Returning to work, or thinking about it? Well, you’re not alone. As businesses begin to reopen amid the pandemic, employees are ruminating on the contemporary dilemmas they are about to face at work. And we understand if your company’s HR managers have been a little vague about them. We took some of the most common returning-to-work questions to our HR and law experts. Let’s jump into what they weighed in.
Can my employer make vaccination a condition of employment?
With Pfizer’s Moderna vaccine success and the proposed promises of making it widely available, employers might make vaccination a legal obligation for returning to work.
This also means that employees will not be allowed to work if they haven’t received vaccination or in some cases, get fired too.
Ever since the March COVID-19 Guidance issued by EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), there have been no new guidelines on whether employers can compel their employees to get vaccination done.
Can my employer force me to wear a face mask at work?
If anything, face masks were the only tool that kept us away from coronavirus until today – and most probably until the vaccine really arrives. Clearly, they continue to play the most effective and crucial role in ensuring business continuity.
Talking from an organizational level, employers have the right to enforce it as a security equipment in the workplace.
Be prepared for harsher consequences if you ditch the mask for some reason, except if it is a medical one.
Can I refuse to go to work and continue working remotely?
If your employers are doing everything possible to make it safer to work at a physical office, refusal can cost you your job. This mostly applies to employees belonging to departments whose jobs are basically outdoorsy.
Your employers have taken every necessary precaution and met every standard regulation to reopen their offices. If that has happened, it goes without saying why they have the right to start operations once again. And, this could never happen if the employees don’t show up at work.
Will they still check temperatures?
“Yes, at regular intervals if necessary.”
Government bodies still require organizations and every commercial outlet to maintain body temperatures report as part of the COVID-19 Management Program.
At your workplace, this might function like a safety protocol to ensure the safety of the entire workforce. However, this also varies from one company to another.
Do all these rules apply to me if I was furloughed?
Furloughed or not, your organization has the right to subject you to the same rules it is implementing for its regular employees.
These are all a part of the preparedness for the “new normal” and everyone needs to comply.
If you have any other question in your mind that you did not find here, please go ahead and post it as a comment. We will try our best in getting the experts to act promptly to your returning-to-work questions.