The emergence and subsequent spread of the Delta variant has led several countries, most notably the United States, into adopting more stringent health and safety protocols. On July 29, , President Biden declared that the US government would be imposing vaccination requirements in certain cases and offering additional incentives for its citizens to be vaccinated.
As vaccination rates increase, officials across the country are reconsidering their health and safety protocols and workplace reopening guidance. Here are a few of the most recent changes that employers need to know.
On-site Employee Health Screening No Longer Required in San Francisco but Masks and Distancing Remain
On May 20, 2021, San Francisco’s Department of Public Health updated the city’s Health Order to loosen COVID-19 restrictions. Under the new rules, businesses are no longer required to perform health screenings for all personnel and patrons, unless required by the state. Public health officials credited the ongoing vaccination effort in bringing COVID-19 cases to the lowest levels seen during the pandemic. As of May 19, 76% of eligible San Francisco residents have been vaccinated, one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.…
We identified and mapped out our most relevant blog posts, articles and video chats to serve as a quick and handy roadmap to recovery and renewal for your company.
Our 2021 Employment & Compensation Resource Navigator provides US multinational companies organized links to Baker McKenzie’s most helpful, relevant thought leadership in one brief document. Arranged…
Special thanks to Liliana Hernandez-Salgado for this update.
Mexico has new teleworking regulations that were published today and will come into effect tomorrow.
The main actions that employers should implement under these new regulations are:
- Update individual employment agreements for new employees who will be working remotely.
- Draft agreements to include teleworking obligations for existing
As companies develop their reopening playbook, health & safety is of course the top line concern. Face coverings have emerged as one of the most popular preventative measures for mitigating the spread of the virus. For employers, questions abound about obligations related to face coverings.
We’ve been helping multinational companies navigate the use of face coverings in the workplace. Here are answers to some of the most common questions in the US:
- Does the CDC require the use of face coverings in the workplace?
No. At this point, there is no federal requirement that employees wear face coverings in the workplace. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. See here.
The CDC also recommends using cloth face coverings, and not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
- Does OSHA require the use of face coverings in the workplace?
No, except in specific workplaces where there is a higher risk of airborne exposures. OSHA has not required employees to wear masks at work as a result of COVID-19, except in certain settings such as hospitals and other workplaces where Personal Protective Equipment was required before the pandemic.…
Government-imposed stay-at-home orders, essential business designations, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and employers’ duty to bargain under the National Labor Relations Act recently collided. To complicate matters, unions have proven very aggressive in their demands for information about employer’s responses to COVID-19.
Many unions have demanded decision bargaining over layoffs, or changes in health …
The rapid spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting business (and life) everywhere. As new clusters are identified across Europe and the Middle East, fears of the virus are impacting the US stock market and there are concerns of a global pandemic.
With no end in sight, many US companies are questioning what policies and practices they need to put in place, and revisiting those that they may already have in place to deal with this rapidly evolving situation. We recommend that companies take the following steps now.
Next Steps for Employers
- Emergency Preparation Team. Assemble a cross-functional emergency management team to handle issues such as employee health and safety, internal and external communications, medical leaves, personal leaves and disability accommodations, technology support, and legal compliance. As the situation continues to develop, it will become increasingly important to have a single team that is aware of all potential virus related issues for consistency and precedent-setting purposes.
(With thanks to Michael Michalandos and our Asia Pacific Employment and Compensation team for this post.)
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) raises challenging issues for employers, particularly those that operate in multiple locations, provide a variety of services, and employ a global workforce which travels routinely. Now is the time for employers to…