Businesses in Washington State are now able to open at full capacity and have fewer requirements to follow to protect employees from COVID-19. But employers still have obligations. From mask guidelines to vaccine verification requirements to safety measures in the workplace, here are some of the latest updates from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I):
- Fully vaccinated employees do not have to wear a mask or socially distance at work unless their employer or local public health agency still requires it.
- Before ending mask and social distance requirements, employers must confirm workers are fully vaccinated — by having the worker either sign a document attesting to their status or provide proof of vaccination.
- Employers must be able to demonstrate they have verified vaccination status for workers who are not masked or physically distanced.
- When verifying an employee’s vaccine status, acceptable documentation includes a CDC vaccination card, a photo of the card, documentation from a health care provider, a signed attestation from the worker, or documentation from the state immunization information system.
- Evidence of the verification system must be available to L&I upon request.
- Employers do not need to save actual copies of employee vaccination cards.
- Some industries (i.e., health care, transportation, prisons and homeless shelters) still require masks and respirators for all workers.
Guidelines change quickly. Find the latest COVID-19 vaccine enforcement policies on the L&I website.