As states begin to reopen and the federal government works to pass another COVID relief bill, many businesses are working on pivoting once again. There have been so many changes to how companies run, and more are coming. Between new vaccine rollouts, the Pandemic Preparedness Plan, the extended leave plans, and navigating reopening plans with proper PPE and worker safety, businesses have many new hoops. Here are just a few things you need to know if you’re a business owner with employees.
On January 21st, 2020, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. This order works to ensure that workers know their rights and employers are creating safe and healthy work environments through the pandemic. This order instructs OSHA to review all standards surrounding masks in the workplace and enforce any changes that can ensure equity in enforcing these rules.
Alongside this, the Biden administration has put together a Pandemic Preparedness Plan. This plan covers a lot, and most of it has to do with the governmental response to pandemics, but there is a part of the plan that business owners need to know. While developing and implementing safety standards, businesses can ‘self-certify’ that they follow the standards presented by OSHA. Those businesses that self-certify will be presented with a “placard to show their commitment to their communities.” There isn’t a lot of clarity on what that certification entails right now, but that will be something to consider as this plan moves forward.
Furthermore, the new vaccine rollout is something many businesses have to consider. First of all, there is the fact that, according to federal law, employers can’t require employees to get the vaccine. It is also essential to determine when your workers are qualified for a vaccine and inform them that they can get vaccinated. The CDC just released new guidelines stating that those who are fully vaccinated may safely “visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.” It is still unclear what that means for businesses moving forward, but this can complicate some smaller, in-person work environments. As the number of people vaccinated grows, business owners must keep up with the protocols and change for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
Compliance has become increasingly overwhelming in the COVID era, with new protocols and legislations and still a lot of unknown. Colony West partners with OutlookHR to give its clients a team of HR professionals at their disposal. Our experts can help your business navigate and comply with all the new regulations, to reduce risk, cost and ensure operational efficiency so you and your team can focus on what you do best.
Human Resources play a key role in the organization’s understanding of the latest labor laws,
lawful recruitment and hiring practices, mandatory trainings and bookkeeping of up-to-date employee
handbooks and workplace notices. Our partnership with Colony West puts us at the forefront of the latest
changes in local, state and federal labor laws to ensure your company is never at risk.