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As of August 11, 2020, SB 4 imposes new COVID-19 related worker safety requirements for certain employers, including limited-time protocols for mitigating transmission, cleaning facilities, implementing a response plan, mandated testing in specific circumstances, and paid time off. The director of the Department of Health and Human Services adopted corresponding regulations on August 31, 2020.
Eligibility. The new rules come with moderately complex eligibility provisions. First, the new protocols apply to public accommodations facilities, defined as hotel and casinos, resorts, hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfast facilities or other facility offering rooms or areas to the public for financial consideration. Next, SB 4 applies only to counties with a population of 100,000 or more individuals, such as Clark and Washoe counties. Finally, the director’s regulations apply (1) during any period of public health emergency due to SARS-CoV-2 as declared by the Governor, (2) any day that the positive rate of COVID-19 testing for any county exceeds 5% in a 14-day rolling period within the previous 90 days, or (3) any day the number of new cases in the county exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents in the same time periods.
New Protocols. Covered business owners must establish three sets of new protocols:
- Protocols to limit or reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including use of cleaning products qualified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use against COVID-19, as well as regular cleaning of high-contact areas and objects. Employers must also post a one-page summary of the standards adopted in accordance with this protocol, and provide a copy to employees or a representative of a collective bargaining unit upon request. Employers may not advise or incentivize guests to decline daily in-room housekeeping.
- Other, non-cleaning related procedures to reduce transmission, including implementation of finite policies related to social distancing, hygiene, and personal protective equipment. Staff must also receive training to prevent and mitigate viral transmission.
- Written response plan designed to monitor and respond to potential exposure/infection among employees and guests. The response plan must designate individual(s) to oversee the plan and its attendant testing requirements, and to designate an area where employees receive daily temperature checks.
Testing. Employees are required to receive testing in four situations:
- All new hires and newly returning employees who have not worked since March 13, 2020.
- Each employee known to have close contact with a guest or other employee diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Each employee who reasonably believes or has been advised that they have been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19.
- Each employee who discloses they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing must be provided at no cost to the employee, and may either be performed on-site or at a testing facility selected by the employer. Employees who have been potentially exposed must be informed within 24 hours or as soon as practicable. Symptomatic employees are not permitted to return to work until test results are received. Further, guests are required to leave and seek medical attention if testing positive for COVID-19.
Paid Time Off. Employees tested for reasons 2, 3, or 4 above are entitled to up to three days of paid time off while awaiting test results, as well as additional paid time off if documentation shows a delay exceeding three days to receive testing or test results. Employees are eligible for this paid time off entitlement each time they receive testing for reason 2, but only for the first instance of receiving testing for reasons 3 or 4.
Employees who test positive must be permitted to take at least 14 days off, and at least 10 of these days must consist of paid time off. Employers may not deduct these 10 days from employer-provided paid time off banks (e.g., vacation), but aligns with emergency paid sick leave provided under the FFCRA.
Employers may submit a request to the director to increase or decrease the duration of the paid time off leave. The director will review and determine if the request may be granted.
- Review the text of the bill here.
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Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
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