Mark your calendars! We have a few “special” upcoming sessions:
- New Strategies for Hiring in a Tight Labor Market
May 12th at 8 a.m.
- EEO-1 Reporting
June 2nd at 8 a.m.
Review of CDC and State Guidance on Vaccinated and Non-Vaccinated Permitted Activities:
The summary below focuses on key human resources and employment law components of the plan.
CDC Guidance on vaccinated people as of 5/5/2021:
Fully vaccinated people, according to the CDC, can do the following:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing (in the community, but not in the business setting. In the business setting, employees will need to continue to social distance and wear masks per EO 209).
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Skip quarantine and testing guidelines following a known exposure if they are asymptomatic
However, fully vaccinated people should still:
- Wear a face covering in public.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- Avoid medium and large size gatherings.
- Take precautions such as masks and distancing when around unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Get tested, if COVID-19 symptoms present
NC Executive Order 209 in effect from April 30th to June 1st:
- Masks will still be required indoors but not outdoors. However, masks are still strongly recommended outdoors when in crowded areas or higher-risk settings where social distancing is difficult.
- Gathering limits have been increased: up to 100 for indoor gatherings and 200 for outdoor gatherings. However, current occupancy limits remain the same.
Can we require employees to inform us, the employer, if they are fully vaccinated?
Yes, you can ask employees if they are full vaccinated, and you can require proof; however, we recommend asking this only if you have a “need to know” – for example, an employee states they do not need to quarantine due to having already been vaccinated after close contact with a COVID positive case.
Can employers require employees to identify their vaccination status in some visual way (such as designation on their employer ID badge or a show of hands in a group meeting)?
No – we do not recommend doing such, any more than we recommend employers requiring those over 40 to identify in such a way, or if they did or did not receive the flu vaccine, etc. Those vaccinated and not vaccinated should be treated fairly and not put in a situation to explain why they chose not to get the vaccine. Such questions typically lead to medical information being shared, potential discrimination and/or possible bullying; not much different than our discussions about voting, which typically escalate into arguments and perceived hostile work environments.
Any indoor meeting with vaccinated employees or a combination with non-vaccinated employees should continue social distancing and mask wearing. Again, employers in NC are still under an executive order to do this, and all employers must continue to consider the best safety protocol. Businesses are still required to maintain social distancing indoors and wear masks, vaccinated or not.
CDC and OSHA as well as state governments will be making recommendations going forward to include appropriate guidance once the indoor mask mandates are lifted.
DOL FAQs around Cobra Subsidies:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy (We discussed this over the past few sessions but thought we would include this helpful guidance again.)