Employers Face Tough Decisions Concerning Coronavirus

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The information about the coronavirus is being updated every day. Employers and their employees “must try to plan, but next week will be very different from this week,” said attorney Edwin Foulke of Fisher Phillips, a labor and employment law firm. He spoke during a NATE webinar Tuesday which addressed the serious issues facing employers.

Company CEOs are going to have to make “tough decisions,” in the coming days and weeks, he noted. For example, his firm is receiving many questions concerning taking an employee’s temperature. “You have to have a reason related to business necessity to ask employee’s medical questions,” he said. That also includes taking an employee’s temperature, however Foulke and his partner Howard Mavity advised providing instructions, protective equipment and privacy for all involved. 

They suggested educating employees about virus protection and providing more hand cleaner, screen and keyboard wipes and tissue. They also advised evaluating jobs for improving social separation. The current minimum is six feet.

“If you’re sick, you need to stay home, whether you have [coronavirus] symptoms or not. That’s what you need to tell your employees. Otherwise, you’ll have more people become sick,” said Foulke.

They provide much information about the latest guidance from the CDC, OSHA and other institutions here.  

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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