Do Employers Need to Keep Track of Sick Workers?
Senior Counsel Gina Fonte was interviewed by NPR Marketplace to discuss the responsibility of employers to keep track of sick workers as workplaces around the country reopen. Most states don’t require employers to report COVID-19 cases to local health departments, though large workplace clusters are often identified by those agencies. However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration does require most companies with more than 10 employees to keep internal records of COVID-19 cases, but only when they’re confirmed and deemed “work-related.” And there’s an incentive for employers not to make those connections: Too many reported cases could trigger an investigation for unsafe working conditions.
“It’s a very difficult and onerous task to determine whether or not a COVID-19-positive case was work-related,” said Ms. Fonte. OSHA requires employers to make a “good faith effort” to determine how a worker contracted the virus, she said.