On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced a strategy initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through administrative action by the executive branch of the federal government. Rules applicable to employers have yet to be implemented, but they will be coming. Some key takeaways for employers include the following:
Weekly Testing or Vaccination The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be implementing a rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that those employees either (a) are fully vaccinated or (b) produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis to come to work.
Required Vaccinations for Health Care Providers The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies.
Paid Time Off to Get Vaccinated OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they feel ill post-vaccination.
Streamlining PPP Loan Forgiveness Since Aug. 4, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has streamlined the application process for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. Under the new streamlined approach, SBA sends a pre-completed application form to the borrower who can review, sign and send back to the SBA, which then works with the lender to complete the forgiveness process.
Parsons Behle & Latimer will send out further updates as these rules begin to be implemented. Employers should develop policies addressing these issues in advance so they will be prepared once the rules go into effect.
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