Employment and Labor
OSHA understands that some employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing health emergency. During the course of an inspection, OSHA Area Offices will assess an employer’s efforts to comply with standards that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, or assessments.
The EEOC has provided guidance, consistent with workplace protections and rules, that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should remember that guidance from public health authorities is likely to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Therefore, employers should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety.
The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
OSHA standards and directives (instructions for compliance officers) and other related information that may apply to worker exposure to novel coronavirus, COVID-19. There is no specific OSHA standard covering COVID-19. However, some OSHA requirements may apply to preventing occupational exposure to COVID-19.
- Employers are encouraged to communicate with their employees about COVID-19 to educate them about the virus, and where they may be able to find resources to protect themselves
- For those employers that do not already have protocols on how to respond to infectious diseases, the development of such procedures is highly encouraged (view a sample Standard Operating Procedure for Infectious Disease)
- Employers need to be extremely cautious about sharing any health information related to COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Employers should proscribe to a general prohibition against sharing information about an employee’s health condition with managers, supervisors, and other employees
- If an employee is on a leave of absence associated with coronavirus, however, employers can notify managers, supervisors, and other employees that an employee (but not who) is on a leave of absence that is non-disciplinary in nature
- Employers are also encouraged to review their remote work and telework policies, and to promptly address any leave or accommodation requests from employees
- Employers should continue to monitor the information and recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, the State Department, and other federal, state, and local government agencies involved in the response.