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Client Alert on COVID-19Attorneys, Blog
Posted in on March 13, 2020
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. COVID-19 has the potential to cause extensive outbreaks and because there is no current vaccine, an outbreak may become an extended event, as a result, workplaces may experience:
- Higher rates/wide-spread absenteeism
- Changes in the patterns of commerce
- Interrupted supply/delivery
Employers who have not prepared for pandemic events should prepare themselves and their workers as far in advance as possible of potentially worsening outbreak conditions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is encouraging employers to develop and implement strategies that aim to both:
- Limit the spread of COVID-19 by implementing steps to decrease workplace exposure to the virus; and
- Lower the impact of COVID-19 on business operations.
Many organizations are putting out guidance for employers to assist employers in managing this pandemic:
- S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Work Places for COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf.
- The CDC has issued Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 which can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.
Employers should also consult with their insurer to determine what coverage they may have for business interruption should the current situation escalate to the point where it directly affects the productivity of your business and interrupts revenue.
Should you have any specific questions or concerns regarding whether you can require employees to use earned sick time or other paid time off as a result of COVID-19 or whether or not you can require an employee to remain out of work if they have been exposed to COVID-19, or should you need assistance in develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can help guide protective actions against COVID-19 please contact Susan Molinari, Esq. or Theresa Barbadoro Koppanati, Esq. at 781-848-9610, we are ready to help. – Susan M. Molinari.