JANUARY 26 2021
- This information is time limited. The rules are changing all the time.
- This is not legal advice.
- Your situation is unique, this is an introduction, you should talk to a lawyer or your employer.
- Providing this info does not create a lawyer/ client relationship.
- This is about the law in WASHINGTON state and will be different everywhere else.
NEW RULES FOR EMPLOYERS
- Masks and PPE
- Notice of Outbreak
- Respond to Health Department
- High Risk Worker Protection
- Industry Specific Requirements
COVID HAS COMPLICATED YOUR JOB
Industry Specific Rules
- Every Industry has rules outlined in two documents
- Reopening Guidance
- Roadmap to Recovery
High Risk Worker Protections
Under this proclamation, workers under increased risk for COVID complications are entitled to extra protections.
The Proclimation is set to expire on June 30 2021
- If the CDC says your medical conditions mean you are at increased risk OR
- The CDC says you MAY be at increased risk OR
- You are 65 years of age or older.
You can ask for accommodations. Accommodations include being allowed to work from home or to have extra protections such as social distancing or a private office.
- The employer cannot take adverse employment action against you for requesting accommodations
- Employer MUST keep your insurance coverage current though the end of the proclamation, even if you don’t work for them and even if you don’t pay your share of the cost, even if you are fired for good cause.
If you decide the employer isn’t able to make your workplace safe enough you have some options:
- They cannot stop you from using paid time off to stay home
- Employer cannot oppose your application for unemployment
Cooperate With Local Health Officials
Employers have to cooperate with health officials, this could mean all kinds of actions. In particular, employers are required to respond to phone calls from local health officials WITHIN 4 HOURS.
Report Outbreaks or Suspected Outbreaks
You are REQUIRED to report to local health officials if 2 or more employees have had COVID 19 in a 14 day period. This includes if multiple people have had symptoms but have not had test results (suspected outbreaks).
Masks And Personal Protective Equipment
All employers in the state are required to provide protective equipment to all employees. For most employers that means ALL staff must be provided with cloth face masks.
Exemptions: some people don’t want to wear masks for a variety of reasons. If its a medical reason, they can request accommodations. Its up to the employee to find out how to work on without putting their fellow workers at risk. If they can change the material of the mask, change the size or shape, or take breaks to step out and take it off, those could be reasonable accommodations. Face shields are not sufficient face coverings but could be if there were cloth shields on the bottom.