HR Policy Urges DOL to Address Several Return-to-Work Issues

May 01, 2020

HR Policy Association asked the U.S. Department of Labor to continue to be flexible regarding OSHA enforcement and to provide guidance on the degree to which time spent by employees completing medical screening is compensable.

The letter urges DOL to address a number of employer concerns, including:

  • Working with Congress to reduce the disincentives for employees to return to work that were created by the unemployment benefit provisions in the CARES Act; and 

  • OSHA enforcement remaining both flexible and practical, particularly given the scarcity of PPE and the unavailability of FDA-approved testing materials and procedures. 

Separately, HR Policy also urged DOL to work with HHS and Treasury to address several health care issues, including treating telemedicine as an excepted benefit that is not subject to the dictates and requirements of the Affordable Care Act or ERISA, similar to on-site medical clinics.

Outlook:  To date, DOL has been generally responsive to addressing employer concerns and providing useful guidance regarding their workplace obligations during the pandemic, while holding to its primary mission of protecting the health and safety of employees.