COVID-19 Resources

CWC is pleased to make available the information and resources on this page as a service to all of the nation’s employers who are trying to manage the impact of COVID-19 on their workplace legal and compliance requirements. This page will be continuously updated by our staff regarding COVID-19 compliance and risk management developments at both the federal and state levels. If you have any workplace compliance or risk management questions related to COVID-19, or if you’d like to make us aware of any developments we might have missed, please email us at


Will an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lose exempt status if he or she must work additional time performing nonexempt job duties in light of workforce changes due to COVID-19? As with many questions under the FLSA, the answer is that it depends on all of the facts and circumstances. However, employers should be aware that the Labor Department's regulations interpreting the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employee have a special section addressing emergencies. This provision states the general rule that an exempt employee will not lose exempt status by performing nonexempt work in an emergency, and discusses application of this rule in the context of emergencies that threaten the safety of employees, a cessation of operations, or serious damage to an employer's property.

Employers may also wish to review additional DOL commentary (see page 22189) stating that emergencies endangering public health or safety may also qualify as emergencies for the purposes of this rule, depending on circumstances.

Of course, always check your state and local rules, which may be different. 
It depends. If the symptoms of the condition are severe enough to qualify as a “serious health condition” and the employee has not maxed-out the allowable amount of protected leave within the 12-month leave year, then the employee would more likely than not be eligible for FMLA-protected leave. In order to make this determination, employers must conduct an individualized assessment of the employee’s request. 

For more information, go HERE
The FMLA protects those individuals who either have “a serious health condition” or for caring for family members who have a “serious health condition.” Serious health condition refers to a an illness, injury, impediment, or physical or mental condition that involves (a) inpatient care at a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or (b) continuing treatment by a health care provider. Attempting to avoid contracting a serious health condition, such as COVID-19 is not covered under the FMLA. 
However, if an employee has a disability covered by the ADA, this may be a request for an accommodation, which trigger’s the employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process with the employee  to determine if such an accommodation should be granted. In essence, the employee who has a disability could be seeking an accommodation to avoid exacerbating a current disability.
Under normal circumstances, this line of questioning may be considered a disability-related inquiry, which requires you to show that the question is job-related and consistent with business necessity. However, according to EEOC, because COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, such question would not constitute a disability-related inquiry. During the pandemic, employers may ask this question to individuals who recently traveled (including business or personal travel). 
The short answer is no. Because COVID-19 has been identified as an international pandemic, separating employees who display signs familiar to the condition would be permissible under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act because the condition is serious enough to pose a direct threat to the workplace — a permissible basis for sending such employee(s) home. 
For more information, go HERE

Under normal circumstances, taking an employee’s temperature would be considered an impermissible medical examination unless you can show that the medical examination is job-related and necessary to conduct your business.  According to the EEOC, because COVID-19 has become widespread in the community, employers may take its employees’ temperatures. Employers should not single out employees, but instead should take all of its employees’ temperatures in the department. 
Currently, OFCCP is continuing conducting its compliance reviews, focused reviews, and complaint investigations. However, with respect to physical onsites, the Agency has indicated that it will employ other means, such as using WebEx, Skype, and telephone interviews instead of physically coming onsite. The Agency has also announced that for employers who cannot make employees available, it will remain flexible and provide reasonable extensions when necessary. 
For additional information, go HERE
In short, yes. Because COVID-19 is an international pandemic as emphasized by the World Health Organization, employers who are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and the Rehabilitation Act may be permitted to do things that would normally be impermissible, such as taking an employee’s temperature. 
For additional information, go HERE

Federal Response Feed

Posted May 20, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman
Yesterday, the President signed an Executive Order (E.O.) that requires federal agencies to use emergency or similar authority to further rescind or modify regulations that might stand in the way of job creation and economic growth. The E.O. also requires agencies to review and temporary regulatory suspensions or rescissions  to see if any should be made permanent in order to facilitate economic recovery. 

The E.O. also directs agencies to adopt adjudicatory reform measures and review enforcement policy with respect to entities acting in good faith. CWC will publish a more detailed analysis of the E.O. in the near future.
Posted May 19, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

Today, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance about an employer's duty to record an employee's diagnosis of COVID-19 as work-related under OSHA's standard for workplace injury and illness reporting. 

In particular, the guidance focuses on the reasonableness of the employer's determination that an employee's contraction of the disease is work-related. Among the factors considered are: the evidence available to the employer, factors such as whether the employer was exposed to a co-worker or customer with a known case of COVID-19, work with frequent exposure to the public and no other known source of transmission, and the extent to which the employee's contact with family or close personal associates exposes the employee to COVID-19.

Posted May 18, 2020 by MANAGER
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension of its March 20, 2020 policy that allows employers who have implemented remote working policies in response to COVID-19 to review a new employee’s work authorization documentation remotely when completing the Form I-9.  The policy was set to expire on May 19, but has now been extended for an additional 30 days. 

Accordingly, employers with remote working policies can continue to inspect I-9 authorization documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax, or email, etc.) and then must obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing the I-9.

As a reminder, employers who take advantage of this remote review policy should write “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the “Additional Information” field.  Once normal operations resume, employers must, within three business days, physically review the authorization documentation in-person for any I-9s completed remotely and should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the “Additional Information” field.

Posted May 15, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

Today, the National Labor Relations Board announced that its Division of Judges will resume hearings on unfair labor practice complaints beginning on June 1, 2020. According to the announcement, the Board has now acquired the necessary technology and licenses to conduct hearings remotely via videoconferencing technology.

Posted May 15, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

As some states begin the phased-reopening of businesses pursuant to stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued recommended workplace safety alerts in English and Spanish for businesses in the following industries: nursing homes and long-term care facilities; ride-hailing, car and taxi service companies; and retail pharmacies.  These one-page workplace alerts are in addition to others that were earlier issued by OSHA for other businesses, including the package delivery, construction, manufacturing, and dentistry industries.  Some of these recommendations include the installation of plastic barriers, continuation of social distancing of at least 6 feet between workers and patrons, and routine cleaning and disinfecting commonly-used surfaces.  As a reminder, these OSHA alerts are recommendations and not formal rules by the agency.  However, as a reminder, OSHA can still hold employers liable if they are found to violate the Act’s general duty to protect the health and safety of its workers.    


To find out more information on the interim guidance being issued by OSHA on an ongoing basis that employers can access to protect workers in the workplace from exposure to COVID-19, please go to OSHA’s website at  

State Response Feed

Posted May 29, 2020 by MANAGER

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Chicago City Council recently enacted an ordinance prohibiting employers in the city from taking an adverse employment action against an employee for obeying a city or state official’s stay-at-home order, or a treating healthcare provider’s order requiring the employee to quarantine. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee who must care for a family member subject to one of these orders. The ordinance went into effective immediately.

Posted May 21, 2020 by MANAGER

As many states begin to allow certain employees to physically return to the workplace, some jurisdictions are requiring that employers post a specific safety notice related to COVID-19 in a conspicuous place on site.

For example, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-32 mandating that all businesses having employees physically reporting to a work-site post safety guidance from the state department of health and the state attorney general and maintain the posting throughout the COVID-19 emergency. The Illinois poster is available online here.

Similarly, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has published guidance requiring all employers conducting in-person operations to post a “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses” flyer in the workplace. The flyer must be signed by the business’s corporate officer, site manager, site foreperson, or equivalent. The flyer also contains a space for the business to indicate the employee who is the “Pandemic Safety Officer,” or the person in charge of the COVID-19 safety procedures for specific worksite. The Pennsylvania poster is available online here.

Posted May 19, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

Last week, the Oakland City Council approved an emergency ordinance to provide paid leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. As with many state and local mandates to provide paid leave for COVID-19 related reasons, Oakland’s new ordinance also applies to large employers rather than smaller employers covered by federal law.

Posted May 19, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

In the two months since we first reported of local jurisdictions requiring employers to screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19, such policies have expanded rapidly. The following is a list of jurisdictions within California that have mandated that employers screen most or all employees working onsite or interacting with the public. Note that this list does not include jurisdictions that have recommended screening, only those that have mandated it. In addition, we have excluded screening requirements that may only apply to a small segment of the workforce.

As always, given the rapid developments in this area, it is possible that the list will be missing a jurisdiction or two. If you learn of developments that you don’t see here, please let us know at

Bay Area Jurisdictions

Seven jurisdictions in California’s Bay Area have undertaken many COVID-19 response measures together, and that holds true for employee screening.

These jurisdictions have adopted Orders requiring businesses that remain open to implement a “Social Distancing Protocol” at each facility in operation. The orders require employers to implement a Protocol that is substantially the same as the Social Distancing Protocol attached to the order as an Appendix. Among other things, the Protocol states “Symptom checks are being conducted before employees may enter the work space.” On April 29, 2020, these jurisdictions updated their Orders and their Social Distancing Protocol effective May 4. On or about May 18, these jurisdictions again updated their Orders. Please note that the new Orders require that employers update their Social Distancing Protocols to address revised requirements.

Alameda County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
City of Berkeley (
March 31 Order ) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
Contra Costa County (
March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
Marin County (
March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 15 update)
San Mateo County (
March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 15 update)
City and County of San Francisco (
March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 17 update)
Santa Clara County (
March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)

Fresno County

On March 27, 2020, Fresno County became one of the first jurisdictions in the country to mandate that employers perform health screenings for employees reporting to work. Specifically, the county’s Department of Public Health has mandated that employers screen for signs of "febrile respiratory illness," which is defined as "a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever ... or chills in the previous 24 hours."

In addition, the Order, which was amended on April 14, requires employers to exclude from work all employees who have had febrile respiratory illness symptoms for seven days from the day that they are identified as having symptoms.

The Order also details when employees who have had symptoms may return to work.

Los Angeles County

The county of Los Angeles has adopted similar requirements as the Bay Area jurisdictions described above, requiring employers to adopt a social distancing protocol that requires symptom checks of employees before they enter the workplace. The County updated its health Order on May 13. As amended, Los Angeles’ Social Distancing Protocol requires that symptom checks include a “check-in concerning cough, shortness of breath or fever and any other symptoms the employee may be experiencing.” While the Protocol states that these checks may be done remotely or at the workplace, “A temperature check should be done at the worksite if feasible.”

Mariposa County

On March 25, 2020, Mariposa County’s Health Office signed an Order requiring employers to conduct daily screenings of employees for febrile respiratory illness and exclude all employees who have symptoms from work for seven days after the onset of symptoms.

Merced County

On April 7, 2020, Merced County’s Health Office issued an Order requiring employers to conduct daily screenings of employees for febrile respiratory illness and to exclude all employees who have symptoms from work for seven days from the onset of symptoms. On April 24, the Health Officer further revised the order to impose additional restrictions. However, on April 30, the Health Officer suspended that portion of the order requiring employers to develop a Social Distancing and Safety Plan in response to stakeholder concern.

On May 8, new revisions were published.

Monterey County

On May 1, Monterey County updated its public health Order to mandate that employers adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that requires employers to provide symptom checks before employees enter the work space.

Sacramento County

On May 1, 2020, Sacramento County’s Health Officer has issued an Order similar to that initially enacted by the Bay Area jurisdictions summarized above. It requires employers to adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that includes screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms before they enter the work space.

Santa Cruz County

Sana Cruz County’s Health Officer has also issued an Order, updated April 29, requiring employers to adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that includes performing symptom checks before employees enter the work space.

San Diego County

On May 9, San Diego County’s Health Officer issued an Order that requires employers to conduct temperature screening of employees, prohibiting employees with body temperatures of 100 degrees or more from entering the workplace. The Order states that symptom screening (defined as screening for cough, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing or at least two or more of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell) may be used only when a thermometer is nor available.

Solano County

On May 7, Solano County’s public health officer issued an Order that requires reopening businesses to implement a Social Distancing Protocol. The Order also permits certain businesses to reopen for low-risk activities provided, among other things, that they provide general screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to employees entering the work space and provide training to all employees on COVID-19 symptoms.

Posted May 11, 2020 by Mr. Michael Eastman

In the six weeks since we first reported of local jurisdictions requiring employers to screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19, such policies have expanded rapidly. Earlier, we presented an updated list of California jurisdictions mandating employee health screenings. Now, we are pleased to present our list of jurisdictions outside of California mandating employee health screenings. Note that this list does not include jurisdictions that have recommended screening, only those that have mandated it. In addition, we have excluded screening requirements that may only apply to a small segment of the workforce.

This list begins with twelve statewide mandates, followed by local jurisdictions in alphabetical order by state, then local jurisdiction.

As always, given the rapid developments in this area, it is possible that the list will be missing a jurisdiction or two. If you learn of developments that you don’t see here, please let us know at

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy's 
Health Mandate 16, issued on April 22, 2020, requires employers to conduct pre-shift screening and maintain a staff screening log. The Order does not specifically state what employers must screen for. 

On May 8, 2020, Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment published an amended Public Health Order in response to Governor Jared Polis’ Safer at Home Executive Order. The Order states that employers must “implement symptom monitoring protocols, conduct daily temperature checks and monitor symptoms in employees at the worksite to the greatest extent possible, or if not practicable, through employee self-assessment prior to coming to the workplace.” Colorado also links to a sample form that the state has developed for employers to use to track symptoms.

On April 2, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an Executive Order that requires businesses that remain open to screen and evaluate workers who show signs of illness, such as fever over 100.4 degrees, cough, or shortness of breath. While the order was scheduled to expire on April 13, is was extended to April 30.

During the week of April 20, Governor Kemp issued two Executive Orders (here and here) that permit some businesses to reopen. These Executive Orders require re-opening businesses to screen employees who show signs of illness.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order of May 1, 2020, requires employers to develop plans to ensure a safe environment for employees, customers, and others. Among the required elements of the plan are instituting an employee health screening process.

Employers must require employees to undergo daily temperature and health checks according to an Order signed on May 11, 2020. Employers may allow employees to self-administer health screenings or employers may administer them before employees enter the workplace. The order details the process employers are to use for health screenings and temperature checks.

On April 29, 2020, Maine Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order that incorporates, by reference, a state plan for resuming economic activity, known as the Restarting Plan. As part of the Restarting Plan, businesses that resume in-person operations must commit to comply with general and industry-specific checklists. Among other things, the general checklist requires employers to ask employees specific questions to screen for symptoms of COVID-19.

On April 24, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order that, among other things, requires employers to adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display signs of respiratory symptoms or had had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. On May 7, 2020, she signed an Executive Order permitting the reopening of certain industries, including manufacturing and construction. Employers in these industries must conduct a daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms using a questionnaire and, if possible, a temperature screening.

Minnesota, pursuant to Executive Order, is allowing “non-critical exempt” businesses, such as industrial, manufacturing, and non-customer facing office-based businesses to return to work if they establish a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Among other things, each plan must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick workers from entering the workplace.

New Hampshire
On May 1, 2020, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed an Executive Order allowing certain businesses to reopen provided that they comply with new Universal Guidelines. Among other things, the Guidelines require employers to develop a process for screening all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms. Employers must also “document” the temperature of all employees daily before their shift.

South Dakota
On April 6, 2020, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an Executive Order that requires employers to “implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and other business strategies designed to reduce spreading the disease (staggering shifts, flexible schedules, employee screenings, etc.).” The state has also developed guidance on employee screening.

On April 24, 2020, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed an Executive Order further expanding the types of businesses allowed to resume work. Among other things, the Order requires employers to screen employees, including through temperature checks and survey, for symptoms of respiratory illness.

Wyoming has modified several of its health orders (see examples here and here) to permit additional businesses to reopen. The new orders include provisions expressly requiring employers to check employees for symptoms of COVID-19 and previous exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection in the last 14 days.

Key West, FL
The city of Key West has issued an Emergency Directive that requires employers to screen and evaluate workers who exhibit signs of innless, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Oakland Park, FL
On March 27, the Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks signed a City Order requiring essential businesses to screen employees and prevent any employee from entering the employer’s premises if experiencing any signs of COVID-19, such as a fever over 99.9 degrees, cough, or shortness of breath. Mandatory screening questions also prohibit employees from working if they have been to “any area known to have high numbers of positive cases” or been in any airport within the past 14 days.

Regional Medical Coordination Center Region 6, IA
On April 16, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced increased COVID-19 mitigation efforts would be in effect for Region 6 of the state’s Regional Medical Coordination Center (which is in the Northeast part of the state). The governor’s proclamation includes a provision requiring employers with in-person operations to take “reasonable precautions to ensure the health of their employees and members of the public, including appropriate employee screening, social distancing practices, and increased cleaning and hygiene practices.”

Region 6 includes the following Iowa counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek.

Cambridge, MA
On April 28, 2020, the City of Cambridge amended its Temporary Emergency Order to, among other things, requires employers to screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to allowing them on work sites.

Michigan Counties
A number of counties in Michigan have adopted similar Emergency Orders requiring employers to develop a daily screening program for all staff upon, or just prior to, reporting to work sites. In general, the screening process must include assessing whether the worker has COVID-19 symptoms. When a touchless thermometer is available, it is strongly recommended in lieu of verbal communication. However, if there is a shortage of such thermometers, employees may self-report temperature.

Employers also must screen employees as to whether they have had close contact with anyone with a diagnosis of COVID-19, certain activity or travel, and whether a local health department has told them to self-quarantine.

The counties with such orders include:

Grand Traverse

Ingham County has also adopted a workplace checklist and a screening form that employers may use. Oakland County has also developed a checklist.

Durham, NC
On April 17, 2020, Durham County, NC amended its Stay at Home Order to require businesses, to the extent possible, perform temperature checks of employees when they report to work and mandate that any employee with a temperature above 100.4 degrees be sent home.

Dallas, TX
On April 16, 2020, Dallas County amended its Safer at Home Order to implement mandatory screening requirements. Among other things, employers in numerous industries must check the temperature of employees before work and exclude any employees with a temperature above 99.6 degree.

Edinburg, TX
On April 3, 2020, Edinburg, TX Mayor Richard Molina signed an Order that, among other things, requires employers to screen employees before work and exclude any who show signs of a respiratory infection or has had close contact within the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Businesses are required to submit a Work Safe Plan to the city.

El Paso, TX
On April 3, 2020, the El Paso, Tx Health Authority issued an Order that, among other things, requires employers to conduct regular health checks of employees either through temperature checks or respiratory screenings. Businesses must conduct the first health check of they day immediately upon an employee’s arrival to work. Employees with a temperature greater than 100 degrees are to be sent home.

Many jurisdictions in Utah have recommended that employers screen employees at the beginning of each shift for symptoms of COVID-19. However, screening is mandatory in the following jurisdictions:

Central Utah Public Health Department
Juab County
Millard County
Piute County
Sanpete County
Sevier County
Wayne County

Tooele County Health Department
Tooele County


COVID-19 Network

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Related Resources

State Final Pay Requirements CWC's State Final Pay Requirements resource allows members to quickly see a state's applicable end of employment pay requirements, including links to the applicable state statute. State Unemployment Notice Requirements CWC's State Unemployment Notice Requirements tool enables members to locate which jurisdictions require an employer to give departing employees notice of unemployment benefits and provides a link directly to any applicable state form. Layoff Notification Laws During Unsettled Times The dramatic impact of the coronavirus on business operations has created an environment where many employers are considering significant layoffs. Paid Leave Mandates and COVID-19 Web Workshop Congress passed legislation in March 2020 establishing two new federal leave mandates related to the coronavirus outbreak. This web workshop walks through what we know. Recorded March 26, 2020. Congress Approves Massive Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Creating Temporary Paid Leave Mandates The coronavirus relief bill signed into law by President Trump on March 18 contains new paid leave mandates that will be in effect until the end of the year. Our memo provides an overview.