Inslee Updates Healthy Washington Proclamation, Announces Safe Workers Proclamation

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For your general information, on Friday, May 21, Governor Inslee issued an extension of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery emergency proclamation, Proclamation 20-25.13 and new worker protections that safeguard employees who wish to get vaccinated, or who are in isolation or quarantine, from adverse action by their employer, Proclamation 21-08

Proclamation 20-25.13 further states that as of Tuesday, May 18 all counties are in Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery and incorporates the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings that two weeks after their second dose and two weeks after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may choose not to wear a mask inside or outside.  Individual businesses will legally be able to require face masks if they choose to do so for their customers or employees to wear face masks.  The masking option will not pertain to “CDC exempted locations” to include: 

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Long-Term Care
  • Correctional  Facilities
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Schools
  • Public Transportation

To view Updated COVID-19 Facial Covering Guidance for Employers and Businesses, click here.

Proclamation 21-08, prohibits any employer operating within Washington State from taking any adverse employment action against a worker as a result of the worker engaging in any of the following qualifying events: 

  1. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination;
  2. Taking a reasonable period of time off, whether unpaid, paid, or otherwise available through the employment arrangement,

a.  To receive the COVID-19 vaccination; or

b.  To recover from side effects of the vaccine.

3.  Taking time off, whether unpaid, paid, or otherwise available through the employment arrangement, when the worker is:

a.  Subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

b.  Advised by a health care official or provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19; or

c.  Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis or treatment

For further information, see the Governor’s press release below.

To view Proclamation 20-25.13 - Healthy Washington, click here.

To view Proclamation 21-08 - Safe Workers, click here.

May 21, 2021
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Inslee updates Healthy Washington proclamation, announces safe workers proclamation

Gov. Jay Inslee today issued an extension of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery emergency proclamation, Proclamation 20-25.13. Additionally, the governor issued new worker protections that safeguard employees who wish to get vaccinated, or who are in isolation or quarantine, from adverse action by their employer.

Proclamation 20-25.13 - Healthy Washington

This extension provides that all counties are in Phase 3 as of May 18, 2021. It also incorporates the new CDC face covering guidance, adopted by the Governor on May 13, 2021, which generally provides that fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask inside or outside, except in certain locations (health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools and public transportation).

The proclamation clarifies that business owners may adopt an “honor system” and may assume that any customer who is not wearing a face covering has been fully vaccinated. It further clarifies that business owners and local authorities have the option to require that customers wear a face covering, and that local authorities may not prohibit business owners from requiring that their customers wear a face covering.

The proclamation also addresses the application of this new rule to employees and employers, and requires that employers must obtain proof of vaccination or obtain a self-attestation from the employee, attesting to their fully vaccinated status, before an employee may work at a worksite without wearing a mask. It further permits employers to continue to require that employees wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status. A link to additional and more detailed employer guidance from the Department of Labor & Industries is included in the proclamation.

Read the full proclamation here.

Proclamation 21-08 - Safe Workers

In addition to protecting workers who wish to get vaccinated, or who are in isolation or quarantine, from adverse actions by their employer, Proclamation 21-08 will also align with the CDC recommendation that employers provide flexible options for worker vaccinations.

“We call on Washington employers to remain vigilant in their promotion of employee vaccinations, and this proclamation will alleviate another barrier to vaccine access,” said Inslee.

Read the full proclamation here.