It’s over! It took a while, but now we can roll the calendar back to January 2020 and it will all be the same as it was before.
Really? No, not really.
What has happened? California ended its COVID Emergency on February 28, 2023. The national state of emergency for COVID ended on April 10, the WHO declared the end to the global health emergency on May 5 and the federal public health emergency ends on May 11 (here’s a great description). This ends several programs such as free vaccines, tests, and stimulus programs. There is still guidance available for the workplace, such as this summary for California employers.
What has changed? On the HR front, a lot has changed. People still want to work remotely and for some businesses, this works well. If that’s you, make sure your employees continue to understand all of your requirements and expectations. Continue to communicate, to train, and live your values, remembering the many lessons that COVID taught us.
What else? If you have a work site, if your employees work face to face with other people, or even if you just get the team together occasionally, at some point you decided if you were going to require and verify vaccination. Now it’s time to revisit that decision and see if it still makes sense for your business. Let your employees and other stakeholders know what you decide. Want to talk about it? We’re happy to help.
And one more thing that you need to do. Remember when we hired employees all over the country and just did their I-9 by Zoom? It was so easy, wasn’t it? Well, that flexibility is coming to an end on July 31, 2023. It was always temporary and we knew that physical inspection (that’s what they call it when you review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee's physical presence) would end after the termination of the National Emergency. The good news is that instead of just 3 days, we have until August 31 to complete this in-person verification. You can use a remote notary service for I-9 verification and inspection; our friends at The Best Notary can help.
Please let us know if you have any questions. You’ll find all of us getting together in person to look at I-9 documents!
Jonna, Lisa, Lisha, Suzanne and Karen
The above/attached information is not a legal advice. It should not be considered as a legal opinion as to which laws apply or as to how any law applies to a particular situation. Companies or individuals should seek advice of Counsel with regards to their situation.