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Andrews Myers
We Mean Business in Texas
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OSHA Revises Coronavirus Reporting Requirement
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Upon AGC intervention, OSHA revised their previous guidance on requiring the recording and reporting of workplace exposures to COVID-19. Reporting now required in limited circumstances where there is evidence employee contracted the virus at their place of work. 

For a summary of the rule, click HERE.
 
Employment
Employment Obligations and COVID-19
by Tony Stergio  During this time, employers may be considering different strategies for paying their employees. Here are some reminders.
Hourly employees only have to be paid for hours actually worked, not for time spent away from work due to illness, business closures, or any other reason.
With respect to pay for salaried employees:
  • If salaried employees are off for an entire week due to an employer mandate, business closure, or personal issues (such as illness or care for a child)—they do not have to be paid; but
  • If salaried employees work any part of the week—they generally have to be paid a full salary.
An employer may encourage or require employees to telework as an infection-control or prevention strategy. If an hourly employee works from home or online, then those hours worked must be paid.

An employer may pay a higher rate or bonus for working during this time. An employer must, however, make clear what rate is being paid before the work is performed. Employers should also clearly set out bonus eligibility requirements. Any bonus and/or higher rate must be factored into an employee’s overtime calculation for a particular workweek. ... Read More 
 
CDC Guidelines & the Americans with Disabilities Act
by Andy Clark   Under its current guidance on COVID-19, the CDC advises that:
  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other medicines. 
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
While employers should follow the CDC’s guidelines, employers also should be careful not to run afoul of the ADA.
  • The ADA prohibits employee disability-related inquiries or medical examinations unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. 
  • Employers should maintain confidentiality and not identify the employee or explain the reason an employee is not at work. Communications with employees about illnesses and medical conditions should be kept confidential. Related documents should be kept in a location separate from the employee’s personnel file.
Notwithstanding the ADA’s prohibitions, employers may still take the following steps:  ... Read more
 
About Andrews Myers
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Celebrating 30 Years in 2020
Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law.  The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit www.andrewsmyers.com.
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