DECD Updates Connecticut Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers
The state Department of Economic and Community Development released updated guidance for workplace rules governing the use of face masks or cloth face coverings.
The guidance adds the following language:
- Each employee shall be required to wear a mask or other cloth material that covers their mouth and nose while in the workplace, except to the extent an employee is using break time to eat or drink. Employers shall issue such masks or cloth face coverings to their employees. In the event an employer is unable to provide masks or cloth face coverings to employees because of shortages or supply chain difficulties, employers must provide the materials and Centers for Disease Control tutorial about how to create a cloth face covering, or compensate employees for the reasonable and necessary costs employees expend on such materials to make their own masks or cloth face covering.
- In workplace settings where employees are working alone in segregated spaces (i.e. cubicles with walls, private offices, etc.), employees may remove their masks. However, workers shall wear a mask or face covering from the time they enter the building until the time they arrive at their cubicle/workstation and at any time they are leaving their workstation and moving around common areas (i.e. in hallways and stairwells, going to the restroom or break room, etc.). For employees working in congregate settings (i.e. open manufacturing floors, warehouses, areas open to the public, shared offices, or similar settings), those workers shall wear a face covering as above, as well as when they are at their workstation. In addition, continuous wearing of masks is not required in outdoor workspaces where employees do not regularly come within six feet of other employees.
The agency also added language to the Guidelines for Workplace Illness section.
If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should:
- Inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The fellow employees should then self-monitor for symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
- Ventilate areas visited by that individual.
- Clean and disinfect all impacted spaces, especially commonly used rooms and shared equipment.
Visit the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) for the complete rules.