Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for reopening businesses, schools, day camps, health care facilities, mass transit, child care, and other industries.
The following is a snippet of a few topics addressed in the newly released guidance.
· Restaurants and Bars: As restaurants and bars reopen, they must do so while implementing social distancing and reduced capacity. The CDC also recommends implementing formal policies on proper hygiene, including the use of cloth facemasks, cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation, monitoring for signs and symptoms, and encouraging employees to stay at home if ill. Employers are advised to follow applicable OSHA guidance as well.
· High Risk Employees: Employers should encourage high-risk workers to self-identify and avoid making unnecessary medical inquiries. Employers must comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, as appropriate, are encouraged to offer options to telework or duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees.
When scaling up operations, the CDC recommends a three-step process:
· Step 1: Scale up only if the business can ensure strict social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers; workers at higher risk for severe illness are recommended to shelter in place.
· Step 2: Scale up only if the business can ensure moderate social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers; workers at higher risk for severe illness are recommended to shelter in place.
· Step 3: Scale up only if the business can ensure limited social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers.
At each step, companies must apply precautionary measures, such as healthy hygiene practices, cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation, monitoring for signs and symptoms, and planning for when employees become sick. Companies should also encourage any other entities sharing the same workspace to follow the same guidance
The new CDC guidance provides much more in depth information and roadmaps for businesses in various industries as they navigate reopening, and employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this and state and local guidelines.
Please note this current global emergency and applicable laws, regulations, proposals, guidance, advice, and responses change rapidly. We strive to keep you up to date as much as possible, but this blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact myHRcounsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances. Additionally, a legally drafted return to work plan is included in our services. Get started today.
Written by attorney Brittany Nicholls
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