Life in New York may soon return to normal. Governor Cuomo announced that most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted when 70% of adults in the state received their first dose of the vaccine – a goal that Gothamist says has now been achieved. On June 15, Cuomo confirmed that "almost all" restrictions would be lifted immediately, according to Business Insider.
It's not just New York. Around the country, many offices and other companies are reopening. While many see this as a reason to celebrate, it also creates risks for employment liability.
Employees Do Not Want to Return
American Psychological Association & # 39 ;s Stress in America study found that 49% of Americans report feeling anxious to adapt to personal interaction after the pandemic is over, and 46% feel not comfortable returning to life as they did before the pandemic.
Many workers have also found that they enjoy working from home and that the arrangement can save them both money and time. A FlexJobs survey showed that 58% of people who have worked remotely during the pandemic say they will look for a new job if forced to return to the office. According to Bloomberg, it seems that some employees already do.
This means that managers who try to correct workers back to the office may face an unwilling workforce. This can lead to conflicts and increased exposures of responsibility.
According to Risk & Insurance, increased capacity may lead to increased claims on COVID-19.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine can completely prevent infection, vaccinated humans can still get coronavirus and its variants. Despite this, many of their security protocols relax. This can lead to increased exposure, both in terms of the virus and liability.
Companies that respond to workers who raise safety issues may run into problems with OSHA. According to SHRM, OSHA had received 5,188 complaints from whistleblowers as of April 11, 2021. An employee can claim retaliation if they are fired or degraded after making a complaint, or if they are denied overtime or promotion. Employees can also claim retaliation if they are fired after refusing to return to the office because they feel it is too early or otherwise unsafe. , but not everyone is on board with the vaccinations.
Some employers choose to require vaccinations. However, they must navigate requests for exemptions based on disability or religious beliefs. At least one lawsuit has already been filed. According to CBS News, hospital workers in Texas sued after the hospital suspended 178 unpaid employees for not having been fully vaccinated, but a federal judge has already rejected the trial.
Other employers may try a carrot instead of a stick and stimulate. vaccinated. However, this strategy can also lead to exposures of responsibility. According to MarketWatch, new EEOC guidelines state that incentives should not be "so extensive that they are coercive." Some people have already criticized this limitation as vague and unclear – exactly what is compulsive may be the subject of debate.
Decisions about returning to work must be carefully navigated with an increased awareness of your employment practice exposure exposures. If you have any questions, be sure to consult your legal counsel. It may also be a good time to consult with your BNC insurance agent to review and understand the extent of your EPLI coverage.