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August 12, 2021

Business Workplace Health & Safety Checklist: What Should Employers Expect with New Delta Variant Cases Rising?

By: Meg Bentley

As the number of COVID-19 cases declined last spring, Illinois businesses reopened their doors, and many employees returned to work. There was light at the end of this historic pandemic tunnel we had been navigating, and a glimmer of a new normal began to emerge.

And, with that, new laws were implemented. Workplace requirements were placed upon employers to protect their employees returning to work in the post-COVID-19 era.

Per Federal and Illinois laws:

Employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and follow the Governor’s Executive Orders (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gov/Pages/default.aspx).

The “Must” List:

  1. Continue to facilitate remote work to able employees when possible;
  2. Make certain employees practice social distancing; otherwise, ensure they wear masks, which should be provided by the employers at no cost;
  3. Permit for social distancing in all places of employee gatherings;
  4. Ensure your visitors practice social distancing and are encouraged to wear masks; and
  5. Immediately post workplace safety guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Attorney General.

See the IDPH website for additional information and recommendations to ensure a safe and healthy workplace: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/workplace-health-and-safety-guidance/employee-employer-rights-and-safety

In light of the recent COVID-19 variant trends, what can employers expect?

On August 4, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a statewide mask mandate for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools and all long-term care facilities, as well as vaccine requirements for all state employees working in congregate facilities.

Furthermore, the Governor is now expected to issue a mask mandate to businesses similar to the prior Chicago mask requirement, which would apply to all public indoor spaces and be required regardless of vaccine status.

Looking ahead, it is wise for employers to anticipate and become aware of further workplace adjustments required to protect their employees from the Delta variant and other possible virus strains that continue to develop.

 


Meg Bentley is a Partner at Kelley Kronenberg, Chicago, focusing her practice on Workers’ Compensation

Contact Meg Bentley at:
Phone: (800) 718-9865
Email: asiegel@kklaw.com

 

 

 


DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg, nor its individual attorneys or staff, are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.