COVID 19, 20, and so on…

While we seem to be on the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HR NOLA team agrees that we will be seeing some residual effects, and currently, there’s not much guidance from government entities on how to operate your workplace.

The most recent CDC guidance changed the isolation period and the Supreme Court shut down the mandatory testing-or-vaccine policy, but what should your business do about vaccines, masks, and testing in our offices and workspaces? While there’s no guidance on what to do specifically about COVID-19, there are still laws and regulations that come into play. Did you know that the Department of Labor has stated that employees with long-term symptoms or employees taking care of family with long-term symptoms or effects from COVID-19 might fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also put out information about how the Americans with Disabilities Act can affect how we treat employees with disabilities caused by the virus.

Employers should also be aware of the precedents that are being set with flexible work arrangements. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who request one under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Generally, the interactive ADA process with employees and their employers does not require employers to approve all requests or specifically what the employee requests. However, the employer should compare requests to ensure employees in the same or similar situations receive similar accommodations.

Another residual effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be a mass full-time move to the Work from Home model. Studies have found that almost 6 out of 10 U.S. workers who can work from home are still working from home all or most of the time. Prior to making this change, employers should consider implementing new policies to avoid potential pitfalls. Employers also need to consider regulations that can be difficult to navigate, like OSHA.

HR NOLA can help businesses navigate the ever-changing HR and compliance world. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out how HR can boost your business!

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