What can employees expect when offices re-open?
As the states slowly start to re-open companies are putting together committees designed to plan and implement the new standards for a safe workplace.
But what can we expect when the office opens again?
National Jewelers spoke to Tom McCormick, an attorney who specializes in employment litigation, to help clear up the question: How to screen staff for COVID-19 without violating any employment laws.
McCormick stated that employers are allowed to do the following:
Take employees temperature at their place of work
Ask if they have been tested for COVID-19 and
Do targeting screening of employees if there is a credible belief based on objective evidence that the employee may have the coronavirus
McComick emphasized that there can be no discrimination or targeting of an employee based on age, sex, race, disability, etc.
Employers are also allowed to ask their employees if they have come in contact with anyone who has or has had COVID-19, but they cannot ask specifically if family members have contracted or are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.
Many companies will be purchasing forehead thermometers to test employees each day upon the start of their shift.
If an employee does come down with Coronavirus, the employer is allowed to notify their employees that “a colleague” has COVID-19, however they are not allowed to share the name of that employee.
As new information arrives regarding testing, treatments, vaccines and protocols there will be new standards set up for the workplace.
For now regular cleaning and increased workplace sanitizing, as well as extreme vigilance, including masks, social distancing and contact tracing can help keep everyone safe as we begin to open the country again.