Q: How should employers respond after an employee tests positive for COVID-19? Are there notification requirements?
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html (see section on “Separate sick employees”)
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html (outlines when employer has to report COVID-19 infection to OSHA)
Q: After an employee tests positive for COVID-19, how should employers clean and collect company property – including vehicles?
Q: What are the protocols for getting a driver off the road and into medical treatment?
Q: If drivers are asymptomatic for COVID-19, but have recently entered hotspots like New York, what precautions should employers take?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided guidance to truck drivers delivering needed supplies to New York City.
EEOC allows employers to test temperatures in narrow circumstances to reduce the threat of COVID-19 infection. The EEOC guidance, however, does not eliminate the risk for ADA claims and employers should continue to protect employee privacy and be cognizant of disability concerns.
Here are the CDC recommendations for people who have been exposed to a person with symptomatic COVID-19 during the period from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms until the person meets the criteria for discontinuing home isolation.
Q: How should trucking companies approach drafting social distancing policies and what are some best practices companies should follow?
See Appendix A (sample Social Distancing Policy).
CISA memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response
Oregon OSHA (Interim Guidance for Oregon OSHA Related to COVID-19)
Oregon OSHA on Safety Meetings (Guidance that meetings may be suspended or altered during pandemic)
The EPA provides a list of consumer products that kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Q: What happens after someone complains to OSHA about a company’s social distancing policy?
If an employee alleges worker exposure as a result of the failure to provide teleworking, OSHA will investigate the employer.
Q: With new federal programs offering paid family and medical leave due to COVID-19, are companies required to compensate all employees who take leave at this time? Will the state or federal government provide reimbursement under these programs?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Generally, if an employer employs fewer than 500 employees, it is a covered employer that must provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. Certain employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from the Act’s requirements to provide certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave (see next question).
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf (overview of what type of leave is eligible for pay and amounts of pay)
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions (very thorough FAQ on the new law)
Overview of Paid Family Leave Refundable Credit
Q: What if a company does not have available cash flow to comply with the new law? Are there exemptions?
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or childcare unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. A small business may claim this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined a number of factors, outlined in the following link. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions
Work Share (STC-Short Time Compensation) is an Oregon program that offers an alternative to laying off a workforce. It allows employers to keep employees during slow times by reducing work hours. Eligible staff whose hours and wages are reduced receive a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to compensate for the lost wages.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
Loan Details and Forgiveness
Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan In response to COVID-19, small business owners are eligible to apply for a loan advance of up to $10,000.
Q: May employees take 80 hours of paid sick leave for self-quarantine and then another amount of paid sick leave for another reason provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
Sample Social Distancing Policy
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to comply with the Oregon Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, the following Social Distancing Policy is in effect until further notice:
Remote Work. The [company] has transitioned all employees to remote work except for [_______]. [One employee] will come to the office from 8:00-4:30 each day to [_______]. No other employees are approved for coming to the office, even for short trips or after hours, without first contacting [the Operations/HR Director] to work through alternatives and/or for approval and to coordinate details and timing. If [the Operations/HR Director] is not available, a backup contact for this is [ ].
In-Office Protocols (for individuals with permission to be at the office)
On the road