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Five Tips for Employers in the New COVID-19 World

Consider these rules to safeguard you and your team

It’s February 2021, but COVID remains a challenge, especially for employers. Here, VonLehman's Deirdre Bird, along with Amy Hebbeler and Sean Callan from Manley Burke, LPA, have compiled a handful of tips for employers in the new COVID-19 world.

1. Disclose Enough but Not Too Much

An employer should disclose to other employees, in a general manner, that a co-worker (or a visitor to the office) has tested positive for COVID-19. It should not disclose the identity of an infected person or the employee’s symptoms. An employer should also require employee notification to the employer if (a) the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or (b) the employee is identified as a "close contact” of an infected person.  For managers, the safest course is to gather and share only that information absolutely necessary to protect the health of employees while not identifying any infected individual specifically.

2. Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

According to recent EEOC guidance, an employer may require employees to be vaccinated before physically returning to work unless an employee claims (a) a disability that prevents her from safely taking the vaccine or (b) a religious objection to a vaccine. Each employer should also check to ensure that there is no state or local law that bear on its policy decisions. The important take-away here is that an employer cannot simply terminate employees that refuse a vaccination. Until employers have a plan in place to address possible fallout from such a policy, employers should probably not adopt a mandatory vaccination policy.

Please select this link to read the complete blog post from OSAE Member VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm.

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