COVID MANDATES ARE CHANGING: SHOULD YOU ADJUST YOUR POLICY?
As more local and state governments drop their COVID regulations, employers are now posed with the question to keep or remove certain policies. Here are some considerations when deciding how to adjust your company COVID procedures.
1: Check all current requirements and look for inconsistencies that may require you to keep certain measures in place like masking.
More than just state requirements, employers also need to look to federal and local requirements. OSHA may hold stricter regulations for businesses than the rules held for the general public. There are also state plans that are OSHA-approved which can offer more specific guidance.
2: Special circumstances may arise having masking requirements.
For example, employees may still have to wear masks in the workplace if they have been exposed or if there is an outbreak in the workplace. Make yourself familiar with your obligations as an employer by checking your state and local public health requirements.
3: Does your industry require stricter COVID protocols?
Is your workplace considered high-risk with close contact among employees or customers? Are you in health care or caring for those with severe illness? Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, employers must protect employees from known workplace hazards “that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” Complete a risk assessment of your workplace through OSHA’s hazard recognition to determine your industry protocols.
4: Employers can choose to still have a masking policy even when not required by local and state governments.
As the employer, you can choose to extend or compound your COVID policy in the workplace for employees and customers. Monitoring the current COVID cases in your local community can help make this decision. You may also have different policies for different job positions based on considerations such as if they are customer-facing or mostly work alone. Be sure to have legitimate business reasons for making separate policies within your business and consider how they impact employees of protected classes. Regardless, be prepared to enforce the policies consistently. Avoid any appearance of discrimination.
5: Always stay up to date on the ever-changing COVID obligations.
As we move through the pandemic, COVID regulations are likely to change, and we must all adjust. Research regularly on your federal, state, and local resource sites to meet these requirements.
Anthros is always here to help you navigate compliance regulations. Contact your Anthros support team to learn how you can stay up to date with COVID regulations and other compliance concerns.