Guidance on Masks in the Workplace

New guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) on May 13, 2021, advises that individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are no longer required to wear a mask or practice social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings, with the exception of certain forms of public transportation as well as high-risk workplaces including health care settings, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters.

While determining how to implement the CDC’s new guidance, Employers should keep in mind that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) current guidance on COVID-19 recommends that employers do not distinguish between employees who are fully vaccinated and those who are not because at this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from person-to-person. However, OSHA is expected to release additional guidance in response to the CDC’s update – HR Partners will keep you posted. Additionally, implementing this new guidance in the workplace may present additional challenges, including the possibility of discrimination claims if vaccination status is used as a reason to exclude disabled individuals from certain activities.

HR Partners recommends that employers continue treating all employees in a consistent, non-discriminatory manner, whether or not the employer decides to continue implementing a mask policy. If you have questions about this guidance, or if you need any other assistance with HR needs, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860.

What our clients say...

What Our Clients Say About Us

"It's not what you say about yourself, it's what others say." - Anon.

We like to think our clients know us best. Here's what they have to say...


Gina Stewart
Executive Director of Administration
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation

“HR Partners provides a screening process when searching for candidates for a position. The phone screens save me valuable time and give me the information needed to decide whether to invite someone to our office for an in-person interview. They also serve as a knowledgeable resource for up to date standards with HR issues. Two of the most significant improvements would be making the hiring process a breeze and having a resource to provide valuable feedback on HR issues.

HR Partners allows you to continue to work on your mission, whatever it might be, while spending less time on HR issues. You have the confidence when hiring someone that they will have the skills/knowledge to the job well.”


 

Angie Clevenger
Human Resources
Butler Electric Cooperative

“Knowledgeable and efficient are the two words I would use to describe HR Partners.  When I need accurate information in a timely manner, I know I can count on HR Partners!”


Kevin Holland
Vice President
Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers

“We started working with HR Partners when we had staffing changes in our Accounting and Human Resource department. HR Partners has been there to assist us in that transition and has become a resource that we plan to continue to utilize. Everyone in their office is professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and always very prompt. HR Partners has been able to provide advice and guidance on numerous HR topics and provided a mandatory Workplace Etiquette for our employees. They have also updated our personnel manual in order to provide clear and consistent polices for our employees. HR Partners would be an asset for any company looking for assistance with any human resource needs.”


 

Gwen Denton
Human Resources Director
Grandstand Glassware & Apparel

“I have worked with HR Partners for over two (2) years in an advisory and legal capacity. The HR Partners Team has made themselves available with little notice when I’ve been in need of their expertise in an immediate situation. They are available when I want to bounce an idea or will just listen when I need to work through a situation. They have assisted with phone screens, job descriptions, policies, unemployment, FMLA, HR audit, and so much more. They are very easy to work with and I have always felt they ‘really’ cared about assisting me and our organization. Their guidance has helped me grow personally in my knowledge which extends to being a better HR Professional for my employees and my company. Thank you, HR Partners!”


Sandy Atwood
Director of Human Resources
Kaw Valley Bank

“It gives me the peace of mind knowing that we have the support and expertise of Human Resources professionals just a phone call away through our collaboration with HR Partners. I would definitely tell anyone considering working with the HR Partners team that they offer a wide variety of services tailored to the client. The HR Partners team assisted our Company with the revision of the Employee Handbook by customizing it to our needs and culture while ensuring it complied with federal, state, and local employment laws.”


 

Joe Koechner
Pharmacist/Owner
KexRx Pharmacy & Home Care

“I’ve been working with HR Partners for seven (7) years and they’ve been a trusted resource for all of our HR needs.  From creating our Employee Handbook, Job Descriptions, assisting with the hiring process and terminations, they have been a much needed and valuable partner as our company has grown from one location with six (6) employees to five (5) locations with over forty (40) employees.”


Dan Beal
President
McElroy's, Inc.

“When McElroy’s first started in business, there were not the extensive Human Resources compliance requirements that there are today.  HR Partners has assisted us by formalizing our policies and updating our employment records to make sure we meet these requirements.  This has enabled McElroy’s, Inc. to focus on what we do best and continue to provide ‘Service You Trust’ to our clients.”


Sandy Warren
VP Operations
Capper Foundation

“Consultation services provided by HR Partners proved a valuable resource for personnel matters and in updating our personnel handbook. As we continued to grow in staff size, we found an on-going retainer with HR Partners a great fit to support management, policy and training needs. The HR Partners team is professional, knowledgeable and creative in their approach and we can have confidence in managing employment matters with their involvement and understanding of our organization.”


Michelle Meier
Administrator
Kansas Medical Clinic

“HR Partners has built an exceptional company with some of the most proactive professionals I’ve seen in a long time.  We hired HR Partners with a human resources 911 issue and were in much better shape within two weeks!  Kristina Dietrick, President of HR Partners,  is also great as a speaker and motivator for your staff.”


 

Martha Bartlett Piland
President and CEO
MB Piland

“We have worked with HR Partners on multiple occasions.  Since we’re too small to have an HR advisor on staff, we have relied on HR Partners’ expertise in reviewing our employee manual and other HR-related documents.  HR Partners has also been available for advice when needed.  They are thorough, straightforward and focused on positive outcomes.  I am always confident in HR Partners’ counsel.”


 

Brent Boles
Co-Owner
Schendel Lawn and Landscape

“Schendel worked with HR Partners in several different capacities over a five state area. HR Partners answered our questions about employment law, helped train our management staff to be better leaders, and ensured our employee policies and procedures were legally sound and in the best interests of both Schendel and our co-workers. I've always found the HR Partners staff to be very knowledgeable, friendly and easy to work with. The relationship we formed with HR Partners helped protect both our company and our co-workers, and I feel it was very beneficial to Schendel."


Ross T. Hendrickson
President
MRH Insurance Group, Inc.Group, Inc.

“I want to thank you and your team again at HR Partners for your amazing work in securing a high quality Customer Service Representative (CSR) for our Topeka MRH Insurance Group office. Without a doubt, if it were not for your company’s ability to understand the different paths to communicate our need, we would not have been successful in securing in our opinion, the very best CSR in Topeka. HR Partners was instrumental in providing the strategy to secure such an individual for our company and my workings with each and every member of your team was professional and impressive. I shall ever be grateful for your assistance in helping our company grow in Topeka and northeast Kansas by securing the right MRH Team Member for our operation.”


Kelly Liby
Anesthesia Associates of Topeka, PA

“Kristina and her team are a dynamic and reliable group to work with.  Whether there is a crisis or you’re looking for strategic planning, they will handle it in a responsive, knowledgeable manner.  When I need a speedy answer which I can depend on to also be the right answer, HR Partners delivers.  This is a talented, smart group and I highly recommend their services.”


Jon Newcomer
President
Kansas Grain Inspection Service, Inc.

“HR Partners has been instrumental in ensuring our company is in compliance with ever-changing government requirements.  Equally as important, they’ve helped us effectively deal with some of those out-of-the ordinary human resource issues that pop up from time to time.  They have been accessible and very pleasant to work with.”


 

“We began working with HR Partners to help us fill an important position in our organization.  They offered some new and effective methods for helping us advertise the open position and were instrumental in assisting us with following up on potential candidates.

Since that initial engagement, we’ve utilized the expertise of HR Partners for a wide range of human resources services, from staffing assistance to general HR management advice.  Their entire staff has been exceptional.  They are professional, knowledgeable, responsive, and enjoyable to work with.   We are very happy with their service and intend to continue to rely on them as a trusted business partner.”

Seth Born
Comptroller/HR
Beachner Grain, Inc.


 

“Kristina and her group of advisors have been very valuable to our company over the last several years. They have assisted us both in critical employee issues as well as reviewing and updating our employee handbook. As their company name proclaims, they are true business partners!”

Mark Wheeler
President
Berlin-Wheeler, Inc.


 

“Because our statewide network had used HR Partners for several special training events, I knew exactly who to connect with when it was time to conduct a thorough review of our own agency’s HR division. The professional team took the time needed to build a strong understanding of our situation and to review multiple, essential aspects of our files and protocols. They were prompt in answering our questions and responded knowledgeably. The resulting recommendations were presented with impressive detail and professionalism; it was well worth our investment. We won’t hesitate to collaborate with HR Partners again.”

Tawny Stottlemire
Executive Director
Community Action, Inc.


 

“HR Partners earned our trust to revamp our employee handbook, restructure the organizational chart and train and develop our most valuable asset – our workforce.”

“We knew we had to improve our overall HR program, but the ‘how’ was overwhelming.  HR Partners helped guide us through the tough work.  Their ongoing support gave staff and the organization encouragement and confidence needed to truly make changes happen.”

Gina Frack, BS, RN
Interim CEO and COO
Norton County Hospital.Norton County Hospital


 

"We rely on the SOS II results to give us insight into an applicant's work ethic and integrity.  Overall, we have found the results to be reliable and important in getting a complete understanding of the applicant's past behavior to then predict if they will be a good fit for our position opening.  This assessment is also easy to administer and user friendly for the applicant."

Lori Blosser, PHR, SHRM-CP
Manager, Corporate Staffing
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas


 

“The Topeka Country Club has used HR Partners for five years.  During that time, when a situation arose needing immediate attention, they were always there.  The whole team at HR Partners is professional, knowledgeable and extremely helpful with their approach.”

Clay Meininger
President & COO
Topeka Country Club


 

“HR Partners has provided invaluable training, mentoring and coaching for my staff and coworkers that is in concert with our own Human Resources Department and internal policies, procedures and development plans.  It has proven to be a successful partnership for us that provides an extra set of resources in our staffing and organizing efforts, succession planning, and individual employee growth and development endeavors.  The staff at HR Partners are professional, courteous, and make working on challenging issues not only effective, but fun!”

Sylvia Davis
WPC General Manager
City of Topeka


 

“HR Partners is an excellent tool to have in your belt.  Time is taken to be sure that everyone understands every topic, the anticipated outcome, and the steps taken to achieve the desired results.  The solutions provided are prompt, professional, and thorough.  Our management team appreciates the expertise provided by HR Partners in an industry with few diamonds and much rough. HR Partners is truly a diamond in the rough.”

Tyler Levier
Operations Manager
Prairie Band, LLC