, with the help of counsel and ... Read More
Brooks Pierce has been honored to have so many North Carolina employers rely on us for up-to-date guidance on personnel matters stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. We will continue to produce, update, and post alerts for employers on our COVID-19 Response Resource Center as promptly as possible. Employers can also expect timely webinars and roundtables from us in the coming weeks, as well as the ability to review past webinars by viewing the recordings on our website.
The following checklist is our latest tool offered to North Carolina employers. It condenses information from ... Read More
An employee may have been exposed to COVID-19. What do you do?
This question is becoming more common for essential businesses that continue to operate during quarantines. On April 8, the CDC issued a new Interim Guidance explaining how to keep essential employees working following potential exposure to COVID-19. They also provide a printable flyer for the workplace.
The new guidance permits employees with possible exposure to return to work provided they are (1) asymptomatic and (2) take the following additional precautions:
- The employer should measure the employee’s ...
Updated March 27, 2020
In light of CDC recommendations regarding COVID-19, on March 15, 2020, North Carolina Gov. Cooper issued an executive order closing all public schools in North Carolina for two weeks, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, through March 30, 2020. On March 23, 2020, Gov. Cooper extended the closure to May 15, 2020.
North Carolina State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction is providing North Carolina-specific guidance regarding what local boards of education and school districts are to do while schools are not in session and when ... Read More
U.S. employers recognize that COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the coronavirus) presents a potential hazard to the well-being of their employees, and many have already taken practical steps to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease in the workplace. All employers are encouraged to review guidelines recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (available here) for employer-specific strategies to combat the coronavirus.
While physically preparing workplaces and instructing employees about best practices is vitally important, employers ... Read More
- President Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic” Imposes New Vaccination Requirements
- Updated CDC Masking Guidance; North Carolina Employers Strongly Encouraged to Implement COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing, and Mask Policies
- OSHA’s New Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers
- North Carolina Governor Extends Certain COVID-19 Measures
- New from OSHA on COVID-19: A COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare and Revised Guidance for All Other Employers
- Employer-Provided Incentives for Vaccinations—Finally Some Guidance
- Employers Considering Differential Treatment Based on Vaccination Status
- North Carolina Governor Lifts Mass Gathering and Social Distancing Limits and Most Mask Mandates
- North Carolina Governor Relaxes Outdoor Mask Mandate and Eases Mass Gathering Limit
- Availability of Health Insurance Subsidy Requires Employers to Act