Thursday, December 10, 2020

Pennsylvania: new mitigation orders and FAQs

On December 10, Pennsylvanians were treated to three new offerings from our Commonwealth's executive branch:

The new orders supersede the previous orders (Order of the Governor for Mitigation, Enforcement, and Immunity Protections and Secretary), but leave in place any provisions that are not contradicted by the new orders. 

Notably, the new orders leave the telework mandate in place. The updated FAQs (sort of) address the issue:

Telework 

May a "life-sustaining" or "essential" business or those that received exemptions during the color phases disregard the requirement to telework? 

No, there are no exemptions to the telework requirement. Telework is to be utilized unless it is not possible to do so. Employers should make the best decisions to protect the health and safety of their employees. Employers with open physical locations must follow the guidance developed by the Commonwealth in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread and to protect the safety of workers. If an employer requests that an employee work in-person and that employee believes that they cannot do so, they should speak with their employer or human resources representative about their concerns with on-site work.
I was hoping for juuuuust a little bit more (okay, a lot more). There is another passing reference to telework, stating "Those employees who can telework, must telework. Those for whom it is impossible to work remotely may work in person."

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