How rude of me! Thank you, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for announcing last Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.
Well, there is a catch. Actually, there are several.
CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers, including those who are vaccinated. All travelers must wear a mask on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Also, masks stay on for everyone where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Ah yes, local business and workplace guidance. Shout out to Verizon Wireless for supplying the hardware and bandwidth to allow my phone to withstand the deluge of calls, emails, IMs, and texts from colleagues, other employment lawyers, HR professionals, and business owners all basically asking the same ten questions:
- Should we mandate vaccinations now?
- Should we allow fully vaccinated people to go maskless at work?
- Does removing masks violate OSHA? State law? Local law?
- Can we demand proof of vaccination?
- Should we use an honor system?
- How do we enforce work rules that allow some to go maskless?
- Are there confidentiality rules surrounding employee vaccinations?
- What about employees with anxiety (and other mental health issues) about working close to someone without a mask?
- What are other guardrails should we consider (i.e., customer interactions, collective bargaining issues, etc.)
- Should we maintain the status quo?
So, yeah, now what?
Ayo. I feel you. That’s why I’ve assembled a group of employment lawyers who have been advising employers about COVID-19 issues from the get-go to join me to discuss these issues on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Noon ET. It’s a special one-hour mid-week edition of The Employer Handbook Office Hour on Zoom.
Now, here’s the deal. I have 500 spaces available. They will go quickly because I expect this to be a trending event. So, please register early and show up when the doors open on Wednesday. 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.)
But here’s a pro tip. You can get your question to the front of the queue by asking it in advance. Please email it to me with the subject line: Hypothetical Question.
See you Wednesday!