Good morning from Morris & Morris and Hanna Resource Group! We hope that your day is off to a great start. Jim and Lyle have been getting several inquiries about the new “Healthy at Work” Directive that was announced yesterday afternoon, April 19, 2021. The minimum requirements list does not provide substantial information regarding some of the items, which has resulted in numerous additional inquiries. The new Healthy At Work Minimum Requirement largely mirror the previous directives, including Physical Distancing, Facial Coverings, Hand Washing, Ventilation, Telework, Common Areas, Sanitation and Daily Temperature/Health Checks and 60% capacity for “events with 1,000 or fewer persons”
So, here is Jim’s analysis of the new policy:
- “Events with 1,000 or fewer persons in a single room or space are limited to the lesser of 60% capacity or the maximum number of individuals that permits appropriate physical distancing.” Because this is set forth in the Healthy At Work Policy, in my professional opinion, the term “events,” while being a confusing term, applies to ALL BUSINESS FUNCTIONS.
- The Policy has changed from “60% of the workforce” which was in the previous May 11, 2020 Policy, to now reflect 60% of capacity, (or what would allow social distancing) which addresses an issue we discussed during last week’s Webinar
- The Mask “Mandate” set forth in Executive Order 2021-134 still applies even though the language states that “entities must encourage all persons to wear a face covering…” Because the Executive Order controls, businesses must comply with the Executive Order, and not the “encouragement” language
- The new reference to “ventilation” is a recommendation and not a mandate. The Policy indicates that entities should and are encouraged to utilize maximum ventilation, etc. There is no mandate, but businesses should use good business judgment
- Telework has been modified to reflect that (1) you must comply with the capacity restrictions and “should operate via phone or internet in place of in-person services to the extent practicable.” This appears to lift the “mandate” of requiring telework that was in the May 11, 2020 Healthy At Work Directive – which answers another question that came up during last week’s Webinar
- Common Areas is a new section that suggests that all businesses should reconfigure common areas to allow for social distancing.
- Daily Temperature and Health Checks have been modified to reflect that “entities should require employees to undergo daily temperature and health checks…” This appears to lift the “mandate” of requiring daily checks, with log books, etc. However, businesses must still instruct employees not to report if they are feeling ill.
- Specific entities still must verify any additional requirements, on the Healthy At Work Website (Healthcare; weddings, funerals and memorial services; restaurants and bars; pools and bathing facilities; and gyms, sports, and exercise activities)
If we receive additional information, we will let you know! Thank you! If you have any additional issues that you need to address, reach out to Jim Morris and his team for legal questions, and to Lyle Hanna and his team for Human Resources assistance!