Reopening Pennsylvania Businesses – Guidance for Counties that Move to Yellow

pa workers comp

Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania includes specific protocol all businesses must follow to ensure a safe reopening process. Under the yellow phase of reopening, life-sustaining businesses that are unable to conduct either all or part of their operations via telework (remote work) will continue to conduct their operations in-person, and many non-life-sustaining businesses will be permitted to restart their in-person operations through the loosening of some restrictions under the stay-at-home and business closure orders.

New Business Guidance for Counties that Move to Yellow

On May 4th, Governor Wolf provided important Guidance for Businesses that details procedures companies must follow while conducting in-person operations during the yellow phase of reopening. The new guidance is based on the building safety and business safety orders, which nearly all life sustaining businesses have been operating under for the past few months. One of the components of Wolf’s policy includes specific rules for businesses that have a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19. The rules include, but are not limited to:

  • Securing and decontaminating the affected areas. This requirement includes several actions not limited to cleaning and disinfecting all shared areas including offices, bathrooms, break rooms, shared equipment, ATM machines, etc.
  • Identifying all employees who were in close contact with a person with a probable or confirmed case. “Close Contact” is defined as within about 6 feet for 10 minutes or more)
  • Instituting a temperature screening process before anyone enters the business and sending home those that have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Informing employees that if they have symptoms, they must notify their supervisor and stay home
  • Advising sick employees to follow CDC-recommended steps for recovery
  • Employers are encouraged to implement liberal paid time off for employees who do not return to work for the reasons listed above

There are several other requirements listed in Wolf’s Guidance for Businesses policy in addition to the protocol illustrated above, including mandatory mask requirements, limitations on group size, cleaning procedures, employee communication requirements, etc. The guidance also includes links to industry
specific precautions that must be followed.

Note: The information provided above was pulled directly from guidance that was updated on May 6, 2020. Employers should be checking the PA website continuously for updated information.

PA State Poster Requirement

Businesses conducting in-person operations or serving the public are required to make employees and customers aware of the guidance provided by the commonwealth to keep people at their establishment safe. In addition, businesses are required to publicly acknowledge their responsibility to conduct their
operations to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Businesses must print, sign, and post the “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses” flyer on their premises. This includes posting the signed flyer in employee common space and, if the business serves the public, the business must also post the flyer near the business’s public entrance(s) in prominent location(s).

Valuable Henderson Brothers’ COVID-19 Resources

Henderson Brothers has prepared a detailed Pandemic Recovery Plan that illustrates best practices protocol for cleaning procedures, facility access, quarantine activities, employee screening, personal protective equipment, materials management, etc. In addition to this detailed guide, we have also created and distributed regulatory updates, sample policies, risk checklists and employee communications to help employers manage their compliance obligations during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Please reach out to your Henderson Brothers’ representative if you have a specific question or you are looking for more detail on any of the information presented above.

Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.