COVID-19 & Best Law Practices for Your Business
With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much at the forefront of everyone's mind, it is important to know and understand what the best practices are in regards to this virus in the workplace. The guidelines, and even the local, state and federal laws, seem to change on a regular basis. However, with the proper legal advice these changes can be seamless, and help to keep your team, clients, friends and family healthy and safe from legal issues.
A few common questions are:
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, should employers inform fellow employees that they may have been exposed? Yes, you should tell your employees, however, keep the name of the employee who has COVID-19 as confidential as possible (as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act). Any other employees who may show symptoms should also self-quarantine (per the CDC recommended steps at the present time).
- When should an employee who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 return safely to work? Employees should not be expected to return to work until they meet the safety criteria to no longer need to self-quarantine and have met with a healthcare provider. Employers should not require any sick employees to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider's note to return to work.
- How long do I have to self-quarantine after being infected with COVID-19?
As of the writing of this article, the CDC states that you can be around others, when it is:
• 10 days after you first noticed symptoms
• 24 hours with no fever and without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
• Other possible symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. The loss of taste and smell may be noticeable for weeks or months after you have recovered and should not delay your return to work.
Due to the contagiousness of COVID-19 and its variants (Delta & Omicron), it is important for individual businesses to have a plan in place should your employees become sick. Considering how quickly things can change (i.e. mask mandates, social distancing guidelines, etc.), a well thought out plan can make a huge difference. A few things your business should think about include:
- A plan that meets the unique needs of your industry and facility
- A team that is able and ready to address the ever changing laws and rules
- A chain of command that can make quick and decisive actions should the need arise
To be sure you are following all of the correct laws, it important to glean legal advice from an attorney, so you know what you are telling your employees is correct and accurate to protect you, the company and your employees. In these ever changing and uncertain times, it is always a good idea to ensure your knowledge is as up to date and accurate as possible. Contact our professional, knowledgeable and experienced team today to ensure you have the best practices in place for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic laws and regulations for your business, as well as all other applicable labor laws.