On December 16, 2020, the EEOC released new technical assistance about the EEO legal standards that govern employer vaccination programs for COVID-19. These questions and answers can be found in new Section K, Vaccinations, of the existing What You Should Know About COVID-19, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.
Click a tab above to access specific information.
Safety & Health at Work
Free COVID-19 Workplace Testing
To support employers in Wyoming in conducting COVID-19 workplace surveillance testing, the Wyoming Department of Health is offering free tests through a company called Vault Health. These tests are available at no cost; insurance is not necessary. The health department and Vault Health will work with employers to support the use of the tests for Wyoming-based employees, including appropriate training.
- Order free workplace tests from Wyoming Department of Health
- Testing strategies for various workplace settings
Does your non-health-related business need personal protective equipment?
If you need personal protective equipment (PPE) for your employees or clients, complete this form to apply for PPE from the Office of Homeland Security.
Preventing COVID-19 in workplaces is critical for slowing the spread in our communities and keeping businesses open. There are numerous guidelines for COVID-19 prevention in the workplace, including tailored guidelines for specific industries, occupations, and work-place activities (screening, gatherings, testing, cleaning, etc.). Many are available in multiple languages. Key sources of information are:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - COVID-19 Resource Page
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
- Wyoming Department of Health - Public Health Orders and Select Business Guidance
Contact our free and confidential safety consultation services for assistance with COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.
- Wyoming OSHA Consultation: (307) 777-7786
- Wyoming Workers' Compensation Safety & Risk: (307) 777-8901
Steps for Every Workplace
- Ensure employees and customers know:
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- What to do if you are exposed to COVID-19
- What to do if you are sick
- Classify employee and workplace risk using the OSHA Framework
- Post and share information about COVID-19 in the workplace. Two good communication resources:
- Wyoming Department of Health
- CDC COVID-19 Communication
- Follow the OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces and the CDC Resuming Business Toolkit to prevent COVID-19 at work. Key strategies include:
- Follow all state and local public health orders affecting your business.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Emphasize to employees and customers staying home when sick, proper respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
- Ensure the work environment allows for adequate physical distance between staff and customers at all times (at least 6 feet).
- Wear cloth or disposable face-coverings when adequate distance canâ€™t be maintained, during group gatherings, and in public settings.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning, especially for high-touch surfaces.
- Follow travel advisories related to COVID-19.
- Seek out industry-specific guidance from the Wyoming Department of Health, OSHA and the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Plan for COVID-19 illness in your business, including closures, cleaning, communication with staff, and the temporary absence of quarantined staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the employer is covered by the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act and a pandemic is widespread in a community, like COVID-19, yes, that employer may take employee temperatures. If the employer is not covered by the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act, it should review any contract or policy it may have regarding medical inquiries before taking staff temperatures. In either situation, an employer should take staff temperatures uniformly and not single out certain groups of people. Please be aware that people may have contagion who do not have a high temperature.
- The Wyoming Department of Health provides guidance for employee health screening questions and the CDC provides guidance for employee health screening questions and temperature screening.
- See also the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace
Generally speaking, an employer does not have the authority to make employees do or not do much of anything during the employee's off time. In other words, absent some extenuating circumstance, an employer cannot confine an employee to his or her home.
If there is a public health quarantine directive for persons returning to Wyoming from other locations, employers should account for that quarantine period in any work-required travel plans and employees should account for that time in their personal travel plans.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides additional guidance on employee travel and other management issues during a pandemic.
Yes, if showing up to work is an essential function of your job, employers may require employees to come into work, barring the need for isolation when ill or quarantine after exposure. Know your workplace safety rights , and submit any complaints about health and safety in the workplace to Wyoming OSHA . Anyone who is sick with or had exposure to COVID-19 should follow the department of health guidelines for when to isolate or quarantine.
If the employee has completed their isolation period (after testing positive) or completing a 14-day quarantine (after having close contact), he/she does not need a negative test before returning to work or other activities.
You may find certain high-density or high-risk work settings doing blanket return-to-work testing as part of on-going (surveillance) testing for staff. However, return-to-work testing after completing isolation or 14-day quarantine isn't required by health officials.
The OSHA Return to Work guidance supports public health guidelines.
Note: You may not get a call from a public health representative. If you need a letter as proof to isolate away from work, please visit the Wyoming Department of Health COVID-19 website and click the link to obtain an isolation letter.
It depends on when that close contact occurred in relation to the person's testing date, symptoms, and isolation period. Follow the state guidance on what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 and when to start and end quarantine.
Note: You may not get a call from a public health representative. If you need a letter as proof to quarantine away from work, please visit the Wyoming Department of Health COVID-19 website and click the links to obtain a quarantine letter.
Unemployment Information and Resources for Employers
Free COVID-19 Workplace Testing
To support employers in Wyoming in conducting COVID-19 workplace surveillance testing, the Wyoming Department of Health is offering free tests through a company called Vault Health. These tests are available at no cost; insurance is not necessary. The department and Vault Health will work with employers to support the use of the tests for Wyoming-based employees, including appropriate training.
Find more information about free COVID-19 Workplace Testing here.
Did your company receive the Payroll Protection Program Loan?
Consider starting the pay with the most current pay period.
If your company received the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan and you intend to pay your employees for 8 weeks, consider starting the pay with the most current pay period rather than paying previous weeks. This will alleviate the establishment of large unemployment insurance overpayments, which your employees will be responsible to repay, and will help ease the financial burdens on your employees. Please contact us so that the claims can be adjusted to reflect any wages paid.
If you will be paying your employees wages with the PPP loan, please report the following for each employee who is filing for unemployment insurance by sending a spreadsheet with the following details to email@example.com or calling 307-235-3236:
- Employee Name
- Last four of SSN
- Pay Period Start date
- Gross amount paid for each week
- Number of hours paid per week
Have your employees been asked to return to work and refused?
Employees cannot refuse work to continue receiving unemployment insurance benefits, without "good cause." This includes all programs, regular unemployment insurance, PEUC, PUA and FPUC. Work Refusal issues must be adjudicated to determine the cause. Quitting work or refusing work without "good cause" to obtain UI benefits can be considered fraud. Work refusals can be reported by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-235-3236.
Workers' compensation benefits for COVID-19 illness could include medical and indemnity (wage replacement) benefits. A claims analyst will determine if the illness qualifies for coverage. If the claim is denied, there is a process to object and request a hearing.
Wyoming Workers' Compensation medical and wage replacement coverage for COVID-19 illness will depend on many factors. We recommend contacting our department if you have any questions. State statutes that will likely apply include:
- W.S. 27-14-102(a)(xi) which defines injury as "any harmful change in the human organism other than normal aging..."
- W.S. 27-14-102(a)(xi)(A) which states "Injury" does not include any illness or communicable disease unless the risk of contracting the illness or disease is increased by the nature of the employment."
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, our offices remain open and Claims Analysts are available via phone or email during normal business hours. Paperwork can be faxed, emailed or mailed to the office.
It depends. Pursuant to Wyoming Statute 27-14-102(a)(xi): "Injury" means any harmful change in the human organism other than normal aging and includes damage to or loss of any artificial replacement and death, arising out of and in the course of employment while at work in or about the premises occupied, used or controlled by the employer and incurred while at work in places where the employer's business requires an employee's presence and which subjects the employee to extra-hazardous duties incident to the business. "Injury" does not include:
(A) Any illness or communicable disease unless the risk of contracting the illness or disease is increased by the nature of the employment;
The employee should file a claim if they believe COVID-19 was contracted at work. A claims analyst will determine if the illness qualifies for coverage. If the claim is determined to compensable, medical and indemnity benefits that are reasonable, medically necessary, and related to the work place illness will be covered. If the claim is denied, the process to object and request a hearing remains the same.
If an employee does not qualify for workers' compensation benefits and missed work due to a quarantine, they may be eligible for Unemployment Benefits. For more information about unemployment insurance benefits, please visit here.
Many healthcare providers are offering telehealth visits in place of office visits. The Workers' Compensation Division covers telehealth visits and will accept any TTD certification completed by a healthcare provider during a telehealth appointment. In addition, the Division will accept any other form of written certification from a healthcare provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your healthcare provider does not offer telehealth, e-visits, virtual check-in or phone calls, please contact your claims analyst so we can make other accommodations.
Yes. If you have not been released to full-duty, and your employer can no longer accommodate light duty, you will be eligible for TTD benefits.
Workers' Compensation accepts telehealth, virtual check-in, and e-visits. Please see the attached memo regarding these visits and how to bill Wyoming Workers' Compensation.
Telehealth visits will also be considered for payment. A home health request requires a written prescription from the physician that includes the reason for home health, frequency of visits, and duration. Documentation of face to face visits having occurred within 90 days prior to the start of home health services (home-bound certification) will be considered if treatment is medically reasonable, necessary, and related to the work injury.
Most of our Independent Medical Evaluators are not currently seeing patients. For those who are, the process for an IME remains the same and appointments are being scheduled several weeks or months out.
Paid Sick & Quarantine Leave
Workers and employers needing wage replacement support during COVID-19 illness or quarantine should explore the following options.
- Persons who are quarantined by a medical professional or government agency may qualify for unemployment benefits. Please refer to Unemployment Support for Individuals tab.
- If COVID-19 exposure occurred through work, Wyoming Workers' Compensation may provide medical treatment and wage replacement benefits. Please refer to Workers' Compensation tab.
- The requirement that certain employers provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave through the U.S. Department of Labor, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired on Dec. 31, 2020. Per the U.S. DOL announcement, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, extended employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021. However, the CAA did not extend employeesâ€™ entitlement to FFCRA leave beyond Dec. 31, 2020, meaning employers will no longer be legally required to provide such leave. For more information:
Fair Labor/EEOC Requirements
- U.S. Department of Labor, Public Health Emergency Guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family Leave Act (FMLA)
- U.S. Department of Labor, Pandemic Flu and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act
- FLSA FAQs
Support for Closures/Mass Layoffs
If businesses are completely closing, business owners should inform their employees of this in writing and that all employees are laid off until further notice. It is very important for businesses to also file a WARN Notice. Both of these actions help track closures and provide workers with documentation to claim Unemployment Insurance. WARN Notices help trigger additional state and federal funding for our region that can be utilized in flexible ways to help people during this crisis.
Rapid Response is a proactive, business-focused, and flexible strategy designed for two major purposes:
- To respond to announcements of layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and providing immediate aid to companies and their affected workers to ensure rapid reemployment, and to minimize the negative impacts of the layoff.
- To help growing companies access the resources they need to continue to be successful, including helping meet existing and future talent needs.
Our Rapid Response Team can provide services to help company leadership and affected workers through the painful transitions associated with job loss. We help affected workers apply for unemployment benefits, access other income support and healthcare resources, and connect to training and reemployment services.
In response to the current state of the workforce impacted by COVID-19, there is an option to conduct Rapid Response sessions virtually.
For assistance, please contact your local Workforce Center.
Stress & Mental Health Support
This pandemic has been stressful for everyone in many ways. Please take time to care for yourself, and support your teams and networks with the following resources:
- Help employees cope with pandemic stress and anxiety
- Wyoming Department of Health tips for stress and coping during COVID-19
- Wyoming Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Services. See the expansive COVID resource page and also mental health support and substance use treatment services by county.