This episode will focus on COVID-19 issues. There have been several new developments in 2021 that impact employers’ approaches to COVID-19. In this episode:
FFCRA Leave - The FFCRA has again been extended on a voluntary basis so that employers can offer leave through September 30, 2021. Employers who elect to continue offering leave need to be aware of some changes to FFCRA leave.
COVID-19 Vaccinations - Last year, the EEOC issued its guidance for employers on COVID-19 vaccination policies that allows employers to require vaccinations with certain exceptions. Several states are not considering legislation that would make mandatory vaccination policies unlawful and at least one lawsuit has been filed over a mandatory vaccination policy.
Federal Unemployment Benefits - Most stats have taken the position that employees who refuse to work based on a generalized fear of contracting COVID-19 are not eligible for unemployment benefits. In recent guidance, the U.S. Department of Labor has stated that employees may refuse to work and still be eligible for benefits if they certify that their employer is not following applicable safety guidelines, such as requiring masks and social distancing.
New OSHA Program - On March 12, 2021, OSHA instituted a National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to COVID-19. The program has several elements but most importantly for employers, it requires OSHA regional offices for focus their inspection efforts on COVID-19 and creates a list of high risk industries, businesses in which may be subject to OSHA inspections.
Listen in to find out what these issues mean for your business.
More information on the OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) regarding COVID-19 is here:
Comments or questions: Contact Mark Chumley at [email protected] or visit www.kmklaw.com
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