With the recent global outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), employers are encouraged to be proactive and prepare for a possible exposure to the respiratory disease in their workplace. It is recommended that employers review their relevant policies and implement procedures in advance of a potential exposure, including:
- Reviewing your company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, which may include the company’s Emergency Action Protocol or Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan, to ensure workplace safety and prevent a disruption to business operations;
- Reviewing your company’s human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, work from home policy, and the pay and benefits available to employees to confirm they are up to date and in compliance with state and federal laws;
- Staying up to date on developments to paid sick leave laws, including the recent proposal by Governor Cuomo which, if enacted, would require employers to compensate most New York employees for time out of work due to quarantine, isolation, or illness, and provide job protection; and
- Communicating the company’s policies and procedures for dealing with a potential COVID-19 exposure to employees and encouraging employees to take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended precautions to protect themselves against the illness.
Please contact us for assistance with updating or creating any of the abovementioned policies and for practical solutions to prepare for a possible workplace exposure. For additional helpful information, we recommend that employers visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website available here.