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By: Michael Hill
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance to employers on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Here are the main takeaways:
This new guidance is not a standard or regulation and does not have the force of law. OSHA states the guidance is “advisory in nature” and “creates no new legal obligations,” but existing federal law generally requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
New OSHA regulations, however, are expected to come over the horizon soon. President Biden has instructed OSHA to consider issuing emergency temporary standards for COVID-19, “including with respect to masks in the workplace,” by March 15, 2021. If implemented, such emergency temporary standards would be legal requirements and not mere recommendations. The President also directed OSHA to review its enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 to identify “any short-, medium-, and long-term changes that could be made to better protect workers and ensure equity in enforcement.”
We will continue to monitor employment-related regulations and guidance and update this blog as developments arise.
For more information, please contact Michael Hill at [email protected].