Featuring authors from across our organization on various topics related to risk management and employee benefits, our blog is a great resource to help you stay informed.

Our Scott thought leaders provide content on a regular basis to elevate your thinking surrounding critical components of your company’s culture and overall performance.

What Employers Need to Know About the COVID-19 Relief Bill

On Monday, December 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. The bill, which was part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year, has been sent to President Trump and he is expected to sign it into law.

Notably, the bill provides funding for unemployment benefits, small businesses, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance.  There are also a few highly-anticipated employee benefits items that made it into the legislation at the last minute:  Continue reading

EEOC Guidelines on COVID-19 Vaccines

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its first direct guidance for employers regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against job discrimination and harassment.

As we stated in a previous blog post, employers can make the vaccine mandatory, subject to federally protected exceptions for disability and sincerely-held religious beliefs. The EEOC guidelines provided further explanations for employers regarding these exceptions, including documentation to support the request and how to manage a worker when an accommodation is not possible.  Continue reading

COVID-19 Vaccine: Distributing and Mandating

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccination, many organizations are wondering when their employees will be able to receive it and if it can be mandated as a requirement to work.

When Will the Vaccine Be Available?

Each state will determine its distribution strategy. Most state strategies are utilizing the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This strategy includes priority population identification, vaccine distribution and supply-chain limitations.

Because of limited availability, the distribution strategies include broad categories of priority populations using a phased approach:  Continue reading

CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure

Edit 12/4/20: Please note that the CDC update indicates that local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. The CDC recommends that you follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.

During a recent media briefing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to quarantine guidelines, offering options for shorter quarantine periods.

The CDC’s updated guidance allows for the following quarantine periods for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are without symptoms:

  • Ten-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine 10 days after exposure if the individual does not take a COVID-19 test.
  • Seven-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine seven days after exposure if the individual tests negative for COVID-19.

While offering these shorter alternatives, the CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option.   Continue reading