ALERT: Coronavirus Concerns in the Workplace

If you listen to the radio, watch television, participate in social media, or just listen to everyday conversations, you cannot avoid the overwhelming amount of information (and misinformation) being shared about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is not the time to rely on rumors, conjecture, or emotion. Please get the facts, from reputable sources, as you work to determine what is best for your organization. We all share in the responsibility for setting clear expectations, through modeling of good management practices and remaining calm.

When it comes to employment and health-related instances, there are all kinds of employment laws involved. A few reminders….

Leave Policies and Protections: Review the current policies of the organization and share with employees how each of the existing policies and processes are applicable (or not).
– Protected Sick leave
– FMLA or state specific protection
– Vacation and Personal leave policies and the discretionary applicability
– Discretionary unpaid leaves

Limiting Exposure in the Workplace:
– Be clear about the organization’s expectation of a person who is ill or symptomatic, including their eligibility to use leaves.
– If you choose to send a symptomatic employee home you should clearly document the reasons why the organization found the person unable to work or the threat they posed to others. Sending an employee home should not be done lightly. If an employee disagrees, or wants to continue working, they should be given the opportunity to obtain a fitness for duty certification. You may also ask for a certification if you find out an employee has a close relationship with someone who have been diagnosed with the virus.
– Post signs about Hand Washing and Cover when Coughing in restrooms, near sinks, and in shared/general use areas.

Keys to success: Be clear, be consistent, document actions, and maintain confidentiality.

If we can be of further assistance as you work through these issues and others, please give us a call or email us at

Main Line: 503-885-9815
Toll-Free: 877-287-4476