Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding your responsibilities to your team as a small business owner.
related to self-isolation of any individual experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or that has tested positive for the virus. The CDC recommends waiving the requirement of a doctor’s note during a crisis since it’s more difficult to access a health care provider.
Regulations within the
restrict employers from sharing health information with other employees. You can tell your team that there has been a potential exposure without singling out any one individual.
Asking directly about a specific illness can lead to a
. It’s better to ask general questions about your employees’ health and whether they’re experiencing specific symptoms.
You can also
during this crisis to help prevent the risk of exposure as long as you keep any findings confidential.
that anyone who has had potential exposure to the coronavirus should self-quarantine. At this point, you can require an employee to stay home.
The CDC recommends that anyone who has traveled to a country within the
should stay home for fourteen days after returning.
Any employee showing COVID-19 related symptoms can be asked to stay home until they are symptom-free.
Per regulations maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee is legally entitled to refuse to work if they believe they are in danger and
. If a complaint is filed, you may need to prove that you’re taking measures to provide a safe environment for your staff.
Also, be aware that employees with disabilities can request to work from home
Whenever possible, working from home will reduce exposure for your team and can benefit your company in the long run. You can implement new company policies around timekeeping, etc. to keep staff engaged when they’re not used to working from home.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) extends FMLA leave to anyone who cannot work if their child’s school or childcare service is closed due to COVID-19. FMLA will also likely extend to anyone who has contracted the coronavirus. The Families First Act also requires small businesses to offer two weeks of paid sick leave for anyone in quarantine related to COVID-19.
Most states will only pay out workers’ compensation benefits if the disease was contracted on the job which excludes most communicable and contagious diseases. If it seems likely that an employee contracted the illness on the job, these cases will be looked at individually.
In general, yes.
about giving advance notice before changes in pay. Pay should never be reduced retroactively. Be careful to stay above federal minimum wage ($684.00 a week for salaried and $7.25 an hour for hourly) or your state’s minimum wage.