- Published Articles
- In the Press
- Press Releases
Sign Up for Alerts
Sign up to receive receive industry-specific emails from our legal team.
Sign Up for Alerts
We provide tailored, industry-specific legal updates to our clients and other friends of the firm.
Areas of Interest
November 4th, 2020
New CDC “Close Contact” Definition Establishes Lower Threshold for Required Quarantine
Here’s important news for employers that should elicit an update to workplace COVID-19-related safety policies and forms. The CDC recently updated its definition of a close contact as: someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for more asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Employers will need to review their COVID-19-related safety policies and forms to align with the CDC’s new definition of a close contact. The new definition focuses on cumulative exposure rather than consecutive exposure. For example, if an individual has been exposed at three separate times in a 24-hour period, with each encounter lasting five minutes, this would now qualify as a close contact.
What the New Definition Means
The CDC’s updated definition establishes a lower threshold for a required quarantine. Previously, in the event an employee became infected, employers were required to identify other employees who may have worked within six feet of the impacted employee for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before the infected individual showed symptoms. Since the new definition focuses on cumulative exposure time rather than consecutive exposure time, employers will need to carefully look at brief interactions between workers that may occur several times a day, as opposed to one or two prolonged exposures.
The CDC recommends that employers send home any employees who may have been exposed and that those employees practice social distancing and self-monitor for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. According to CDC guidelines, if a business is considered essential then exposed employees can continue to work onsite if they wear a mask and self-monitor.
What Employers Can Do
Employers will need to revise their COVID-19-related safety policies and forms to align with the CDC’s new definition of a close contact. Employers should also update contact-tracing questionnaires to reflect the change.
If you have questions about updating COVID-19-related policies, procedures, and forms, or other employment law questions, contact Wendy Stryker at (212) 705-4838 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation Group.
Other Employment Law Alerts
Uncompensated COVID-19 Safety Protocols Prompt Class Action Wage and Hour Claim
Many employers have implemented COVID-19 safety protocols for their employees based upon various government regulations, orders, and guidance as well as genuine concern for the health and well-being of the employees. But, do those employers have an obligation to compensate their employees for time spent going through the employer’s required COVID-19 safety protocols? One California employer is finding out the hard way. Read more.
November 17 2020
California Codifies When COVID-19 Illness Will Be Presumed Job-Related for Workers’ Compensation Purposes
We give a rundown of who is covered under SB 1159 -- an important new law that all California employers need to understand. Read more.
September 29 2020
EEOC Again Updates Key Guidance for Employers Reopening Workplaces
On September 8, 2020, the EEOC again updated What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws. The update contains important new guidance to help employers manage employee requests lawfully while reopening offices and other workplaces. Read more.
September 29 2020