CDC updates COVID guidance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled significant changes last Thursday as part of a sweeping effort to overhaul the agency's COVID-19 guidance. "This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives," CDC's Greta Massetti said in a statement announcing the changes. Among the biggest differences in the new recommendations:
- The CDC's COVID-19 prevention guidance will no longer differentiate by whether people are up to date on their vaccinations.
- Testing to screen for COVID-19 will no longer be recommended in most places for people who do not have COVID symptoms.
- The CDC says people who have tested positive for COVID-19 can stop wearing masks if their symptoms have improved and they test negative twice in a row — initially on the sixth day after their infection began, and then again on the eighth day.
- And the CDC says that "to limit social and economic impacts, quarantine of exposed persons is no longer recommended, regardless of vaccination status.”
Updated isolation guidelines for people with COVID-19 can be found here. Updated guidance for those exposed to COVID-19 can be found here.
We may be getting much closer to normal. Source: CBS News 8/11/22
It is National Breastfeeding Month: National Breastfeeding Month is designed to spread awareness of employers' legal obligations surrounding pregnant workers and new parents. Several federal laws lay down rules for businesses when it comes to these employees, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related medical conditions, and the Family Medical and Leave Act, which guarantees unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth, placement, or care of a child. The Fair Labor Standards Act also mandates covered companies provide hourly workers with unpaid break time and a private place other than a bathroom to pump. "For working mothers and caregivers, knowing your rights and how to enforce them gives you the power to ensure that those rights are respected in the workplace," EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said in pre-recorded remarks at Wednesday's online event. Source: Law360 8/10/22
Is your recruiter socially savvy? 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source potential candidates to fill open positions, according to workforce insights platform Workmonger. That means that having a successful social media presence is essential to the success of their role. The problem? LinkedIn isn't the only form of social media applicants are using to find new opportunities, but it's one of the only ones recruiters are comfortable with. As for job boards, they're still a good source for candidates, but recruiters often only have access to "active applicants" — which refers to people actively looking for jobs and makes up approximately just 30% of candidates, according to Chase. With social media, however, recruiters have access to nearly 100% of all job applicants, both active and passive. "Recruiters never anticipated needing to be socially savvy — they didn't set out to get into social media," says Bryant Chase, social media director at social recruiting platform CareerArc, an ASE partner, who specializes in reaching audiences on other social media platforms job seekers frequent, like Twitter and Facebook. "In the past, recruiters could rely on in-person events and job boards. But obviously, in-person events are few and far between now, and even when they are hosted, a lot of people aren't attending them in the same way." Source: EBN 8/9/22
Conducting “quiet” computer search supported claim of retaliation: A city employee submitted a “formal written complaint” stating that her supervisor, the police chief, engaged in sexual discrimination by treating male and female employees differently and retaliated against those coming forward. About a week after receiving the complaint, the chief ordered a forensic search of the employee’s work computer, which revealed the employee’s personal nude photographs and evidence that the employee used her work computer for a second job. The city employee did not know of the search. The city then terminated the employee for violating the city’s computer policies. Although the city employee should have had no expectation of privacy on the computer, the search was predicated on the complaint made about the police chief. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, while dismissing the privacy and 4th amendment complaint concerning the search of the computer, upheld the retaliation charge, stating that even though the employee did not know of the retaliation at the time, it was retaliation none-the-less. The Court then stated that a requirement of having knowledge could chill employees from speaking up. Source: ABA Journal 6/7/22, Smith v. City of Pelham, No 20-13210 (11th Circuit Court of Appeals, 12/10/21)
Vacations yes – but working more: More Americans are taking vacations. That doesn’t mean they’re staying off work email or truly checking out. Notorious for not taking time off, U.S. workers are vacationing in numbers not seen in years, booking flights and heading out on getaways they put off because of Covid-19 disruptions. Nearly 60% of Americans say they took at least a week of vacation in the past year, up from 44% in 2021 who said the same, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 people by Allianz Partners USA. That is more than in any year since the insurer began conducting the survey in 2009. In a June survey of senior executives by executive search firm Korn Ferry, 60% said they would be more in touch with work while vacationing this year than on previous vacations. More than a third said they planned to check in with the office multiple times a day, compared with 19% who expected to do so in 2021. And you wonder why burnout is so prevalent these days. Source: Wall Street Journal 8/8/22
New D.C. law allows for marijuana at work: On July 13, 2022, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022. The law prohibits employers in D.C., with certain exceptions, from refusing to hire, terminating, suspending, failing to promote, demoting, or penalizing, an individual due to the individual's: (1) use of cannabis; (2) status as a medical cannabis program patient; or (3) having the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in their system without additional factors indicating impairment. In addition, employers must treat an employee's medical cannabis use the same as any other legal use of a controlled substance prescribed by or taken under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. The law appears to permit employees with disabilities to use medical cannabis at work in a non-smokable form if: (1) the employee is not in a "safety-sensitive" position; and (2) the employer is not violating a federal statute, regulation, contract, or funding agreement. The law allows employers to prohibit cannabis use, consumption, possession, growing, storage, and sale or transfer at work. Employers may also take action against employees who are impaired by the use of cannabis at work. Source: Shulman Rogers 8/4/22