There are several ways in which businesses can reduce their liability in case of COVID-19 infection. By making sick leave policies more flexible, taking extra precautions, and following local guidelines, you can protect yourself from both COVID-19 and related liability.
Flexible Sick Leave Policies
It is very important that you make sure sick workers are incentivized to stay home. If any one of your employees experiences symptoms that could be indicative of coronavirus infection, you want them to feel comfortable staying away. The last thing you want is for an employee to bring illness into the workplace.
Pay attention to leave laws and recent COVID-19 federal sick leave policies, and go over your own sick leave policies. Make sure your policies are flexible and encourage your employees to stay home when feeling ill. If an employee has a fever, paid sick leave could prevent them from bringing their germs to other people at work. Be sure to inform your employees of their options for sick leave.
Take Necessary Precautions
Employers can do their part to take precautions in the workplace. Consider instituting new, temporary rules for your employees and customers, such as requiring face coverings and expecting employees to wash their hands frequently.
It is a good idea to put up signs around your business reminding employees and customers of your expectations. You should put up multiple signs, as messages are more effective when they are repeated. These signs could remind visitors of social distancing recommendations, expectations regarding mask-wearing, and/or to remember to wash their hands. Signs could also remind employees of common COVID-19 symptoms and encourage them to stay home if they recognize any of these symptoms in themselves.
Make sure you are aware of and following local, state, and federal guidelines. Depending on your business and location, there may be many different regulations or rules regarding re-opening your business and bringing employees back to work. In your state, there may be industry-specific restrictions which dictate whether or not you can or cannot do certain things as a business during this time.
Be sure to keep yourself updated as these restrictions change. Failure to follow rules regarding businesses and COVID-19 would be disastrous in the case of infection at your workplace. If a complaint is made against your business, it is important to be able to prove you were not violating any guidelines.
By taking the necessary steps, you can reduce your liability in case of a COVID-19 infection associated with your business. Examine your sick leave policies, take precautions, and follow guidelines in order to protect yourself and your business during this pandemic.
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