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As addressed in Part 1 of this article, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issued new orders on November 17, 2020 targeted at mitigating the recent surge of COVID-19 cases within the Commonwealth in recent weeks.  Part 1 focused on the new face covering requirements now imposed on all Pennsylvanians.  This article focuses on new the requirements for testing and quarantine following out-of-state travel established by the DOH and the impact that the new travel requirements might have on Pennsylvania employers.

New out-of-state travel requirements

The Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation Relating to Travel, mandates that individuals traveling into the Commonwealth from any other state – regardless of whether the individual resides in another state and is travelling to Pennsylvania or the individual is a Pennsylvania resident returning from out-of-state travel – produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen collected within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth.  Individuals who do not have a negative COVID-19 test are required to quarantine for 14 days, and may only leave their homes to receive testing or other necessary medical services.  Failure to comply with the order may result in the imposition of a fine ranging from $25.00 to $300.00.  These newly instituted requirements take effect on Friday, November 20, 2020.
Continue Reading Pennsylvania employers and employees receive the gift of new post-travel testing/quarantine requirements for the holiday season (Part II)

Like many U.S. states, Pennsylvania has experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.  On November 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health took aggressive steps targeted at mitigating spread of the virus within the Commonwealth by issuing new orders that impose stricter face mask requirements and introduce new requirements for testing and quarantine following out-of-state travel.  For more information on the newly implemented travel requirements and how employers may be impacted, see Part II of this article, available here.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania employers and employees receive the gift of new face covering requirements for the holiday season (Part I)

Last week, the Pittsburgh City Council and the Allegheny County Council unanimously voted to ban discrimination on the basis of race-based hairstyles by passing the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (known as the CROWN Act).

The CROWN Acts amend provisions of the City and County Codes addressing employment, housing, real

This is an update to our July 17, 2020 article addressing the July 15, 2020 orders issued by Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health “directing mitigation measures” in response to a reported rise in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania.

As explained in that prior article, both orders included the following mandate requiring telework:  “Unless not possible, all business are required to conduct their operations in whole or in part remotely through individual teleworking of their employees[.]”

The plain text of these orders generated confusion for many Pennsylvania employers as the scope of the teleworking mandate was unclear.  Accordingly, in our article, we called for Pennsylvania leadership to provide necessary guidance to resolve that confusion and enable Pennsylvania employers to understand whether they were being ordered to utilize telework arrangements “in whole” to the extent possible, or whether reducing the number of workers through “in part” telework arrangements would suffice.
Continue Reading Update: Pennsylvania order mandates telework, but to what extent?

On July 15, 2020, Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued orders “directing mitigation measures” in response to a reported rise in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania.  Both orders included the following mandate requiring telework:  “Unless not possible, all business are required to conduct their operations in whole or in part remotely through individual teleworking of their employees[.]”
Continue Reading New Pennsylvania order mandates telework, but to what extent?

On May 4, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a document titled “Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency” (the Business Guidance or the Guidance). The Business Guidance contains the latest requirements applicable to businesses during Pennsylvania’s Red, Yellow, Green phased reopening approach. These new requirements are directed at businesses already conducting in-person operations during the Red phase, and those businesses preparing to open in-person operations in counties designated in the Yellow phase. The governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania has more information regarding Pennsylvania’s phased reopening approach. Briefly, in counties designated as Red phase, only businesses designated as life-sustaining or that otherwise obtained exemptions are permitted to lawfully operate. In counties designated as Yellow phase, some identified additional businesses may lawfully operate subject to certain requirements. A future Green phase would allow for all in-person business to reopen without special state requirements, subject to general adherence to guidelines in place at that time provided by health authorities such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).
Continue Reading Pennsylvania’s governor issues additional requirements for businesses currently authorized to be open

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. Please click here for a series of FAQs we have compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with U.S.-based employees have posed to us within the past few weeks.

These FAQs are general

This article supplements our earlier article about the April 15, 2020 worker safety order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).  The order requires essential businesses in operation in Pennsylvania to implement new workplace requirements, including a mandate for all workers to wear masks.  DOH accompanied the order with a guidance, which was available shortly after issuance of the order.  Unlike the order, the recommendations in the guidance are not mandatory, and are in some ways broader than the requirements of the order.  The order became effective immediately upon its issuance, with enforcement scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. on April 19, 2020.

In the days after issuance of the order, various advocacy groups raised a variety of questions about the new requirements.  DOH has now responded with a publication it calls COVID-19 Workplace Safety Questions.  This document is in the nature of Frequently Asked Questions.  The information provided in the more than 50 FAQs is not organized into categories.  This article organizes some of the key points into four categories: masks; definition of “probable” case; temperature screening; and enforcement.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Health Department answers FAQs about worker safety order

On April 15, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an Order that mandates numerous workplace obligations on nearly all businesses permitted to maintain in-person operations in the Commonwealth.  The Order became effective immediately upon its issuance, with enforcement scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. on April 19, 2020.

Even if not immediately applicable to businesses that have temporarily suspended operations or have been operating in a remote environment, such businesses nevertheless should heed the Order because the new requirements could remain in place when the Commonwealth turns to “reopening” all Pennsylvania businesses.

Continue Reading Latest challenge for essential businesses in Pennsylvania: Immediate compliance with new workplace requirements mandated by the Department of Health

Please see an updated version of our FAQs as of April 18, 2020. 

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. Please click here for a series of FAQs we have compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with U.S.-based employees