What your employer can and cannot do about the workplace because of the Coronavirus
Many people have lost their jobs or had their hours severely reduced because of the quarantine mandated because of the Coronavirus. Despite that, some people who have essential jobs such those in the medical field, continue to go to work just as they had before.
Nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, convenience story employees, and others do not have a “home from home” option like many office workers, teachers, and others.
If you have to report to the office or your store and cannot work from, you have reasonable expectations that your employer, boss, or manager, is doing everything they can to safeguard you and your co-workers.
Workers should support and employer’s efforts to balance and productivity at a time such as this. Workers should also remember that they have rights as an employee.
Those rights are outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those protections have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an advisory a few years ago on how such a crisis could impact the ADA workplace protections.
Here are some of the important points:
* In this time of the possibility of a pandemic, when the possibility of an outbreak exists, employers may identify if there are workers who may be more susceptible to a virus, for instance anyone with evidence of a compromised immune system. Under normal circumstances, employers may not inquire about disabilities or require medical exams unless a medical condition poses a “direct threat” to the employee or others.
* When a pandemic exists, such as now, an employer has the right to require a “post-offer” physical exam or entering workers. The employer cannot rescind the offer if the exam reveals a medical condition that puts them at increased risk if there is a pandemic.
* In the case of a pandemic, an employer has the right to send employees home.
* During a pandemic, an employer has the right to ask workers if they have any virus symptoms. Those result must remain confidential. Employers also have the right take take a worker’s temperature.
* During a pandemic, an employer has the right to ask workers to wear protective gear such as face masks and gloves.
* In addition, when a worker returns from travel, the employer does not have to wait for that employee to show symptoms before asking about any asking about any potential exposures on the trip. This is for any trip, whether business-related or personal.
No one plans on getting sick, but if need to call the experts at the Ehline Law Firm APLC. All initial consultations are free. They answer the phone and, in some cases, they can cover your medical expenses upfront.