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Governor issues order to protect high-risk employees, 4.13.20

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On April 13, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an order to grant additional protections to Washington employees who are at higher risk of severe illness or death related to the coronavirus.

The order is in effect through June 12, 2020.

High-risk individuals are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as those who are 65 years of age or older and those of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if those conditions are not well controlled.

In the order:

  • Employers must use all available options for alternative work assignments to protect high-risk employees, if requested, including telework, alternative or remote work locations, reassignment and social distancing measures.
  • Where an alternative work arrangement is not feasible, employers must permit any high-risk employee to use available employer-granted accrued leave or unemployment insurance (in any sequence) at the discretion of the employee.
  • In the event the employee’s paid time off is exhausted during the period of leave, employers must fully maintain all health insurance benefits until the employee is eligible to return to work.
  • Employers cannot retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights under this proclamation and cannot end the employee’s current employment by permanent replacement.

Learn more here.