What Employers Should Know About The Coronavirus 
What Employers Should Know About The Coronavirus 

Given the level of concern regarding the coronavirus, providing employees with reliable information and establishing both a prevention plan and a plan to follow if illness occurs is a good way to avoid panic and help ensure a healthy workplace. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently held a press conference to provide an update on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The CDC published a fact sheet as well as steps to follow if you are sick with the coronavirus. Both publications can be distributed to employees along with a memo outlining steps for prevention and possible illness. As a last resort, or perhaps the next step to consider should the situation continue to escalate, telecommuting would be a means of permitting those able to work to continue to do so. See our recent blog regarding telecommuting here.

With respect to sending a written memo to employees regarding COVID-19 prevention and illness, we suggest something like the following:

As many of you are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and what can be done to prevent illness, we wanted to share our plan to avoid the spread of coronavirus within our company. 

The most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic healthy best practices, including:

  • Employees who are feeling ill should stay home until they recover (employees appearing ill at work will be sent home).
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer when it is not possible to wash.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, use a tissue and dispose of it promptly.
  • Do not share drinking cups or utensils.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet and stay well-hydrated to maintain a strong immune system.

Further coronavirus information including a link to updated illness data is provided by the CDC on their fact sheet found here, and CDC’s steps to follow if you are sick are found here

Please know that we are monitoring new developments and we will alter our planning as the situation changes. We are following the directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, and local governmental organizations. We will provide updates as the situation warrants. We encourage you to do the same and to monitor CDC’s list of affected countries as you think ahead to any upcoming travel plans. 

The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2020. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.

Tags: COVID-19


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