The Coronavirus pandemic has created new, urgent challenges for employers. Below, we’ve documented some of the most frequently asked questions from small business's looking to manage their workforce during this pandemic.
We have a confirmed case of Coronavirus. What Now?
If it is a confirmed case, the employee may be entitled to leave under a statutory or company leave program, such as short term disability leave, for example.
If my employee is on the CDC watch list, can they be in the workplace?
If they are on the CDC watch list, they are under mandatory quarantine.
If an employee is trying to return to work after being quarantined, what is the required documentation for them to return to work?
A physician's clearance may be required for an employee to return to work; however it will depend on the type of leave that they utilized. This will vary, depending on what your company authorized.
If an employee is quarantined, and their employer determines they should be on paid leave, how long would you recommend the employer pay their employee?
Per CDC guidelines, the quarantine period is 14 days, which would be an appropriate amount of time to cover the employee if the employer chooses to do so.
An employee's family member is on the CDC watch list, can the employee be in the workforce?
Per CDC guidelines, if the family member lives in the same home, your employee cannot enter the workplace. They can, however, be permitted to work from home if that is appropriate for their job function.
Employees in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19
The safest course of action is to have this person self-quarantine and work from home if applicable for a minimum of 2 weeks; not have direct contact with other workers. If that worker becomes ill, he or she should promptly call a healthcare provider before appearing in a clinic or hospital (e.g., to arrange which entrance to use, to be given an appropriate type of mask before entering the building). The person should also avoid all contact with other people and use a face covering or mask when going out of the home. Wearing a surgical-type mask when ill may help to reduce the spread of the virus from the wearer’s sneezes or coughs. It is also recommended that healthy individuals wear a face covering or mask when going out in the community, as there is evidence of COVID-19’s SARS-CoV2 virus spreading by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals.
Any questions about potential COVID-19 infections should be directed to the local health department, which has the expertise and personnel to investigate outbreaks.