COVID-19, THE ADA, THE REHABILITATION ACT, OTHER EEO LAWS, AND ULPs
Along with the surge on COVID cases our county is experiencing there is a surge in employee requests for union help in connection with those who get the disease and have chronic after effects, those who fear getting it from exposure to co-workers, those who have objections to vaccinations, etc. Lots of different laws are going to come into play, e.g., the labor laws making it a ULP for an agency to unilaterally implement a new COVID 19-related policy—unless there is an emergency or business necessity. Our fellow bloggers at The Labor and Employment Law Blog just posted a very helpful piece entitled, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” We recommend it as a good way to alert yourself to the various tools the union will have to represent members.
Consider posting about workers’ comp available to federal employees that get COVID in the line of duty. DOL has put out good guidance: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/dfec/InfoFECACoverageCoronavirus. Unfortunately, many employees and union officials don’t know that workers’ comp applies to COVID. Those that do think it’ll be impossible to prove they got COVID at work. The DOL guidance addresses that problem for many feds. Workers’ comp is important because if you get sick, you might develop “long COVID,” with symptoms and disabilities that persist for months or perhaps years or a lifetime.
Thanks, I will even tho I normally stay away from all things WC related.