Take These 5 Steps When an Employee Gets COVID-19
Senior Counsel Gina Fonte was quoted in a SHRM article discussing what actions an employer needs to take if an employee contracts COVID-19. Based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the advice of attorneys who've already guided clients through a COVID-19 response, there are five key steps to take in the aftermath of an employee's COVID-19 diagnosis. The first is to send the employee home to quarantine. Second, the employer must vacate and clean areas recently used by the employee. Next, potentially exposed co-workers must be notified. The employer must then determine when the employee may return, but not by testing alone. Lastly, the infection must be recorded if it is work-related and report it to OSHA if required.
Ms. Fonte shared insight on the fourth step of the process by saying, "a key issue is to provide enough information such that co-workers can take precautions and self-monitor for symptoms without improperly or inadvertently divulging private information of the affected employee."