In our new Advisory, “Responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: Update on Best Practices for Employers,” we review significant developments since our January 30th Advisory.
Following is the “What Employers Should Do Now” section of the new Advisory:
- Appoint a single individual or department as the point of contact within your organization for questions about Coronavirus and to ensure a coordinated and consistent response to all inquiries.
- Provide updated information to employees about the symptoms of COVID-19 and affected areas.
- Educate supervisors on the company’s planned preventative steps.
- Review business-related travel itineraries for employees, and consider whether any travel to high-risk areas is necessary.
- Determine if additional obligations are imposed on your workplace by HIPAA’s Privacy Rule.
- Assure that your policies and practices meet pertinent OSHA (and CDC) standards, especially for health care employees when blood-borne pathogens may be present.
- If employees are represented by a union, consider whether there are any issues that need to be addressed with the employees’ bargaining representative and whether there are any provisions in the company’s collective bargaining agreements that may be affected.
- Promptly address any leave or accommodation requests from employees, and remind employees of leave and call-out policies.
- If any employees will not be allowed in the office due to exposure or symptoms, determine if telework is viable. If an employee will not be allowed in the office or to telework, communicate whether he or she will be paid or, rather, whether he or she can use sick, vacation, or any other type of paid leave.
- Consider creating an infectious disease outbreak plan.
- Work with employees facing travel restrictions and visa renewal issues.