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Mandatory Wellness Checks: Must Know Central Valley Regulations During COVID-19

By hire-up-staffing in News and Updates

Written by guest writer, Employment Law Attorney Ryan Eddings, at Littler

Attention all Central Valley businesses.

In the face of COVID-19, shelter in place orders, and the continued demand for keeping essential businesses operating, many counties are implementing a new regulation that will impact all businesses currently operating within them. 

Essential businesses are now being asked to comply with an order to provide mandatory wellness checks to all employees entering the business each day.

This regulation currently includes Fresno County and many California counties are expected to follow suit.

In the following article we provide all of the critical information regarding this new regulation so you can better understand what you need to do to keep your business compliant and your employees and customers safe.

Mandatory Wellness Checks: What You Need to Know

Take action immediately – 

If an employee who reports to work is founds to be exhibiting symptoms of concern, most counties are recommending sending those employees home to seek medical treatment or self quarantine based on their doctors requirements. 

Wellness Screening Is A Daily Requirement

The screening must be done daily. The screening must occur on the clock. Employees sent home should be paid reporting time pay. Employees sent home would be eligible for emergency paid sick leave (in addition to any other paid sick leave available), assuming the hours requirements are satisfied.

Employees Have Federal Support – 

During this unpaid time, they could qualify for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family Medical Leave after April 1, 2020 or only be eligible to use their already accumulated paid time off. Please see this article that talks about how the EPSL and EFMLA is applied to companies

Currently Documentation Is Recommended But Not Required – 

The County’s Order does not require written documentation of the health screening. However, it seems prudent to document the good faith efforts undertaken by the employer to screen employers on a daily basis. Here’s a sample provided by Employment Law Attorney, Ryan Eddings of Littler.

It is plausible that if multiple employees from a single site present with COVID-19, the County could inspect the employer and, if non-compliant policies are found, shut down the employer’s operations. 

The Basics Requirement Of The Screening – 

This screening is four questions based on the definition of “Febrile respiratory illness” which is defined as “a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 38 degrees C or 100.4 degrees or higher) or chills in the previous 24 hours.”

The Order requires the employee to notify all “close contacts” to self-quarantine for 14 days. Close contacts are defined to be any other persons with whom the employee has spent 15 minutes or more within six feet or less of that person. The close contacts may also qualify for emergency Paid Sick Leave from their employers. If the close contact works for the same employer as the original employee, reporting time pay may also be owe 

Who Is Conducting The Screening

All screening must be provided by Medical Assistants or Certified Nurses Assistants. 

What Is Not Required –

The Order does not require employers to conduct temperature monitoring of employees, although temperature monitoring is permissible under current EEOC guidance. 

What You Need To Do

According to this order, if your business is currently still in operation in Fresno Country, be sure to start implementing these wellness screenings immediately. 

Due to the rapid implementation of these regulations, many businesses are choosing to hire someone specifically for these wellness checks. Finding people to carry out this job for both large and small organizations has been hard for most companies. In addition, we have found that larger organizations with big employee pools are choosing to hire Medical Assistants or Certified Nurses Assistants to support and help safe guard their businesses and employees. Finding certified employees like MAs and CNAs to work the front lines may be even more difficult to find right now.

Fortunately, Hire Up Staffing specializes in medical staffing and has several candidates (medical and non-medical) to temporarily fill these roles and they are ready to work as early as tomorrow.

Furthermore, we want to do our part to support businesses who need our help so we’re offering special pricing for these roles. A “Wellness Temporary Employee” to do the health checks at each organization is currently only $26 an hour.

Contact our team today to get set up with a health professional that can conduct the required screenings and keep your business compliant and safe!