As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place orders continues to shift, employers are evaluating when, how, and if they should return their employees back to the workplace. With that decision, employers must evaluate a number of issues to ensure their employees’ safety and limit employer liability, whether employees return to work or work from home.
Employers must consider a different host of issues returning to work, including:
- How do you determine who must come back to work and avoid discrimination claims? Can you prohibit high-risk employees from returning to work?
- Can and should you test employees and/or take their temperature and monitor their symptoms?
- How do you ensure employee safety?
- Must you accommodate employees who cannot return to work because their childcare providers are not available?
- Can you require employees to return to work or terminate them for refusing to return to work if they are scared, nervous, or anxious about contracting COVID-19?
- What are your obligations if an employee contracts COVID-19 at work? Is this covered by workers’ compensation?
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