What Does The New CDC Guidance Mean For Your Business?

It depends, as per usual in the employment space.

The latest mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks or social distance indoors, with some exceptions.

Business leaders, eager to get the workforce back at work, rejoiced. But not so fast!

Image by MaximeUtopix from Pixabay

The CDC caveated this exciting news with the qualifier that masks must remain where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Wait, what?

Employers, HR, heads of People & Culture have so many questions. Among them are:

  1. Should we mandate vaccinations now?
  2. Should we just still require masks at work? What kinds of policies do we need now?
  3. Does removing masks violate OSHA? State law? Local law?
  4. Can we demand proof of vaccination?
  5. What kind of proof?
  6. Can we have different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers?
  7. How do we enforce work rules that allow some to go maskless?
  8. Are there confidentiality rules surrounding employee vaccinations?
  9. What about employees mental health issues, like anxiety, who may not bee keen about working near someone without a mask?
  10. What are other guardrails should we consider (i.e., customer interactions, collective bargaining issues, etc.)?
  11. Are there other discriminations to consider, and what does the EEOC have to say about all of this?

If this makes your head hurt, we get it and we’ve got you.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Noon ET, my law partners Eric Meyer, Gordon Berger, and Dave Renner will discuss all of these issues in a special one-hour mid-week edition of The Employer Handbook Office Hour on Zoom.

You can click here to register.

We will answer as many questions as possible, which you can ask during the Zoom using the chat feature. (We assume that all of your questions are hypothetical and that you are asking them for a friend because we’re not giving any legal advice or creating an attorney-client privilege.)

Pro tip: you can ask questions in advance by emailing them to Eric  with the subject line: Hypothetical Question.

See you Wednesday.

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Amy Epstein Gluck

Amy Epstein Gluck has represented individuals and corporate clients in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and various federal district courts for more than twenty years. Ms. Epstein Gluck’s current practice areas include employment law—advising on and drafting employment agreements; handling employment negotiations, severance agreements, noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, “wrongful terminations” and other EEO matters; representation at the EEOC level; advising employers about discrimination laws and how to remain in compliance, and employment negotiations.