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The Great Return – Tips for Bringing Employees Back to the Office

Everyday life looks and feels relatively similar to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As many Americans resume their normal activities, some organizations may wonder how to get employees to return to the office. Remote work offered a safe accommodation for employees during the height of the pandemic. While some organizations have adopted fully remote workplace

Employers Now Required to Justify COVID-19 Testing, According to EEOC

In an update to its technical assistance manual, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that employers must now justify mandatory COVID-19 testing for their workers. Going forward, employers must “assess whether current pandemic circumstances and individual workplace circumstances justify viral testing of employees to prevent workplace transmission of COVID-19.”  Previously, the EEOC

CDC Loosens Mask-wearing Guidance for Most of U.S. Population

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updates to its mask-wearing recommendations, loosening guidance for a majority of the U.S. population. The CDC provides COVID-19 Community Levels as a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. These levels can be low, medium or high,

Managing Uncertainty During the Pandemic

  Uncertainty has become a familiar faux during the pandemic. As different variants of the Corona Virus circulate and guidelines frequently change, you may be finding it difficult to cope with new developments.  The timing and feasibility of post-pandemic life remain a mystery but consider the following ways to healthily handle ambiguity in pandemic fueled

CMS Guidance on Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

On Jan. 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court dissolved the temporary injunctions blocking enforcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) emergency rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination of certain health care workers. As a result, the emergency rule was reinstated and can now be enforced as written. CMS issued the following three pieces of

How to Get Your Free At Home COVID-19 Test

  Did you know you can get free, over-the-counter COVID-19 test for home use? Depending on your plan, your COVID-19 tests will be paid for directly by insurance, or you will be reimbursed later for the cost. Alternatively, you can order free tests through the government at However, this isn’t a good option if

OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 ETS, But Not the Proposed Permanent Rule

On Jan. 25, 2022, OSHA provided notice that it is withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccination and weekly testing emergency temporary standard (ETS). The withdrawal will be effective once the notice is published in the Federal Register. The expected publication date is Jan. 26, 2022.  The ETS was adopted to protect unvaccinated employees working for employers with

Complying with OSHA’s Covid-19 Vaccination ETS – Employer Checklist

CHECKLIST | Complying with OSHA’s Covid-19 Vaccination ETS – Employer Checklist Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that requires all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are either tested for COVID-19 once a week or fully vaccinated.

CDC Recommends Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine

Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer CDC Recommends Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine On Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced its recommended periods for COVID-19 isolation (confirmed COVID-19 infection) and quarantine (potential COVID-19 exposure). Asymptomatic individuals infected with COVID-19 have been told to isolate for five days

COVID-19: Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S. in 2020

Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer COVID-19 Was Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. in 2020 In 2020, a total of over 3.3 million resident deaths were registered across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This total from 2020—the first year of the coronavirus pandemic—marked

President Biden Announces Plan to Combat COVID-19 in Winter Months

NEWS BRIEF Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer On Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference where he outlined a multiprong approach to combat COVID-19 this winter. The plan is described as having the following goals: Drafting a rule that requires private insurers to reimburse the costs of at-home

Workplace Parties During the 2021 Holiday Season

HR INSIGHTS Brought to you by the insurance professionals at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer Many employees look forward to year-end workplace holiday celebrations. These events allow employees to celebrate with their colleagues and sometimes even family and guests. Importantly, these celebrations can also be a great way to drive employee engagement. While these events

Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors in Three States

Transcript: Legal Update On November 30, 2021, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction effectively blocking the implementation and enforcement of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors. On November 10, 2021, the Biden administration updated its guidance for the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, clarifying that federal contractor employees must

COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing ETS Paid Time Requirements

On Nov. 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a federal emergency temporary standard (ETS) to address the grave danger of COVID-19 infection in the workplace. Affected employers will be required to comply with most provisions of the ETS by Dec. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022.

President Biden Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Federal Employees and Large Employers

NEWS BRIEF Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden signed executive orders requiring federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Biden also directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to draft a new emergency rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to

Protecting Yourself From the Delta Variant With a COVID-19 Vaccine

What Is the Delta Variant? As the country reopens, a surge in COVID-19 cases has occurred. According to the Centers for Disease Control data, this surge is primarily due to the Delta variant of COVID-19; it currently accounts for over 80% of new COVID-19 cases across the country, according to U.S. News. The Delta variant

Restaurant HR Insights

Attracting Restaurant Employees Post-coronavirus The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on many industries—and the hospitality industry is no exception. Now, as lockdowns disappear and restrictions loosen, more restaurants are resuming normal business operations. As the demand for dining increases, the hiring scramble is on for restaurants. In addition to employee and customer health and

OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (Pt. 2)

Medical Removal from the Workplace Employers are required to remove employees from the workplace when employers know that the employees: Are COVID-19 positive, meaning that they were confirmed positive for, or were diagnosed by a licensed healthcare provider with, COVID-19; Have been told by a healthcare provider that they are suspected to have COVID-19; Are

CDC Says Masks Are No Longer Required in Most Settings for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

News Brief CDC Says Masks Are No Longer Required in Most Settings for Fully Vaccinated Individuals The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This long-awaited guidance loosens the CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing them to stop wearing a mask in most settings.

Choosing Safer Activities

According to newly update CDC guidelines, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic.” For Outdoor Activities: The Safest activities for unvaccinated people are: Walk, run wheelchair roll, or bike outdoors with members of your household (no mask necessary) Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family

Congress Passes Extension of Paycheck Protection Program

NEWS BRIEF Provided by: George Belcher Evans & Wilmer Congress has passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, a 60-day extension of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP), which was set to expire on March 31. The bill will be sent to President Joe Biden shortly, who is expected to sign

COVID-19 Exchange Special Enrollment Period Extended

Transcript: Legal Update: COVID-19 Exchange Special Enrollment Period Extended On March 23, 2021, CMS extended a special enrollment period (SEP) through federal Exchanges due to the COVID-19 pandemic for an additional three months. This SEP is now available through Aug. 15/ 2021, via to all new and existing Echange-eligible consumers. States using their own

Tips For Dealing With Self-Isolation

Transcript: COVID-19 is forcing many people to stay alone in their homes. Here are 6 ways to overcome the stress and anxiety that can come with self-isolation. Refrain from using drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. Keep a routine, especially for meals, sleep and exercise. Stay active with in-home exercises or short walks around your

FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage

Transcript: Legal Update FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage On Feb. 26, 2021 federal agencies issued FAQs to clarify health coverage requirements for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations. Health plans and issuers generally must cover COVID-19 diagnostic items and services without cost sharing. The FAQs explain that plans and issuers may not use medical

5 Ways to Beat Work-From-Home Burnout

If you’re working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and feeling burnt out, you’re not alone. According to a survey by Monster, an online employment platform, 69% of remote employees are experiencing burnout. What is burnout? According to the World Health Organization, you may have burnout if you experience: Increase exhaustion or energy depletion Decreased engagement

Communicating With Employees About COVID – 19 Vaccines

Brought to you by the insurance professionals atGeorge Belcher Evans & Wilmer Communicating With Employees About COVID-19 Vaccines Employee communications related to the pandemic have played a major role in keeping employees safe and healthy while navigating operational changes and challenges. Now, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines have become available after the Food and Drug Administration


Video: Transcript: If you’re feeling achy or in pain while at work, your workstation and posture may be to blame. Making sure your workspace is ergonomically appropriate, meaning it’s arranged to fit your specific needs, can help prevent unnecessary discomfort. What can you do? If you sit at a desk keep these two tips

Stimulus Bill Includes Ban on Surprise Medical Bills

On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 into law. The Act includes a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that provides funding for unemployment benefits, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. It also includes the No Surprises Act, a ban on surprise medical bills, which takes effect

Understanding the $900B Stimulus Package

On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law. The bill was part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year. Notably, the