NEW COVID REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS: With a rise in vaccinations and reduction in the numbers of coronavirus hospitalizations, the United States economy is re-opening. Since the Center for Disease Control updated guidelines for masking for fully vaccinated people in mid-May, masking, social distancing and venue capacity laws are being changed and a number of new federal and rules have been enacted.
On May 28, 2021, the EEOC updated its technical guidance “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and Other EEO Law” to include scenarios covering vaccinated employees. A frequently asked question is whether employers may require COVID-19 vaccination for all employees? The answer is generally, yes. In fact, Hartford Hospital and CCMC has mandated vaccinations for all employees. How can employers mandate employees in compliance with the law? Information is contained in the updated K section of the guidance. The guidance is linked here: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
In response to CDC guidelines, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) has issued new interim federal regulations covering workplace safety rules, including the creation of COVID-19 plans with employee input, masking, provision of PPE to employees, social distancing, cleaning, offering time off for employee vaccinations, and record keeping in healthcare settings. These settings include small businesses in healthcare industries, including offices of physicians and home healthcare companies. For more information visit: COVID-19 Healthcare ETS
On June 10, 2021, OSHA issued updated guidance for non-healthcare businesses and employers. Unlike the interim federal regulations in healthcare settings, the update guidelines are recommendations for employers. For more information on the updated guidance read: Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
MASSACHUSETTS. Governor Baker signed into law on May 28, 2021, an Emergency Paid Sick Leave law bill that provides employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave due to COVID-19. For more information Read: COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program
LAW CHANGES EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS IN CONNECTICUT
It’s time to review employment application forms. The legislature has passed “An Act Deterring Age Discrimination in Employment Applications” that prohibits employers from requesting or requiring the applicant’s age, date of birth and dates of graduation in an initial application for employment. Governor Lamont signed the bill into law on June 24, 2021.
For more information visit the Connecticut General Assembly.
CYBERSECURITY BREACHES & RANSOMWARE
With high profile security breaches of large companies lately, it is a good time to review and shore up computer security AND understand legal obligations attendant to security breaches. In this video, I interview an IT expert and a commercial insurance broker about what small business owners can do to protect themselves from breaches.
As to legal obligations, it's important to know:
In Connecticut, anyone who maintains computerized data that includes personal information of customers must give notice to customers “without unreasonable delay but not later than ninety days from discovery of the breach” Moreover, the Connecticut Attorney General must also be notified. For more information read: Report a Breach of Security Involving Computerized Data
In Massachusetts , such security breaches should be reported to customers, the Attorney General’s office and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. For more information: Reporting Data Breaches
Disclaimer: This newsletter is sponsored by Attorney Sylvia Ho for general business information and educational purposes only. It is not intended and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Viewing this content does not form an attorney client relationship, which requires a written agreement between you and Attorney Sylvia Ho. Attorney Sylvia Ho makes no representations or warranties about the correctness, accuracy, currency, or adequacy of the information contained herein, and does not adopt the statements of her interviewees. You should always consult with an attorney about your specific legal question or issue.