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Week in Review: August 1-6, 2021

Week in Review: August 1-6, 2021

Aug. 6, 2021
This week we look at employers mandating COVD-19 vaccines, and how those still suffering from COVID might be protected by the ADA. Plus there’s a quick quiz to see how creative you are.

With the number of  COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increasing, the administration announced on July 29  that federal employees who work on-site would have to “attest” that they have been vaccinated, or agree to wear masks at all times and submit to regular screening for COVID-19. Visitors to federal facilities will have to also have to abide by the mandate.

Now It's a Requirement

Companies followed suit and this week a number of companies announced they bare mandating that employees be vaccinated. Tyson Foods was one of the first manufacturing companies to require all employees -- office and production -- to be vaccinated.  

Microsoft, beginning in September said it would begin requiring all of its U.S. workers to present proof of vaccine receipt.

And the automakers are doing the same. A COVID-19 Joint Task Force made up of representatives from the United Auto Workers, General Motors, Ford Motors, and Stellantis, announced on August 3 that employees at those companies would have to wear face masks at all plants, offices and warehouses starting August 4, even vaccinated employees.

The list continues to grow daily so see this article for an updated list. 

COVID 'Long-Haulers' Get Protection

On July 26, as the country celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA), President Biden announced that people who are suffering from long-term effects of COVID-19, often called long-haulers, may get protections from that law. 

""Many Americans who seemingly recover from the virus still face lingering challenges like breathing problems, brain fog, chronic pain and fatigue," Biden said in a statement. "These conditions can sometimes … rise to the level of a disability." As the ADA doesn't provide a checklist of covered conditions, an individual determination must be made about whether someone has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, such as breathing, thinking, sleeping, or working, as reported on the PBS News Hour.

An article on SHRM offered a variety of sources and information about this topic. 

Do You Have the Right Stuff?

A new four-minute test is creating an easy way to measure one of the most common characteristics of being creative, which is a trait that is increasingly becoming important to employers.

"The more we understand its complexity, the better we can foster creativity in all its forms," said Jay Olson, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard who came up with the idea for the survey. 

Click here to take the test.

Safe + Sound Week August 9-15

Next week the U.S. Department of Labor is asking employers to commit to workplace safety and health by joining OSHA's  Safe + Sound Week. 

“Each year, millions of workers suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and thousands die in work-related incidents. These incidents hurt workers and their families, and harm businesses as well,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. in a statement. “Most importantly, effective safety and health programs save lives and prevent injuries. They also help businesses improve safety and health compliance and avoid the many costs associated with workplace safety and health incidents.”

In 2020, more than 3,400 businesses helped raise awareness about workers’ safety and health.

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