Federal workplace rules divide employers

Posted on Feb 24, 2021 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Posted by of Insight Publications

Employers are polarized over the creation of federal COVID-19 workplace standards.

The J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights conducted a poll asking employers their thoughts about plans for federal rules regarding COVID-19 and worker protection. The U.S. Department of Labor is creating new guidance for employers to protect workers from and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Employers were split nearly 50/50 on whether a federal mandate regarding worker safety was a good or bad thing. Some possible actions include allowing remote work, requiring masks or face coverings to be worn by employees and visitors, limiting office capacity, symptom monitoring and special cleaning.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 80 percent of employers surveyed said they are very or somewhat familiar with the proposed federal mandate, even though it hasn’t been unveiled yet.
  • Support for a federal mandate is lowest among small employers (100 or fewer employees).
  • A common criticism against a federal mandate is that employers have already implemented many of the anticipated standards, driven by local or state regulations.
  • 45 percent of employers surveyed are concerned with challenges such as conflicting federal and state/local mandates.

The J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights is the research arm of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., a provider of safety and regulatory compliance solutions for businesses.