CDC Revises Mask Mandate for Vaccinated People and Its Impact on Printing Operations

Written May 17, 2021

Categories: AD Advocacy, CP Advocacy, DP Advocacy, DT Advocacy, ES Advocacy, First to Know, FP Advocacy, GP Advocacy, IPDAA Advocacy, SM Advocacy, WIP Advocacy

Late last week, 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 the guidance that was release on April 27, 2021 that allowed fully vaccinated people to be maskless in outdoor settings. The latest guidance reiterates that employers may set their own masking requirements independent of CDC guidelines, and the CDC specifically states that individuals “will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses”.

We recommend that you wait and do not change your policy of requiring masks inside your facility for the following reasons:

  • The federal OSHA has issued guidance stating that masks are required in the workplace and companies are to not make a distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
  • In addition, OSHA is in the process of issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard that most likely will contain a masking requirement. It is not clear how OSHA is going to respond to the latest CDC guidance’s in their standard as they relied heavily upon the CDC with their own guidance and the pending regulation. Therefore, until OSHA either revises their current guidance or issues their regulation, we must wait until they issue a statement.
  • Some State & Local governments have masking and distancing requirements that must be followed until they are revised. For instance, the masking requirements are still in place in VA, OR, CA, MI, NY (starting June 4 or publication of model programs), NJ (exec order)

In addition, we remind you that 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, frankly, and would be easy to trigger a disability inquiry even if that was not the intent.

Please note that if an individual is seeking 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

For more information, please contact PRINTING United Alliance’s Government Affairs Department at govtaffairs@printing.org or Adriane Harrison, VP of Human Relations Consulting at aharrison@printing.org.