As businesses around the country prepare to begin reopening, things will need to be done a bit differently than they were before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a story appearing on the website of NBC affiliate, station KGET, Robin Paggi, Training, and Development Specialist at Workinglogic HR told reporters advised business owners how to prepare for reopening.
Because of the seriousness of this virus, many workers are reticent about going back to the workplace because they might not feel safe. Paggi says that workers can refuse to return if they wish; however, they may end up losing their job if an employer has available work and if they have followed all of the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and made the workplace according to OSHA standards. Workers who are currently collecting unemployment will lose those benefits if they refuse to return to work.
What employers need to do before calling workers back to the workplace is to follow the CDC guidelines and OSHA guidelines. Employees can protect themselves by going to the websites of both federal agencies and familiarizing themselves with those guidelines to make sure their employer is following them.
- Workers who have been doing their jobs from home should be allowed to continue to do so rather than coming into the workplace. Only bring back workers who need to be there back to the office or workplace.
- Employers can do health screening before allowing workers to return to the workplace. The most common health screening method is by taking the temperature of workers before they enter the office. By law, health information has to be kept confidential. Employees can refuse such screening if they wish; however, it may be viewed as a refusal to work.
Employers can do their part by helping to reduce the risk of transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus by keeping workers who have any of the symptoms of the disease or tested positive to stay at home.