Nevada OSHA Issues Guidance on Wearing Masks in the Workplace
On May 13, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued guidance stating that fully vaccinated people can be indoors without masks. This guidance was in addition to earlier guidance that allowed fully vaccinated people to be without masks in outdoor settings.
On May 14, 2021, Nevada OSHA released guidance (PDF) for businesses after Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement that the state will follow CDC guidelines on face masks. The guidance applies to all businesses currently authorized to operate in Nevada and includes updates from provisions of Declaration of Emergency Directive #045 and new CDC guidance.
The guidelines are as follows:
- All employers must provide face coverings for unvaccinated employees and shall require these employees to wear the face coverings in all instances where required by emergency directives and associated guidance issued on the NVHealthResponse website or by Nevada OSHA. (Required/Ref. Declaration of Emergency Directive #021, section 12; Declaration of Emergency Directive #044, section 6; Declaration of Emergency Directive #045, section 6)
- All employers shall require unvaccinated employees to wear a face covering in any space visited by the general public, even if no one else is present. (Required/Ref. NVHealthResponse Guidance on Directive 024: Face Coverings, Declaration of Emergency Directive #044, section 6; Declaration of Emergency Directive #045, section 6)
- All employers must require unvaccinated employees to wear a face covering in any space where food is prepared or packaged, for sale, or generally distributed to others.(Required/Ref. NVHealthResponse Guidance on Directive 024: Face Coverings)
- Close or limit access to common areas where employees are likely to congregate and interact. When in common areas, face coverings are required for unvaccinated employees. (Required/ Ref. NVHealthResponse Guidance on Directive 024: Face Coverings
- Post signage with the latest CDC mask guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. (Recommended/Nevada Health Response Press Release 5/13/2021)
To ensure that employers do not run afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is acceptable to ask the entire workforce for proof of vaccination. This is not considered a disability-related inquiry. However, we recommend that individuals should not be singled out for the inquiry as this has ADA implications. It is complicated and would be easy to trigger a disability inquiry even if that was not the intent.
Please note that if an individual is seeking Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) compensation for their vaccination, it is acceptable to request proof.
The EEOC guidance on vaccinations is found in section K, located here: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
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Gary A. Jones is the director of environmental, health and safety (EHS) affairs at PRINTING United Alliance in Fairfax, VA. His primary responsibility is to monitor and analyze EHS regulatory activities at all domestic and some international government levels. He provides representation on behalf of the printing and specialty graphic imaging industry. In doing so, Mr. Jones works closely with the federal and state-level Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and other agencies. He also provides membership assistance on EHS compliance and sustainability programs through a variety of approaches including responding to inquiries, presentations, writing, and consulting services.
Mr. Jones is also supporting PRINTING United Alliance’s efforts for the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). SGP is dedicated to assisting printing operations respond to the customer demand for sustainable printing.
He holds a BS in biology from LaRoche College and an MS in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.