Should Companies Require Masks in the Workplace?

March 24, 2022

When it comes to an employer creating a vaccine mandate in the workplace there is no right answer.

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With Or Without Vaccine, Delta Variant Creates Questions About Masking At Work

With the ever changing CDC rules it can be confusing to know what guidelines to follow, what’s optional and what’s mandatory. In your place of work it is pertinent to follow the most recent CDC guidelines in order to protect your employees and customers. This can include a plethora of questions like, “Can a workplace mandate COVID vaccines?” and, “Can employers require masks for unvaccinated employees?” We’ve got you covered with all your questions surrounding CDC guidelines for masks in the workplace and more. Know the CDC rules and protect your company and its employees. 

Should vaccinated workers continue to wear masks?

Prior to making any changes to workplace policies an employer needs to ensure they understand the federal, state and local guidelines that apply to their specific workplace.

According to the CDC employees that have been fully vaccinated are currently allowed to work indoors without wearing masks, social distancing, or being tested for COVID-19. 

However, it is important to consider your workplace when making the call if your employees should mask up. If your business is a restaurant with lots of face to face interaction and food being served it’s not a bad idea to request that your employees still wear masks. If your company is in an office where employees are primarily at their desks and only interact with fellow staff then masks might not be necessary especially if your employees are working from home multiple days a week.  

Can Employers Have Separate Policies Based on Vaccination Status?

Stack of masks

You may also be wondering, “Can an employer require masks for unvaccinated employees?” Legally employers can still require unvaccinated employees to wear masks but they need to be extremely cautious when making these distinctions. If not worded correctly or in accordance with the CDC an employee could file a lawsuit for unlawful discrimination. 

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Should employers mandate vaccination?

When it comes to an employer creating a vaccine mandate in the workplace there is no right answer. Having employees vaccinated makes sense from a health and safety perspective. This ensures that all employees are protected from COVID-19 and all of its effects. However, mandating the vaccine for all employees could cause some employees to feel isolated or even risk them quitting. 

When considering mandating the vaccine take into account how it will impact your current employees and your businesses reputation. Will the COVID-19 vaccine mandate make your employees and customers feel safer? Or will it isolate them and cause a rift in your business. You can refer to other workplace trends and workplaces similar to yours to see what they are requiring. When considering mandating the COVID-19 vaccine also check OSHA guidelines to see what you can legally require your employees to do. 

What if an employee refuses to come to work for fear of infection?

Before this scenario ever happens your workplace should have policies set in place for immunocompromised employees or employees who have high risk family members. These policies should very clearly address what should happen if an employee is worried about coming to work whether this is work from home, extra protection while at work, or a paid or unpaid leave. 

Keep in mind that your state regulations may already address what needs to be done in this scenario. If this is the case, follow state guidelines to avoid violating any of your employees rights. 

Journey Payroll Can Help Your Company’s Workplace Policies and Regulations

Man with a mask outside building

Creating workplace policies and regulations can be confusing especially when it comes to the constantly changing COVID-19 policies. Journey Payroll can help with that and more when it comes to your company. We also offer a variety of services including payroll, HR, and time clocks. Contact us today to see how Journey Payroll can help your business thrive. 

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