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Some pandemic restrictions on employers loosened

Apr 21, 2021 | Entertainment Reopening Guide, Hotel COVID-19 Operations Guide, Restaurant Reopening Guide

On April 8, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he is loosening some restrictions on employers that he put in place during the state of emergency declared during the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Friday, April 23, employers can ask an employee for medical verification if that employee claims to be a high-risk worker during Washington’s state of emergency.

Employers may also terminate employer-provided health insurance if that employer provides at least 14 days’ notice and the employee is not covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or through a collective bargaining agreement.

There are still some coronavirus-related restrictions in place: an employer must provide high-risk workers with alternative assignments if it is feasible, such as telework or remote work, reassignment or social distancing measures. If the arrangements are not feasible, the worker may use any accrued, paid leave or unemployment insurance. Employers are also prohibited from permanently replacing any worker in the high-risk category if they opt for paid leave or unemployment.

For more information, read what employment attorneys Fisher Phillips wrote on the topic, or reach the governor’s proclamation here.