As we’re all preparing for potential hazard to our well-being and preparing for the daily interruptions COVID-19 (the coronavirus) may cause, employers should be finalizing and executing their internal business response plans aimed at preventing a potential spread of the virus. As you are forming strategies to protect your staff and clients from the spread of a communicable disease while ensuring continuity of operations, you must remain compliant with applicable state and federal employment laws.
Your response plan needs to ensure that employees protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are not subject to discrimination. You should also ensure that your response to the coronavirus outbreak does not violate the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or any other applicable law or regulation. Additionally, employers should thoroughly review attendance, sick leave, short-term disability, and other applicable policies to ensure compliance with internal procedures in the event of an outbreak.
If you have any questions about your coronavirus response plan, you’re not alone and we can help. Some questions you may be considering:
- Can I ask an employee if they’ve been exposed?
- Does caring for a family member constitute FMLA leave?
- Can I recommend an employee visit a doctor or stay home?
Howard Stallings provides high-quality representation for companies and employees in employment law matters. Call us today at 919-821-7700 or contact us online to speak with an experienced employment law attorney.
CDC Guidance for Businesses & Employers