HEALTH & SAFETY
FPLG COVID-19 RESPONSE
HEALTH & SAFETY
[UPDATE: May 25, 2020]
The standards and procedures for health and safety for the entire population (including workers in facilities that are opening up) are rapidly evolving and include a combination of federal guidelines as well as state and local mandates and rules.
This is a developing story that we will update regularly. The federal CDC just released a long-awaited set of guidelines to “open up” the nation, but they are a watered-down version of the original draft.
California’s rules are also quickly evolving as are those of local jurisdictions including input from their public health departments and other agencies.
“The coming decisions will be difficult,” cautions NPQ‘s Martin Levine. “Redesigning workplaces and service systems to be both safe and effective in the face of the virus requires guidance from public health and medical experts. The past weeks have taught us that despite the fact that their expertise should be a foundation upon which we can build , we cannot expect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), much less the federal government as a whole, to provide the guidance nonprofits and for-profit businesses alike need.”
[April 6, 2020]
The issue of workplace health and safety raises many questions for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If a nonprofit organization is exempted from stay-at-home orders, there will be entirely different considerations than for groups that are shifting to remote, online, operations and don’t have any contact with the general public.
The applicable rules and recommendations arise from a confusing patchwork of federal, state, and local sources. They vary, also, according to degrees of “risk” inherent in a particular workplace and there are special rules in place for certain categories like healthcare.
These are complex issues with no easy one-size-fits-all answers or advice.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Counties Statewide Can Reopen Places of Worship for Religious Services and Retail Stores (May 25, 2020), California Governor’s Office
COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies (May 25, 2020) covid19.ca.gov
CDC Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith (Last Reviewed May 23, 2020), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Statewide industry guidance to reduce risk (CA) [Last updated May 20, 2020, 5:40 pm]
READ: CDC guidance on reopening America from coronavirus stay-at-home orders (May 19, 2020) CNN
When It Comes to Reopening, Federal Health Guidance Underwhelms (May 19, 2020) Martin Levine, The Nonprofit Quarterly
Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (issued May 19, 2020, effective 5/26/20, rescinding earlier plan) U.S. Department of Labor, Occupation Health & Safety Administration [will be in effect beginning 5/26/20; earlier plan will be rescinded]
- Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (issued May 19, 2020, effective 5/26/20, rescinding earlier guidance) U.S. Department of Labor, Occupation Health & Safety Administration
- U.S. Department of Labor Adopts Revised Enforcement Policies For Coronavirus (May 19, 2020) OSHA Press Release
- Cal/OSHA Interim General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19 (May 14, 2020) California Department of Industrial Relations
- Updated: EEOC Issues ADA and Title VII Guidance for Employers on COVID-19 (May 14, 2020) Brie Klytenaar, Esq. & Danielle M. Bereznay, Esq., Mintz Levin PC
- CDC Weakens Protective Guidelines as Need for Essential Workers Intensifies (April 16, 2020) Carole Levine, The Nonprofit Quarterly
- Toolkit: WORKER SAFETY & HEALTH DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: RIGHTS & RESOURCES (April 6, 2020) Deborah Berkowitz, National Employment Law Project
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Updated: March 21, 2020) Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Cal/OSHA Interim Guidelines for General Industry on 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) CA Department of Industrial Relations
Protecting Workers During a Pandemic, OSHA Fact Sheet 3747
California employees fear they’ll catch coronavirus in the office. What are their options? (March 19, 2020) Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee