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How The CDC Mask Update May Affect Your Business

On July 27th, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that masks should be worn indoors again by most individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Previously, it was recommended that only unvaccinated individuals needed to wear them indoors. The CDC sites the Delta variant of COVID-19 as a big threat and therefore a factor in this decision.

According to the CDC, the Delta variant has quickly risen amongst unvaccinated individuals and is more aggressive and transmissible than previous strains.

New Mask Mandate Guidelines

The new recommendations are for people who live and work in areas with high cases of the Delta variant. Those individuals should go back to wearing masks indoors while in public- even if fully vaccinated.

Per the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals may still:

  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before and after travel
  • Refrain from self-quarantining after returning from a trip abroad
  • Choose to not test themselves or quarantine, following a known exposure if they are asymptomatic (with some exceptions)

How This Affects the Workplace

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has already confirmed that employers can require employees to wear masks at work (with some exceptions). The decision to enforce a mask policy is ultimately up to the organization.

In light of the CDC’s recent mask updates, employers should keep aware of any new local regulations to follow. Some jurisdictions like Nevada or Los Angeles County have already enacted their own local mask policies. Organizations should expect to see more COVID-related mandates enacted in the months to come.

Similarly, we should expect to see various organizations slowly revert to remote conditions in response to the threats that these new variants are posing. If your organization hasn’t already, now might be the time to implement a long-term remote work policy if possible.

Vaccination Policies

Vaccination guidelines in the workplace remain the same. Employers may require their employees to receive the vaccine and provide proof. However, exceptions for those covered through the American Disabilities Act (ADA) or for religious reasons still exist.

As we continue to work through HR complications brought on by the pandemic, workplace conduct and compliance will be continuously changing. It is important to check with your local officials and trusted HR partners, to ensure you have the latest and correct information for your organization.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about the easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.



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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.