New Advice for Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

As we approach the second half of 2022, many employers are left wondering where things stand when it comes to best practices for managing COVID-19 in the workplace. We’ve rounded up resources and articles from SHRM and other trusted outlets on the news to help keep you up to date on the newest advice.

Mandatory Workplace COVID-19 Testing

​Employers will need to assess pandemic and workplace circumstances in order to justify mandatory COVID-19 testing of employees going forward, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a July 12 guidance update. The EEOC is now stating that the employer must show that mandatory testing is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The agency provided several possible factors to consider when making an assessment, including:
  • The level of community transmission.
  • The vaccination status of employees.
  • The degree of breakthrough infections of vaccinated workers.
  • The transmissibility of current variants.
  • The possible severity of illness from a current variant.
  • Contacts employees may have with others during the course of their work.
  • The potential impact on operations if an employee enters the workplace with COVID-19.

Mandatory Workplace COVID-19 Vaccination

In addition to mandatory testing guidance stated above, the EEOC has also added their guidance on vaccination mandates. The EEOC states vaccination mandates can be safe only when they are “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” Employers must consider reasonable accommodations when employees refuse to get vaccinated for medical reasons, including pregnancy-related reasons, or based on sincerely held religious beliefs, unless an accommodation would cause undue hardship for the business.

Addressing False COVID-19 Vaccination Cards

As more businesses are requiring their employees to be vaccinated in order to return to the workplace, they continue to face vaccine card fraud by workers. Here are some tips for detecting whether a card is fake:
  • The absence of information called for on the CDC vaccination record card, such as the manufacturer lot number, date and identification of the vaccine provider.
  • Misspellings.
  • Inconsistent dates.
  • The name of an unfamiliar manufacturer or provider.
  • Thin-cut paper rather than a card.
  • A card that appears to have been cut with scissors.
  • A card that has been fully printed, instead of at least partially handwritten.
Employers can consider reporting vaccine card fraud to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or filing a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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