Dog Years and Workplace Law Round Up

This pandemic could be measured in dog years.* Yet there are signs of hope and progress everywhere: more people vaccinated every day, the reopening of most businesses, and spring itself.  So, what do you need to know now?

  • OSHA: Between the general duty clause to provide a safe workplace and the Biden administration’s commitment to enforcement, OSHA continues to play a major role in workplace safety. Do not let up on safety protocols and your safety plan! The number of complaints and referrals to OSHA continues to grow and you do not want to be one of them. Don’t be lulled by the allure of vaccination protection. Listen to Dr. Fauci (especially when he says FIE-ZAH) and stay the course.
  • CDC: With a new leader and a President who listens, the CDC is on a roll. Last week, the CDC issued guidance that employers allow paid time for the vaccine and vaccine-related symptoms. They also encouraged employer-sponsored vaccine programs. If you are interested in a vaccine policy, we can help.
  • COBRA: As we blogged this week, the COBRA subsidy is a very big deal in large part because of the 18-month look back–talk about dog years! Look over your layoffs, separations and any agreements and give us a call if you have questions.
  • FMLA/EFMLA/EPSL: Day in day out, leave questions are the most common ones we get. It’s not you, it is the endless amount of possible facts. Add to that the new leave allowances to the FFCRA under Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) AND Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA): to receive the vaccine; to recover from reaction to the vaccine; and to get tested and await results if a close contact. Before the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), EFMLA was allowed only to care for a child whose school had been closed due to COVID-19. Now, an employee can take the 12 weeks leave for all of the same reasons one could take for the ESPL. The role of the FMLA when other leaves expire or how they run with the other leaves is the hot topic for many employers. Don’t let the alphabet soup of leave laws drive you crazy when there are so many other things to do that.

We can help. Please reach out on this or any other workplace topics.

*Why yes, those are my dogs.