Coronavirus Update: March 18, 2021

Welcome to the Coronavirus Update! As always, please visit the IEC Coronavirus Resources dropbox, a resource that provides specific information to help your businesses and employees.
What Have We Learned About Workplaces and What Does the Future Hold?
March 2021 marks one year since the beginning of state-mandated stay-at-home orders and workplace shutdowns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused the most significant disruption to workplaces in generations by forcing employers and employees to quickly pivot and change. Many of these changes will undoubtedly impact the workplace for years to come. Here is a look at 10 ways the pandemic may have a lasting influence on how we work.
Read More
Biden Signs COVID-19 Aid Package into Law
On March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a massive $1.9 trillion aid package that was passed without the support of Republicans in the U.S. House or Senate. Learn how the law addresses individual stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, multiemployer pension plans, increased workplace safety enforcement, and more.
Review the ARP
OSHA Focuses on Worker Protection
OSHA has issued a COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (NEP) to ensure that employees in high hazard industries are protected from COVID-19 hazards. The program prioritizes actions against employers who retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or unhealthy conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law. NEP inspections will enhance the agency’s previous coronavirus enforcement efforts.
CDC Issues Recommendations for the Fully Vaccinated
On March 8, the CDC issued new interim recommendations for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new recommendations address how to manage vaccinated individuals with respect to social gatherings, contact tracing, and other mitigation matters in non-healthcare settings.
OSHA Returns to Onsite Inspections
OSHA has updated its Interim Enforcement Response Plan to prioritize the use of onsite workplace inspections where practical, or a combination of on-site and remote methods. OSHA will use remote-only inspections if the agency determines that on-site inspections cannot be performed safely. On March 18, OSHA will rescind the May 26, 2020, memorandum on this topic and the new guidance will go into effect until further notice.

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