Earlier this week, MIOSHA revised the answer to its previously published FAQ regarding remote work addressed in the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Frequently Asked Questions. The new FAQ is as follows:
Executive Rule 5(8) says: The employer shall create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely. What type of policy is required?
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 completed remotely.
Employers are obligated to demonstrate infeasibility of remote work.
Employers should include in the remote work determination information which covers at least:
- Which positions/classifications report for in-person work and why they must be physically present in the workplace;
- Reasons that this work cannot be performed remotely, this must include enough specificity to show this analysis has been performed.
This written policy may be part of the employer’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan. It does not have to be a stand-alone document.
Based on this new guidance, employers should develop a written remote work policy or revise their existing policy to make sure it complies with this guidance. Employers should then analyze which jobs in their workforce must perform in-person work and document their decisions.
To assist employers in complying with MIOSHA’s policy requirement and in-person-work determination, we have prepared an “Employee Remote Work Policy” template and created an analysis tool you can use to document which employees must work on-site and why. The policy and the analysis tool are available for a fixed price of $250. If you are interested in purchasing those documents, contact your Warner attorney.
If you have any questions regarding this new guidance or other employment issues surrounding COVID-19, please contact any member of Warner’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.