Massachusetts Governor Baker gave the green light for Phase 2- Step 1 to begin June 8th, and today he just approved the state to proceed to Step 2 of this phase on Monday, June 22nd. This allows indoor dining at restaurants as well as m assage therapy, nail salons, and tattoo parlors to resume. Although gyms are not allowed to reopen until phase three, they can begin personal training as a close contact personal service. It also increases the office occupancy percentage from 25% to 50% although remote work is still encouraged when possible.
Visit the MA website for full details on the MA Four Phase Plan and t o find out what businesses can reopen in each phase review List or When can my business reopen? . To review all mandatory safety standards and recommended best practices released for Close Contact Personal Service businesses in Step 2 of Phase 2 .
As regulations, laws, and recommendations continually change, following you will find updated resources to help your business assure best practices and compliance.
If you are looking for something specific to help you during this transition, reach out to us, and we would be happy to try and assist.
SBA Releases Streamlined PPP Loan Forgiveness Form
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury recently released a streamlined loan forgiveness application called the EZ Forgiveness Application . This newly released three-page EZ application is significantly shorter than the traditional loan forgiveness application and requires fewer calculations and less documentation than the full application. However, the EZ application does not apply to all paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan borrowers.   Read more
EEOC Updates Employer Guidance on Coronavirus and the ADA
On June 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an additional answer to frequently asked questions about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. The new FAQ, which addresses antibody tests (see A.7), was added to guidance that the EEOC previously issued on March 18, 2020, and updated on April 9, 17, 23, May 7, and June 11, 2020". Read more
The EEOC launched a new webpage that explains two processes the agency may use to enforce federal fair employment laws even when no individual employee or job applicant has filed a charge against an employer. A member of the EEOC may independently file discrimination charges (“commissioner charges”) alleging that an employer violated one of the following, after which an EEOC field office must conduct an investigation on the employer:
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA). 
OSHA Guidance
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must provide a safe work environment for their workers. For many, this will include properly training workers on how to adequately use face masks at work. To help with this requirement, OSHA has published a series of answers to  frequently asked questions  regarding the use of masks in the workplace. The new guidance outlines the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators. The FAQs also remind employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are needed and face masks do not replace the need for social distancing measures. Read more
For further insight, refer to OSHA's "Guidance on Returning to Work"
Employer Brand and COVID-19

Internal and external communications during the COVID-19 pandemic can have an impact on how an employer is perceived by both current and prospective employees. You can boost your recruiting efforts by ensuring that your employer brand is resonating with those seeking employment, and importantly, meeting the evolving needs of job seekers.

Although you may be focused on recruiting new talent, it’s vital to keep in mind the health, safety and well-being of employees when making business decisions. This pandemic has led to a collective loss of normalcy. As you protect the employer brand from COVID-19 implications, current employees can be the main drivers of your reputation. Internal communications can help keep employees calm and reduce stress levels. Everyone’s been dealing with much uncertainty. There’s a need to communicate with employees openly, honestly and frequently. Along with prospective employees, external audiences may also include your customers and partners. Read more
Contact Tracing in the Workplace

As businesses are resuming operation, employers are considering every option for keeping their workers safe while still keeping their businesses afloat. “Contact tracing” is one of those options. It’s the process of tracing an individual’s whereabouts to identify whether they were in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.  There’s no one single contact-tracing solution. Read more
Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases

Public health officials and experts are warning of a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases. Of course, no one knows if or when a second wave of infection will strike—or whether it will be as bad as or worse than the first wave. Although businesses are still trying to adjust with the current situation, they also need to start planning now so they’re properly prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Read more
Temporary FMCSA Drug Testing Waiver for Rehiring CMV Drivers

On June 5, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted a three-month waiver from certain pre-employment testing requirements. The waiver allows eligible carriers to rehire commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who have been furloughed or laid off for more than 30 days without having to administer all pre-employment drug screening tests. The new waiver became effective on June 5, 2020, and will expire on Sep. 30, 2020.  Read more
For all prior COVID-19 Email Communications, visit our website
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