COVID-19 TASK FORCE

As employers around the country grapple with the employment law and workplace safety implications of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, "COVID-19," Conn Maciel Carey has formed a multi-disciplinary legal and regulatory task force comprised of our dedicated Workplace Safety, Labor and Employment Law, and Litigation attorneys to help our clients across all industries manage the multitude of pandemic-related issues employers are facing and prepare for potential litigation that is around the corner.  We have produced a comprehensive database of resources to guide employers through this uncharted territory and the unique workplace challenges presented by the presence of a new health hazard in our nation's workplaces.

Members of CMC's COVID-19 Task Force
LABOR • EMPLOYMENT
LITIGATION
WORKPLACE SAFETY
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Range of Work

Our COVID-19 Task Force has spent the last few months working with our clients to:

  • Develop effective and compliant COVID-19 Exposure Control and Response Plans;

  • Evaluate and implement Pre-Work Health Screening Protocols;

  • Conduct COVID-19-specific PPE Hazard Assessments;

  • Prepare new Telework Policies/Agreements;

  • Respond to countless OSHA Notices of Alleged Hazards (employee complaints), Rapid Response Investigation Requests after reported COVID-19 deaths or hospitalizations, and 11(c) Retaliation Complaints;

  • Make recordkeeping and reporting work-relatedness determinations;

  • Manage COVID-19 enforcement inspections by OSHA and departments of health;

  • Provide advice and counsel about the ever-changing OSHA and CDC Guidance and the multitude of Orders and guidance from Governors and State and Local Health Department Orders;

  • Prepare their workplaces to reopen; and

  • Address the endless stream of novel questions and challenges employers are facing during this unprecedented pandemic.

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve, we have created an extensive index
of frequently asked questions about HR, employment, and MSHA/OSHA related
regulatory developments and guidance from federal agencies and the CDC. Conn
Maciel Carey's COVID-19 Task Force will be updating our list of FAQs frequently,
but please reach out to us for the most up to date information. 
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COVID-19 OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Resource Guide
 
CMC’s COVID-19 Task Force has prepared a series of resources to assist employers in
assessing whether a COVID-19 diagnosis for one of its employees is reportable to OSHA
and/or recordable on the company’s OSHA 300 Log, and if so, “how to” record it on the
log.  The toolkit includes a COVID-19 OSHA Reporting Flow Chart, a COVID-19 OSHA
Recording Flow Chart, a one-pager on “How to record” COVID-19 cases on the log, and
a detailed “Work-Relatedness Questionnaire.”  For more information about the OSHA
recordkeeping and reporting implications of COVID-19, read this detailed article
COVID-19 Recordkeeping Flowchart Capture
COVID-19 Exposure Control and Response Plan
Many states and localities are setting as a precondition for businesses to reopen, a requirement that they develop and implement a written, site-specific COVID-19 Exposure Control and Response Plan.  Regardless of any such requirements, any business that operates without a written Exposure Control Plan is setting itself to face citations from OSHA, shutdowns by local authorities, employee refusals to work, complaints to OSHA, retaliation claims, as well as lawsuits for wrongful death by the families of employees, customers, and guests.

So what is an Exposure Control Plan and what should be included in an effective one?  When OSHA identifies a serious safety or health hazard, it usually requires employers to develop a written program including the measures employers will take to counteract the hazard.   A COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan is a written safety plan outlining how your workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19, covering issues such as:

  • Social distancing strategies, and engineering or administrative controls where workers cannot maintain social distancing

  • Personal hygiene practices and requirements

  • Protective equipment you will require for various tasks

  • Enhanced housekeeping protocols

  • Health screening strategies to keep sick workers home

  • Responses to confirmed cases among your workforce

  • Communication plans for employees and customers

Read this full client alert for a review of the five key reasons employers must develop a written COVID-19 Exposure Control and Response Plan, and what an effective Exposure Control Plan should include.
 
As a boutique law firm focused on Workplace Safety and Labor & Employment Law, Conn Maciel Carey is perfectly positioned to help develop effective and compliant written COVID-19 Exposure Control and Response Plans.  If you would like help developing your plan (or reviewing your current plan), contact any of the attorneys at Conn Maciel Carey.
Latest COVID-19 News
Webinar Recordings

Process Safety During COVID-19 Webinar

AcuTech held a free webinar to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on process safety management and risk management. See a recorded video of the webinar below.


Topics included:

  • Discussion on how process safety is being affected

  • Challenges for compliance to OSHA PSM and EPA RMP

  • Process safety management during “back to work”

  • Legal ramifications of COVID-19 to OSHA and EPA compliance

  • Practical guidance to manage these issues

NGFA Webinar: OSHA Guidance and Workplace Health and Safety Issues

NGFA and Grain Journal hosted a webinar focused on the implications of COVID-19 for the grain, feed, processing and export industry. Featuring Eric J. Conn, chair of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) practice group at Conn Maciel Carey LLP, the webinar examined the workplace safety implications of OSHA’s recently issued “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” which defines risk categories and provides recommendations on how to protect employees. Conn is a widely recognized and respected expert on OSHA and safety and health matters.

Participants learned about the following:

 

  • OSHA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other guidance for managing infection control in the workplace generally;

  • Regulatory issues and best practices associated with voluntary and mandatory use of respirators or other face coverings;

  • Illness recording/reporting issues; and

  • How to respond to employee or OSHA complaints.

As the federal government and states begin to relax shutdown and stay-at-home orders and non-essential businesses begin to resume or ramp-up operations, employers need to plan for the safe and healthy return of their employees, customers, and guests back into the workplace.  During this webinar, participants heard from members of Conn Maciel Carey’s COVID-19 Task Force as they discussed how to develop and implement a Return-to-Work Plan.

Participants learned about the following:

 

  • How to recall furloughed employees to qualify for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program

  • New federal paid leave laws and their application to employees returning from furlough

  • Navigating the FLSA requirements for exempt employees who may be performing non-exempt work as work ramps up

  • Preventing third-party interference from labor unions and organizing attempts

  • COVID-19 Infection/Exposure Control Plans

  • Pre-shift Health Screening Protocols and best practices (e.g., temperature checks and health/symptom questionnaires)

  • Effective engineering and administrative controls to mitigate potential exposures to COVID-19 in the workplace

  • Decisions about Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators, Face Masks, and Face Coverings

  • Recording and Reporting to OSHA and workforce about confirmed employee COVID-19 infections

  • “Lessons learned” from the first wave of COVID-19 furloughs and how to prepare for the potential second wave in the Fall

There have been a number of significant developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus – now officially called “COVID-19.”  Today, the world health organization declared a global pandemic and there are over 1000 confirmed cases in the United States.  Participants in this webinar learned about recent developments and federal legal guidance including:

  • ​Strategies for employers to prevent workplace exposures while complying with Federal and State level labor employment laws

  • OSHA's guidance about preventing workers from exposure to COVID-19 and related regulatory risks

  • FAQs for employers with guidance from the CDC

There have been a number of significant developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus – now officially called “COVID-19.” The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, President Trump initiated a National Emergency Order, and state and local officials have been ordering shutdowns of non-essential businesses and mandatory shelter-in-place orders. Furthermore, Congress passed emergency legislation that temporarily requires employers to provide paid sick and family leave and the Department of Labor has issued guidance on how employers should comply with employment and workplace safety laws.

Local craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries have been deemed essential businesses under current federal and state directives, such as Governor Hogan’s March 23, 2020 order, but the traditional way of doing business has changed considerably. These changes have raised numerous questions regarding how small businesses can successfully operate while complying with these new requirements.

Participants in this webinar learned about recent developments, new federal legislation, EEOC, CDC and OSHA guidance, including:

  • Federally required Paid Family Leave and Paid Sick Leave;

  • Strategies for employers to prevent workplace exposures while complying with Federal and State labor and employment laws;

  • OSHA's guidance about preventing workers from exposure to COVID-19 and related regulatory risks;

  • FAQs for employers about managing the Coronavirus crisis in the workplace;

  • Federal and state orders concerning essential businesses and financial assistance; and

  • Tips to maintain a thriving brewery, distillery, or winery while shifting business models.

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