CDC relaxes mask guidance, but employers are left waiting on OSHA

Friday, May 14, 2021

David Barron was quoted in HR Dive discussing how the latest CDC mask guidelines impact employers. But the CDC "is not the ultimate authority" for employers, David said — that spot belongs to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Guidance from OSHA could be imminent, however. Emergency temporary standards were put together weeks ago and delivered to the White House, he said. "If OSHA comes out and says, you know, employees have to wear masks, even if they're within six feet of each other, even if they're vaccinated, then that's going to really trump whatever the CDC says," he said. "I don't know that they're gonna say anything, and no one really knows." Employers will need to play a waiting game, then, despite the new CDC guidance. "That's the big wait and see that I would throw out there for HR professionals," he said. "Let's not run off and do anything too drastic, because we will need to wait and see what OSHA says."

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