Work in the Time of COVID-19: FAQs for Employers

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In May of 2021, the CDC significantly relaxed the guidelines and guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated. However, given the increase in number of cases and spreading of the Delta variant, the CDC has revised its guidance. This guidance will impact workplaces and provide more streamlined protocols for promoting a safe working environment.

As a note, CDC guidance is not mandatory and consists of recommendations for the health and safety of individuals. However, employer compliance with these recommendations helps the business meet its obligations under OSHA’s general duty clause, which requires businesses provide a safe workplace for employees.

The revised guidance reiterates guidelines from the previous iterations, stating that fully vaccinated individuals (two weeks after the final dose of the vaccine) may:

New guidance for fully-vaccinated individuals includes:

The latest CDC guidance does not make reference to workplace mandates. However, it is important to check what state/local mandates are in your area. The following are suggestions, consistent with latest CDC guidance, that employers can follow to keep workplaces safe and employees healthy:

The updated guidance also notes that the FDA has granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and the CDC will release additional guidance given this approval after August 30, 2021. Please contact your employment counsel for any questions regarding the updated CDC guidance and workplace safety standards during the time of COVID-19.

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