COVID at your job? Here's what the boss will and won't do for you
A co-worker is diagnosed with COVID-19. There's a possibility it's in your workplace. Most of us would want to know if it happens and would want an employer to take specific steps if it does. Legal experts tell 5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte, it's not that simple.Posted — Updated
A co-worker is diagnosed with COVID-19. There’s a possibility it’s in your workplace. Most of us would want to know if it happens and would want an employer to take specific steps if it does. Legal experts tell 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte, it’s not that simple.
Here are a few examples of emails WRAL received:
5 On Your Side took your questions and concerns to Katie Abernethy, a local employment attorney with the Noble Law Firm.
"There may be differences of opinion between an employee and an employer about what is adequate," she said.
Abernethy addressed three concerns we’re hearing from employees.
"You will probably not get a specific notice, and there’s no current regulatory requirement for your employer to give you a specific notice," said Abernethy. "It’s a `you might be exposed, you should get yourself tested.’"
Unless any employee with the virus gives permission to share details, managers have limits, "because the employee who tested positive for COVID has legal protections in the workplace," added Abernethy.
A lot of viewers are asking why businesses remain open.
"What they are advising employers to do right now is regular, systematic and rigorous, soap and water cleanings," said Abernethy.
She suggests that employees ask about what procedures are used to clean and disinfect.
Accepting that we’re in a pandemic, and want and need businesses open, Abernethy says there is some level of risk we all accept.
"If an employee is looking for an environment in which they have no risk, that’s where they’re going to likely come in conflict with the employer, because just opening the doors to the business automatically is a health risk to some extent," she said.
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