ABLE has updated its COVID and vaccination policies effective June 7, 2021, based on the Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave and on the increased vaccination rates in our region. These policies apply to all ABLE contractors being considered for or actually working in a Massachusetts work site.
The ins and outs of “MA EPSL”
At the end of May 2021, Governor Charlie Baker published a regulation requiring employers in Massachusetts workplaces, to offer paid sick leave for employees who are unable to work for COVID-19 related reasons. Effective from June 7 until September 30, 2021, Massachusetts requires ABLE to provide emergency paid sick leave to employees who qualify for this leave. Each request for paid leave must be submitted in advance on ABLE’s official form. The amount of leave paid is based on the employee’s work schedule or on the average of hours worked over the past 6-month period.
Keeping our Field Employees and Contractors Safe
When ABLE places someone at a client site, under employment law, ABLE and the client are co-employers. We are mutually responsible to ensure our ABLE employees and contractors have a safe working environment. As co-employers, we may not retaliate or take any other adverse action against an employee for properly using the COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave.
If our Client Requires Employees to be Vaccinated, we’re on it, reasonably, of course.
If our client requires that its employees be vaccinated, ABLE will consider that requirement when screening applicants for those positions. We support healthy workplaces! If applicants are otherwise well qualified for a particular opening, and state that they have valid health or religious reasons for not getting vaccinated, we will ask for documentation of this claim. As co-employers, both ABLE and the hiring company will need to review the request to determine if there are “reasonable accommodations” available as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. ABLE will maintain that documentation in the employee’s confidential record.
ABLE Supports Vaccinations. Really.
ABLE is actively encouraging our employees now on assignment to provide proof of vaccination or to tell us when they expect to get it. We will attach proof of vaccination to the employee’s confidential record. To encourage more vaccination compliance, ABLE will be holding a periodic drawing for those employees who have provided proof of vaccination.
Here’s to making the rest of 2021 healthier and more productive for all of us.
Eileen Wheeler Sheehan, CSP