COVID-19 Update: Returning to the Physical Workplace
Recently, MEA dedicated the entire August 31st Town Hall to discussing the decisions employers are facing when it comes to returning to the physical workplace. To garner insights, we polled our attendees to see what protocols employers have implemented.
Masks in the Workplace
With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) modifying its May masking guidance, many employers are unsure of what to do regarding masking in the workplace. Previously, vaccinated individuals no longer needed to mask indoors or outdoors; however, now the CDC strongly recommends that vaccinated individuals resume wearing masks indoors in areas of high or substantial community spread.
Amy McAndrew polled our attendees to see what they are doing around masking in the workplace. Here are the results:
Vaccinations in the Workplace
Employers also need to think about whether or not they are going to require or recommend the COVID-19 vaccine. Following the full approval of the Pfizer Vaccine from the FDA, more and more companies are requiring the vaccine if they have a legitimate health and safety reason for doing so.
In addition, on September 9, 2021 (well after the August 31st Town Hall), President Biden announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan, which includes COVID-19 vaccine mandates for large employers, the federal government, federal contractors and healthcare entities. Check out the plan.
Whether or not you choose to mandate the vaccine in your workplace, there are things you need to think about – implementing policy, reviewing state law requirements, asking for proof of vaccination. Once again, we polled our attendees to see what employers are doing with regard to vaccinations in the workplace. Here are the results:
Quarantine, Isolation, and PTO policies
With cases still rising, employers need to think about quarantine and isolation periods and how this will affect business operations. Are you going to require some form of documentation for employees to return to work? More importantly, are you going to extend your PTO policy for your sick employees to recover?
To see what other employers are doing, we asked our attendees if they have changed their PTO policies as a result of COVID-19. Here are the results:
To stay up to date with all things COVID-19, register for our Weekly Webinar Tuesdays at 11 am. No matter the topic, we spend 15 minutes discussing COVID-19 updates and best practices.