December 2020- EMERGENCY REGULATIONS – COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules Take Effect


THE CAL/OSHA Standards Board has approved new emergency regulations that will impose strict rules on employers to implement safeguards in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the workplace.

The sweeping rules extend the reach of protections to employer-provided housing and transportation, as well as THE CAL/OSHA Standards Board has approved new emergency regulations that will impose strict rules on employers to implement safeguards in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the workplace.

The sweeping rules extend the reach of protections to employer-provided housing and transportation, as well as imposing new reporting requirements on employers who have workers that contract the coronavirus. The new rules took effect Nov. 30, so employers need to ramp up immediately to comply with them.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW REGULATIONS

  • Physical distancing and mask-wearing are required unless it is not possible to Wear masks on the job. If physical distancing is not possible, the employer would have to explain why.
  • Employers must provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees over the nose and mouth.
  • At fixed work locations where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing, the employer shall install cleanable partitions that effectively reduce aerosol transmission between employees.
  • Employers must implement cleaning and disinfecting procedures for frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, equipment, tools, handrails, handles, controls, bathroom surfaces and steering wheels.
  • Employers will be required to have a written COVID-19 prevention program. Cal/OSHA will allow the program to be incorporated into an existing injury and illness prevention plan or be stand-alone.
  • Employers must identify and evaluate COVID-19 hazards with participation from employees, and then correct those hazards.
  • Employers must investigate cases among their employees. If they discover one of their staff has contracted COVID-19, they must notify all employees at a worksite who might have been exposed, within one day. Workers who may have been exposed must be offered COVID-19 testing at no cost.
  • Employers must report coronavirus cases in their workplaces to local health authorities.
  • Employers must maintain medical records related to COVID-19 and provide those records to the local health department, the California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (upon request).
  • Employers must implement a system of record-keeping to track all COVID- 19 cases in the workplace.
  • Employees with COVID-19 symptoms may not return to work until at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and not until after 24 hours have passed since the employee had a fever of 100.4 or higher and after all symptoms have passed.

There are even rules for disinfecting and cleaning employee housing and  transportation if the company provides them. The regs also include provisions that are beyond the scope of workplace safety regulations, such as requiring employers to maintain employees’ earnings, seniority and benefits when they are off work because of COVID-19.

Key takeaways

The new rules took effect Nov. 30, so you will need to immediately prepare.  You should:

  • Prepare for new record-keeping requirements,
  • Write COVID-19 prevention program guidelines,
  • Implement testing protocols according to the
    regulations, and
  • Prepare policies and procedures for notifying affected staff and others of possible COVID-19 exposure.

December 2020 – COVERAGE ISSUES – Your New Year Insurance Checklist


AS 2021 gets underway and while you’re making New Year’s resolutions, you should also resolve to review the state of your business’s insurance program.

The best way to do that is to start by reviewing your enterprise’s activities in the past year and how they may affect your insurance policies in the new year. What you find as you go through the following checklist may surprise you.

Did your operations change last year? Workers’ compensation and commercial general liability (CGL) insurance premiums are based in part on the type of work your business does.

If your business changed, the insurance company may revise how it classifies your operations when it audits your records. This could cause your premiums to increase; inform the company now to avoid a surprise later.

Did your payroll and sales change? These premiums are also based on the amounts of your payrolls and sales. Employment practices liability insurance premiums are based on the number of employees.

If you had a good year and these numbers increased, expect to pay additional premiums at audit time. Conversely, if both shrunk, ask your insurer to reduce its estimates so you can get the return premium now.

Did you acquire, form or sell any businesses? CGL policies typically provide short-term coverage for some newly acquired or formed entities. After 30 or 90 days, that coverage disappears unless you report the new entities to the insurer.

Workers’ comp policies do not automatically cover a new entity. If your business and the new entity have common ownership, you may be able to add that entity to your policy, but you must report it to the insurer.

Did your properties change? Did you buy or sell any buildings? Lease new ones? Add on to or upgrade any buildings? Buy new equipment? Make sure your insurer knows about these changes.

Some property insurance policies provide limited automatic coverage, but only for 30 days or so. Also, the amounts of insurance on your properties should reflect the cost of replacing them. If your building is 30% bigger than it was this time last year, you may be underinsured.

Did your auto schedule change? If you have sold, replaced or added any vehicles, make sure your insurance company has an up-to-date list of all vehicles. Do you need new or additional insurance? Could you afford to pay for legal costs, settlements, penalties, lost income and recovery measures if you were sued over a network data breach or suffered a ransomware attack? If not, you may need cyber insurance.

Could a client sue you for alleged errors or omissions in your work? If so, you might need professional liability insurance. Also, you may need greater amounts of general liability and automobile liability insurance, especially if you work for other firms. They often require their vendors and contractors to carry high insurance limits. You may need a commercial umbrella liability policy for additional amounts of insurance.

The takeaway

You’ve worked hard to build your business, and your work
deserves protection. By using this checklist, you will get a good
start on protecting what you have while you work in 2021 to
make it grow.


December 2020 – Top 10 Business Laws and Regulations for 2021


EVERY YEAR starts with a bevy of new laws and regulations affecting  employers and business in California, and many of the new rules this time around are an outgrowth of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on workers.

 

Employers in the year ahead have a number of changes they will have to contend with, some of which were enacted near the end of 2020 as emergency regulations or legislation. The following are the top 10 laws and regulations affecting employers in 2021.

1. COVID-19 workers’ compensation rules

AB 1159, which took effect in September, requires that workers’ compensation benefits be extended so that any employee who reports to a workplace and contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have contracted it at work, making them eligible for workers’ comp  benefits.

But the law also imposes sweeping reporting rules for employers that have outbreaks in their workplaces (it’s considered an outbreak if 4% of an employer’s workers test positive for COVID-19). Under new rules by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, though, COVID-19 illness claims will not count against employers’ experience modifiers (X-Mods).

Under the law, when reporting a COVID-19 claim employers must provide the following information:

  • The date the worker tested positive
  • The workplace address of the worker during the 14 days before the positive test, and
  • The highest number of employees who reported to work in the 45 days preceding the last day the employee worked in the workplace.

The above must be reported for each worker COVID-19 case. The law sunsets on Jan. 1, 2023.

2. Cal/OSHA COVID-19 regulations

Cal/OSHA in November enacted emergency regulations that require employers to implement safeguards i to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the workplace. The rules require employers to create a COVID-19 prevention plan, require masks in the workplace, social distancing and other ways to reduce the likelihood of virus spread.

Employers must investigate coronavirus cases in their workplace. If a worker contracts COVID-19, they must notify all staff who may have been exposed, within one day. Workers who may have been exposed must be offered COVID-19 testing at no cost. Employers must report every new case to local health authorities.

3. Cal/OSHA law adds confusion

Before Cal/OSHA came out with its emergency COVID-19 regulations, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 685, which adds to Cal/OSHA’s responsibilities in policing COVID-19 protections.

The law expands the agency’s authority to issue stop-work orders to workplaces it deems a COVID-19 “imminent hazard.” The law also requires employers to notify a number of parties (state agencies, local authorities, employees, contractors and more) if they have coronavirus infections in any of their facilities.

Notice to employees must include information regarding benefits the employee may be eligible for under federal, state and local laws, including workers’ comp, COVID-19-related leave, company
sick leave, state-mandated leave, and more.

4. Expansion of California Family Rights Act

SB 1383 expands the California Family Rights Act to cover even smaller employers – those with five or more staff. The CFRA, which requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year for family and medical leave purposes, had until now applied to employers with 50 or more workers .

The new law also expands the scope of “family members” for whom employees can take leave to help care for them to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and domestic partners. Also, the law expands the definition of “child” to include all adult children.

5. Independent contractor law tweaked
AB 2257, which took effect in September 2020, revises the controversial AB 5 independent contractor law by adding a number of exceptions for certain classes of workers.
AB 5 created a new standard for discerning what workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors and it swept up a number of professions in its net, causing some
consternation and hand-wringing among both employers of those contractors and the independent contractors themselves. The professions that are now exempt include (among others):

  • Graphic designers
  • Web designers
  • Consultants
  • Freelance writers
  • Translators
  • Editors and content contributors.

6. Wildfire smoke safety regulations

Cal/OSHA is working on permanent wildfire smoke regulations to protect  outdoor workers when the air worsens during major events. An emergency regulation is set to expire Jan. 31, 2021, at which time Cal/OSHA hopes to introduce the permanent replacement that would require employers to protect their outdoor workers from smoke if the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds 150.
The regulations apply when the AQI for airborne particulate matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) or smaller is 151 or greater. The permanent regulations are expected to cover training and methods for protecting workers (like moving them inside or providing N95 respirators during high-smoke conditions).

7. New classification for telecommuters

There is a new workers’ compensation class code to assign to employees who work from home, an outgrowth of the coronavirus pandemic which thrust so many people into working from home. The new class code, (Clerical Telecommuter Employees – N.O.C.), applies to employees that work from home or “away from any location of their employer,” doing office clerical work. This class code, available on policies effective Jan. 1 or later, is to be used for employees which would have been classified under class code 8810, Office Clerical employees, that are doing work at home 50% or more of the time.

8. Sick leave and kin care law

Under Labor Code, an employee was entitled to use up to half of their annual accrued sick leave to care for a family member, but not the full amount of sick leave they have. AB 2017 gives employees the sole discretion to use as much of their sick leave as they want to care for a family member, with no approval from their employer required. The law took effect. Jan. 1.
A “family member” is defined as a child, parent or guardian, spouse or domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.

9. Data protections strengthened further

California voters last year passed Prop. 24, which established a new law: the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020. The CPRA amends and strengthens the state’s current data protection
privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which governs how organizations have to protect personal data that they collect. The CPRA gives additional rights to consumers and places extra obligations on businesses. It provides additional protections for sensitive personal information, expands the CCPA’s opt-out rights to include new types of information-sharing, and requires businesses to provide additional mechanisms for individuals to access, correct or delete data, with a particular focus on information used by automated decision-making systems.

While the law doesn’t take full effect until Jan. 1, 2023, it has a 12-month look-back period. Privacy experts advise companies to start working on their data protection infrastructure in 2021 in order to be ready for this expansive new law.

10. State minimum wage increases

As of Jan. 1, California’s minimum wage increased to $14 for employers with 26 or more employees, and to $13 for those with 25 or fewer employees. Local minimum wages may also have risen. Check your local rules for other minimum wage requirements.


Cal/OSHA Rulemaking – Permanent Wildfire Safety Rules on Tap – OCTOBER 2020


AS WILDFIRES continue raging throughout California, Cal/OSHA has issued a reminder to employers that they are required to protect their outdoor workers from smoke if the Air Quality Index exceeds 150. Cal/OSHA has extended an emergency regulation it put in place in August 2019 through January 2021 as it works on a permanent regulation on wildfire smoke protection for outdoor workers in the state.

For the safety of your workers and to comply with the regulation, it’s important that you follow the regs and know when you will need to take action to protect them from outdoor smoke.
The regulation applies when the AQI for airborne particulate matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) or smaller is 151 or greater in an area where employees are working outdoors. Here are the details:

Identification

Employers must monitor the AQI for PM2.5. You can monitor the index using the following websites:

  • U.S. EPA AirNow
  • U.S. Forest Service Wildland Air Quality Response Program
  • California Air Resources Board
  • Local air pollution control district websites or local air quality management district websites.

Training and instruction

Employers with outdoor workers need train their workers in:

  • The health effects of wildfire smoke.
  • Their right to obtain medical treatment without fear of reprisal.
  • How they can obtain the current AQI for PM2.5.
  • Actions they must take if the AQI exceeds 150 PM 2.5

Communication

Employers must implement a system for communicating wildfire smoke hazards to all affected employees, as well as a system for employees to inform the employer of smoke hazards.

The takeaway

If you have outside employees who may have to work in smoky conditions, you should stockpile a two-week supply of N-95 masks for all of them if you are unable to implement other controls to reduce their exposure.
Cal/OSHA is in the process of making the emergency rules permanent and has sent them out for public comment. We will continue monitoring the agency’s progress on the rules and update you when they have been completed.

 

 


Worker’s Compensation – COVID-19 Prompts Rate Hike Recommendation – OCTOBER 2020


THE COVID-19 pandemic seems to have reversed years of falling workers’ compensation rates in California, as the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has recommended that average benchmark rates be increased by 2.6% for 2021.
The recommendation was forwarded to the California Department of Insurance, which will schedule a hearing on the recommendation in the fall.
It should be noted that the 2.6% increase recommendation would be an average across all class codes, as the Rating Bureau plans to allocate the expected COVID-19 costs by weight across the state’s overall industrial sector. Note that even low exposure classes will be surcharged.
The Bureau in its recommendation aims to apply the surcharge on a weighted basis according to each class code’s share of growing COVID-19 claims costs. It is considering a tiered surcharge model based on an employer’s risk, as follows (for examples, see below):

High risk – A 12-cent surcharge per $100 of payroll.
Medium risk – A 6-cent surcharge per $100 of payroll.
Low risk – A 4-cent surcharge per $100 of payroll.

 

The X-factor


The Bureau’s actuarial committee noted that the pandemic does present challenges for predicting workers’ compensation costs. “The 2021 policy year will still be impacted by COVID-19, but some trends may stabilize. The challenge will be projecting exposure and claims frequency (for COVID-19 claims),” the committee wrote in a report. Actually, the overall effect of COVID-19 on rates going into 2021 was 4%, according to the Rating Bureau. Had it not included the COVID-19 surcharge, it would be asking for a 1.3% decrease in benchmark rates.

The reason is that claims costs and claims frequency have been falling and long-term claims are costing less than originally anticipated. The Bureau also forecasts that the recession caused by the pandemic will also have a profound effect on overall claims: it projects an overall 6.3% decrease in claims frequency due to slowing economic conditions.

Interestingly, COVID-19 claims are not supposed to count against employers’ experience rating and loss histories, according to new rules that took effect in May. However, the claims are having an overall effect in terms of workers’ comp benefit payments. The Bureau also has to price in the uncertainty over the future of COVID-19. Will it get worse, or will it begin to wane? Will there be a vaccine and new and improved treatment regimens that reduce mortality or decrease symptoms and hospitalizations?

It is concerned that some low-risk industries may be getting a surcharge that is still out of proportion to their actual risk, particularly with people who are working remotely. It plans to further study the issue and will likely amend the filing depending on the results.


Law Adds Independent Contractor Exemptions – OCTOBER 2020


A NEW LAW has come to the rescue of a number of freelance professions by exempting them from the onerous requirements of AB 5, which required most independent contractors to be classified as employees in California. Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 1 signed AB 2257 as an urgency measure so that it took effect immediately. If you remember, AB 5 set a new standard for hiring independent contractors, requiring many to be reclassified as employees covered by minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. It created a three-pronged test that needs to be satisfied to determine if someone is an independent contractor or an employee.

To be independent contractors under AB 5’s “ABC test,” workers must (A) work independently, (B) do work that is different from what the business does, and (C) offer their work to other businesses or the public. All three conditions must be met.

It is prong B that’s problematic. For example, a freelance writer working for a magazine would not be doing something different than the business does. The new law sets limits on the amount of income someone can receive while doing this kind of work before being considered an employee. AB 2257 also expands the “business-to-business” definition in AB 5 to cover a relationship between two or more sole proprietors.

 

 

 

 


New Law Creates COVID-19 Claim Framework – OCTOBER 2020


GOVERNOR GAVIN Newsom has signed legislation that creates a new framework for COVID-19- related workers’ compensation claims. SB 1159 replaces an executive order that Newsom made on March 18 that required all employees working outside the home who contracted COVID-19 be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they file a claim. The new law expands that rebuttable presumption” that a coronavirus case is work-related to front-line workers, as well as employees in workplaces that have had an outbreak of cases. The new law is retroactive to July 6, the day after Newsom’s executive order expired, and is set to expire Jan. 1, 2023.  Employers with fewer than five employees are exempt under the statute.

SB 1159’s three parts

Part 1. The law codifies Newsom’s prior executive order that provided a “rebuttable presumption” that COVID-19 was contracted in the scope and course of work by employees working outside of the home who get infected.

Part 2. The law provides a rebuttable presumption that firefighters, law enforcement officers, health care workers and home care workers who contract COVID-19, contracted it in the workplace.

Part 3. The law creates a rebuttable presumption that a worker’s COVID-19 diagnosis is work-related within 14 days of a company outbreak. Under SB 1159, an outbreak is defined as when four employees test positive at a specific place of employment with 100 or fewer employees and, for larger places of employment, when 4% of the employees test positive. It’s also deemed a workplace outbreak if the employer had to shut down due to the coronavirus.

Rebutting a claim

Employers can rebut the presumption that COVID-19 was contracted at work if they have:
• Proof of measures they put in place to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19,
• Evidence of the employee’s nonoccupational risks of contracting COVID-19,
• Statements made by the employee, or
• Any other evidence normally used to dispute a work-related injury.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

When an employer learns of an employee testing positive, they must report to the insurer the following information within three business days:
• The date the employee tested positive.
• The address or addresses of the employee’s specific place(s) of employment during the 14-day period preceding the date of their positive test.
• The highest number of workers who reported to work in the 45-day period preceding the last day the employee worked at each specific site.

Filing False Information Can Result in a $10,000 Fine

The Rossi Law Group has the following recommendations for employers in California:
• Keep track of all locations each employee works at, the number of employees on each day at each location, as well as a log of those that test positive (including the date the specimen was collected).
• If you are aware of any staff who have tested positive between July 6 and Sept. 17, you have 30 days after Sept. 17 to report the positive test to the claims administrator.
• You must also report to the insurer positive COVID-19 results for employees that are not filing claims. In that case, you must omit personal identifying information of the employee.
• Provide any factual information to the claims administrator that could help rebut any claim of work-relatedness.

The law also has some teeth: Anyone who submits false or misleading information shall be subjected to a civil fine up to $10,000.

One last thing…

The governor also signed into law AB 685, which requires employers to report an outbreak to local public health officials. Employers must also report known cases to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 within one business day.


Ten Employee Lawsuit Risks During Covid-19 – July 2020


THE NOVEL coronavirus that broke out in the winter has caused immeasurable suffering, both physical and economic. For employers struggling to stay in business, this is a fraught time where mistakes in managing their workforces could lead to employee lawsuits. Here are 10 potential trouble spots to watch for.

1. Workplace safety – Businesses that still have employees working on-site run the risk that a single infected worker may send the virus ripping through the entire workforce. While workers’ compensation laws may prevent employees from suing, their family members who become ill or suffer through a worker’s illness face no such constraints.

2. Sick time and paid leave – Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in March, guaranteeing full-time employees of small businesses 80 hours of sick leave (part-timers get a prorated amount.) Mistakes in administering these benefits could prompt lawsuits.

3. Workplace discrimination – Because the coronavirus originated in China, there have been reports of Asian-Americans being targets of racist actions. Employers must take care to avoid the appearance of making workplace decisions based even partly on employees’ race.

4. Americans with Disabilities Act – The ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for these workers. Employees who become ill from COVID-19 (the illness caused by the virus) may suffer after-effects that include trouble breathing, speaking, and working at their former pace. Employers must accommodate these workers to the extent that is practical.

5. Wage and hour violations – Non-exempt employees working remotely may be working more than their regular hours, missing rest and meal breaks, and using their own equipment. Employers must keep careful records, reimburse employees for their use of personal equipment where warranted and remind employees to take mandatory breaks.

6. Battered retirement plans – Stock markets have cratered since the beginning of the year, taking retirement account balances down with them. Questions may be asked about whether fund managers did enough to limit the damage. Employees who are not satisfied with the answers may go to court.

7. Health information privacy – Employee health information privacy is protected by law. Employers must secure the records of infected employees from unauthorized access by individuals within and outside the company.

8. Union contracts – Collective bargaining agreements may contain provisions that go beyond federal requirements for breaks, paid leave, layoff notices, and workplace safety. Employers must keep their CBAs in mind and work with their unions to avoid contract violations.

9. Disparate impact from layoffs – If layoffs are necessary, employers must take a thoughtful approach when deciding which employees to part company with. An appearance of singling out older workers or other protected classes under discrimination laws could invite lawsuits.

10. WARN Act – The Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires some employers to provide at least 60 days’ notice before layoffs. Many businesses’ revenues fell off the cliff so quickly that they were unable to provide that much notice.

A final thought
The pandemic is a crisis that few businesses foresaw. The effects, including the litigation, may haunt them for a long time to come.


Workers’ Compensation – New Telecommuter Class Code in the Works – July 2020


DUE TO the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s workers’ compensation rating agency plans to implement a new class code for telecommuting employees on Jan 1, 2021. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California started work on the new classification as companies ordered employees to start working at home after stay-at-home orders were issued to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The new code for telecommuting workers will be 8871. Under a prior emergency rule, the Rating Bureau had recommended that employees who were thrust into telecommuting because of the COVID-19 outbreak be assigned the 8810 “Clerical Office Employee” code.
This is a major change in the class code structure and will affect employers throughout the state. If you have telecommuting staff, you should prepare for this change now.

The specifics
Until now, telecommuting employees whose duties meet the definition of clerical employees in the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan have been assigned class code 8810 “Clerical Office Employees,” or their employers’ standard classification if that classification specifically includes clerical office staff.
Rating Bureau staff has proposed that class code 8871 be the code for clerical employees who work more than 50% of their time at their home or other office space that is not on the employer’s premises.
As mentioned, the class code will be used only if the class code for the employer does not include clerical employees. Currently, there are 41 class codes that include clerical staff. There are also two codes that specifically exclude them. If a company includes all of its staff in the same code, any clerical staff on its payroll are not assigned the 8810 “Clerical Employee” class code and instead assigned the code for the company as a whole.
For the sake of continuity, the Rating Bureau staff has recommended that those 43 class codes be amended to specifically include or exclude clerical telecommuting staff.

What you should do
If you have staff on your payroll who are telecommuting, you should start preparing your accounting or bookkeeping software to add in this code for when your policy comes due in 2021.
Starting work on this now can help your insurer more accurately price your future policies, or when they decide to audit your payroll.
Conversely, you should not attempt to change the class code for your currently telecommuting employees now or at any time before Jan. 1, 2021, as the final rules have not yet been written, approved or promulgated. They also need to be approved by the state insurance commissioner.
The Rating Bureau plans to apply the rate for the class code for clerical employees to the new class code for the first few years, and until it can gather enough data to set a unique rate for the code. That could take a few years as the Rating Bureau typically uses a window of the past three years of claims experience and costs when setting class code rates.


Pandemic Transition – How to Reopen, Bring Staff Back to Work Safely – July 2020


IF YOUR business is reopening after a relaxation of shelter-in-place orders, you should proceed with caution and make sure you have safeguards in place to protect your workers, as well as customers if they are entering your premises.
Here are some recommendations from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and other sources that can apply to any municipality anywhere in the country.

Measures to protect employees
• If someone can continue working from home, let them do so.
• Tell employees not to come to work if sick.
• If any employee tests positive for, or has symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, you should:
– Ask that they isolate at home, and
– Ask all employees who may have come in contact with that colleague to immediately self-quarantine at home.
• Check employees for symptoms or a fever before they enter. This must include a check-in concerning cough, shortness of breath or fever, and any other symptoms the employee may be experiencing.
• These checks can be done remotely or in-person upon the employee’s arrival. A temperature check should be done at the worksite, if feasible.
• Offer at no cost to your employees cloth face coverings if they are going to have contact with the public during their shift. If they are disposable, masks should be thrown away at the end of every shift. If they are reusable, they should be washed after every shift in hot water.
• Instruct employees not to touch their masks.
• Disinfect break rooms, restrooms, and common areas frequently.
• Place hand sanitizer in strategic locations.
• Allow employees to take frequent breaks to wash their hands.

Signage
Place signs at each public entrance of your facility to inform all employees and customers that they should:
• Avoid entering if they have a cough or fever.
• Maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from one another.
• Wear a mask for their own protection, as well as for the safety of others.

Controlling crowds, lines
Limit the number of customers on the premises at any one time, to allow customers and employees to easily maintain at least 6-foot distance from one another at all practicable times. Post an employee at the door to ensure the maximum number of customers in the facility is not exceeded. If people are queueing up, mark the ground outside to ensure proper social distancing.

Spacing between employees
• Require employees to work at least 6 feet apart. You may need to reorganize workspaces to ensure proper spacing.
• In jobs where workers are on their feet, mark spots on the floor where they should stand to ensure social distancing.
• Space out tables, chairs, and microwaves in break rooms.
• Another option is to use partitions made of plexiglass so workers can communicate and make eye contact.
• In addition, you may want to abandon the popular open workspace concept and revert to using cubicles, which gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as a way to increase productivity by putting barriers between office workers. Having that divider will make your staff feel safer and can offer some protection.
• Reconfigure furniture placement in offices, public seating areas, and other work areas to support physical distancing.

Cleaning and circulation
Take steps to minimize air from fans blowing from one worker directly at another. Also, consider opening windows for circulation.
Also important are:
• Disinfecting surfaces in workspaces, as well as doorknobs, buttons, and controls. Pay special attention to areas that are frequented and touched more often.
• Providing workers and customers with tissues and trash receptacles.
• Employees who are cleaning and disinfecting should wear disposable gloves.
• Cleaning surfaces using soap and water, then using a disinfectant.
• Sanitizing any other personal protective equipment such as hardhats after every shift.