On October 14, 2020, MIOSHA released Emergency Rules for COVID-19, which require employers to enact a policy “prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” MIOSHA further clarified this policy requirement in an FAQ, stating:
MIOSHA will accept a written policy which indicates that employees are not to perform in-person work activities where the work activity can be feasibly be completed remotely. Employers are obligated to demonstrate infeasibility of remote work. Employers should include in the remote work determination information which covers at least:
Schools that have not already enacted such a policy should do so immediately. As noted in last month’s School Law Notes, Thrun Law Firm has prepared a compliant remote-work policy available for purchase for a nominal fee.
We have received many questions about the new MIOSHA Emergency Rules and their implications for schools. Our November 17, 2020 E-Blast summarized answers to many frequently-asked questions and included two forms for school officials to document a school’s in-person work decisions under the temporary remote work policy.
The first form, “In-Person Work by Position/Employee Group Audit” allows an employer to document, for individual employees or employee groups, those job tasks which must be performed remotely and which cannot feasibly be performed remotely. If an employee wants to work in-person but was identified by the audit as someone who can feasibly complete work remotely, the school should direct the employee to complete the second form, “Request for In-Person Work by Individual Employee.” School officials should review that completed form to determine the extent (if any) to which the employee’s job responsibilities cannot feasibly be completed remotely. Any in-person work must be limited to only that work that the employee cannot feasibly complete remotely. Even if an employee prefers to work on-site, in-person work is only permitted if it is not feasible for the employee to complete the work remotely.
If you would like copies of these forms, Thrun Law Firm’s November 17, 2020 E-Blast, the template temporary remote-work policy, or the companion forms, please contact your Thrun labor attorney.