Labor & Employment News Alert
Indiana Re-Opening For Business
May 5, 2020
By: Chad J. Sullivan
On May 1, 2020, Governor Holcomb issued an executive order providing a roadmap for how Indiana business and state government will reopen. The executive order sets forth a plan for the reopening of businesses in numerous stages. Stage 2 begins for most Indiana counties on May 5th and continues to May 23rd. A summary of the plan is as follows:
Reopening Plans Required for Businesses
A key requirement in the Order for businesses is that on or before May 11, 2020, all Indiana employers “shall develop a plan to implement measures and institute safeguards to insure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients and members.” The plan, at a minimum, must include the following points:
- Instituting an employee health screening process;
- Employing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the workplace, including regularly cleaning high touched surfaces;
- Enhancing the ability of employees, customers and clients to wash hands or take other personal hygiene measures such as use of hand sanitizer; and
- Complying with social distances requirements established by the CDC, including maintaining 6-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the general public when possible and/or employing other separation measures such as wearing face coverings or using barriers.
Moreover, all employers must comply with safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA. Although not required, the roadmap encourages employers to adopt or allow for the following actions:
- Allowing as many employees as possible to work from home;
- To ensure sick leave policies are up to date and flexible allowing for sick employees to stay home;
- Encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever for at least 72 hours and suspend any policies and do not require a healthcare provider’s note to validate the illness or return to work;
- Promptly separate employees that appear to have equate respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately;
- Reinforce key messages to all employees and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen;
- Provide protection supplies, such as soap and water and hand sanitizer for use by employees;
- Frequently perform enhanced cleaning; and
- Be prepared to change business practices, if needed, in order maintain critical operations.
The Order directs that IOSHA take all available administrative and enforcement actions against businesses or entities failing to comply with workplace safety conditions. The Order also creates the Enforcement Response Team which shall respond to and investigate all reports of violations not under IOSHA’s jurisdiction. The Response Team (in conjunction with the ISDH) shall have the authority to issue verbal warnings, cease and desist orders and order businesses to close. Knowing violation of the Order is a class B misdemeanor punishable up to 180 days incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000.