HR Quick Scoops

Insights and updates from our members, for our members

COVID Testing Options

In our webinar this morning featuring Emily Raaker (Gallagher), Chaz Billington (Vorys), and Kate Schroder (The Health Collaborative), Kate shared links for various testing options.

Ohio Department of Health: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/other-resources/testing-ch-centers 

Get the Shot: https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov./ 

U.S Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html 

Cincinnati Specific:  https://healthcollab.org/testandprotect/ 

EEOC Joins DOJ and DHHS in Declaring “Long COVID” May Be a Disability

In a September 9 update to its “What You Should Know about COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission indicated that “long COVID” may be a disability under the employment-related section of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended. This is consistent with the recent announcement from the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services that long COVID may be a disability under Titles II and III of the ADA.

As a refresher, the DOJ and DHHS explained that long COVID symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes called “brain fog”)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness on standing
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (known as heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste or smell

To the extent that long COVID is a physiological condition which substantially limits any major life activity, it would qualify as a disability under the ADA.

The EEOC also indicated that it would release a technical assistance about COVID-19 and ADA disability in the employment context in the coming weeks.

ERA HR Beat Survey: Vaccination and Masks

Are you curious to find out what other ERA members are doing about masks in the workplace and requiring employers to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination? Take this survey and get an instant result on what others are doing.

COVID FAQs

In case you missed it, here is a link to our FAQs which we recently sent to ERA members.

As we are seeing more employers in the news mandating the vaccine for employees, remember that some employees may be exempt from the requirement to obtain the vaccine if the exemption is requested due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (As Amended) or under applicable state law or a sincerely held religious belief under applicable federal or state laws. We have a sample Exemption Request Form in this vaccine policy bundle.

New EEO-1 Deadline

For those of you who may not have filed your EEO-1 report yet, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced announced yesterday (8/18/21) that a new and final deadline for the EEO-1 COMPONENT 1 REPORTS is set for OCTOBER 25, 2021.

Recognizing the continuing impact of the pandemic on business operations, the deadline to submit and certify your 2019/2020 EEO-1 Component-1 data has been extended. The new filing deadline is now Monday, October 25, 2021. Please note that this new deadline is the FINAL DEADLINE and all eligible filers MUST submit data by this date. No additional changes to the filing deadline will be made.

You can find the link to this announcement here: https://eeocdata.org/eeo1

Need help with your EEO-1 preparation? ERA can help! You can reach us at 1-888-237-9554 or email us.

ICYMI: Updated OSHA Guidance Reflects CDC’s Recommendations

In case you missed the alert we sent out this week …

On August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) updated its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. This guidance incorporates CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated workers to wear masks in areas of substantial or high transmission. While this is a guidance instead of a mandate, employers should be aware that the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their workers with a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Following the recommendations may assist an employer in defending any possible claims by employees relating to workplace safety.

The Guidance encourages employers to engage with workers and their representatives to determine how to implement multi-layered interventions to protect unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including:

  1. Facilitate employees getting vaccinated, including choosing to grant voluntarily paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects. Remember that the tax credits under FFCRA/ARPA are still available for qualifying paid time off through September 30, 2021.
  2. Instruct any workers who are infected, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID and all workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work. As recommended by the CDC, fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.
  3. Implement physical distancing in all communal work areas for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers.
  4. Provide face coverings as appropriate, unless their work task requires a respirator or other PPE. In addition to unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers, CDC recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. The CDC also provides that fully vaccinated people may appropriately choose to wear masks in public indoor settings regardless of community level of transmission, particularly if they are at risk or have someone in their household who is at risk or not fully vaccinated.
  5. Educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in languages they understand.
  6. Suggest or require that unvaccinated customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings in public-facing workplaces such as retail establishments, and that all customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings in public, indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. 
  7. Maintain Ventilation Systems.
  8. Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
  9. Record and report COVID-19 infections and deaths.
  10. Implement protections from retaliation and set up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.
  11. Follow other applicable mandatory OSHA standards. 

Click here for OSHA’s comprehensive Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.

Popular Links