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With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading across the United States, and cases and hospitalizations on the rise, many employers are taking actions to protect their employees.
Vaccination Workplace Policies
By being creative, adaptive, and flexible, employers are refining their workplace strategies to find what works for their businesses and keep employees and customers safe. Many employers are encouraging employees to get vaccinated before returning to work, while others are making it mandatory.
After months of encouraging employees to get vaccinated, some organizations are taking a rigid stance against COVID-19. Last December, the EEOC said that employers could require employees to get vaccinated as a condition for going back to work with some accommodation exceptions. Employers who are considering a vaccination mandate should consult with local legal counsel about policies and employee exceptions.
Many employers have become a trusted source of pandemic information for employees, so employers are using their influence to encourage vaccinations. This option is common for employers not choosing to make vaccinations mandatory.
Layered Prevention Strategies
One way to protect against the Delta variant is to implement a layered prevention strategy to reduce transmission.
Testing may be ideal for those businesses where remote work isn’t an option. Consistent testing also helps employers reinforce that employees should continuously monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home if they feel unwell.
Reestablish Preventative Measures
Social distance and mask-wearing may have become less common in the workplace lately. But as coronavirus cases are on the rise, employers may want to bring back these workplace safety and health measures.
Delayed Return-to-Work Plans
Another way that employers can reduce the risk or exposure and transmission is by delaying employees’ return-to-work or limiting the number of employees in the workplace. This could be done by hybrid work or staggered schedules.
With Delta and potential new variants increasing, many organizations and communities will likely experience rising cases in the upcoming months. It’s important for employers to communicate transparently about exposures in workplaces while respecting employees’ medical privacy.
Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, customers, and communities. Organizations must continue to monitor the pandemic, assess the local threat and emerging variants, and weigh their options for minimizing coronavirus exposure in the workplace.
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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.
National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.