Presentation on theme: "Www.laborlawyers.com ● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Atlanta · Baltimore · Boston · Charlotte · Chicago · Cleveland · Columbia · Columbus · Dallas · Denver · Fort."— Presentation transcript:
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Atlanta · Baltimore · Boston · Charlotte · Chicago · Cleveland · Columbia · Columbus · Dallas · Denver · Fort Lauderdale · Gulfport Houston · Irvine · Kansas City · Las Vegas · Los Angeles · Louisville · Memphis · New England · New Jersey · New Orleans Orlando · Philadelphia · Phoenix · Portland · San Antonio · San Diego · San Francisco · Tampa · Washington, DC Ebola and the Workplace – Employment Law Issues Presented by: J. Hagood Tighe Michael D. Carrouth Phone: (803)
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz OVERREACTION? (from the Huffington Post) Teachers and students across the country have stayed home in response to concerns over Ebola. In Maine, an elementary school teacher was recently put on paid leave for up to three weeks after parents complained that the teacher had traveled to Dallas, where there have been a few Ebola cases. On Sunday, a similar precaution was taken at a high school in Phenix, Alabama, after an employee flew on the same plane as a person who contracted Ebola -- even though the employee flew a day later, long after the aircraft had been cleaned.complainedflewlong after the aircraft had been cleaned.
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Overreaction? Last week, kids were asked to stay home from school in Shaker Heights and Solon, Ohio, over Ebola fears. A New Jersey elementary school reported on Saturday that two students from Rwanda -- a country not hit by Ebola -- would stay home for three weeks after parents complained that they may spread the virus. In Pennsylvania, a high school soccer team allegedly chanted offensive "Ebola" taunts to a teenager from Guinea. (from the Huffington Post)Shaker Heights Solon, Ohiostay homeallegedly chanted
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Protections for Potentially Exposed Employees Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) FMLA HIPAA STD State privacy laws Title VII –National Origin / Race discrimination claims EEOC Pandemic Guidance
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Protections for All Employees OSHA Regulations and Standards Communication with employees is key –Check OSHA website for detailed information OSHA and state law whistleblower protections –Safety concern need not be “reasonable” in all cases
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Ebola Concerns Employees returning from West Africa –What should you do, if anything? –What if just returning from other African countries or Europe?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Ebola Concerns Potential domestic exposure –What if your employee reports they were on a plane with the nurse from Dallas? –What if your employee reports they were at dinner with the fiancé of someone on the plane with the nurse from Dallas?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Ebola Concerns Potential domestic exposure –What if the CDC comes and removes employees from your workplace? –What if your company has a mission/volunteer trip to an unaffected part of Africa? –What if an employee reports they are planning to vacation in Africa?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Ebola Concerns Assumptions about co-worker exposure may not be founded in fact. What should you do? Employees report that Mike has seems to have a fever and other flu like symptoms and you know he is related to people from Liberia. Do you do anything?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz What to Do, and What Not to Do? Inquiries regarding travel plans? Inquiries regarding flu-related symptoms? Inquiries regarding susceptibility to Ebola?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz What to Do, and What Not to Do? Taking an employee’s temperature? Requiring employee to telework? “Quarantining” employees? Requiring “return-to-work” certificate
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Policy Considerations Review / revise and communicate about relevant policies –Telework policy –Attendance / leave policies –Vacation / PTO policies –Travel policies (contingency plans) –Patient confidentiality (unauthorized EMR access; use of cell phones/cameras)
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Communications to Employees Facts about Ebola, based on information from CDC/WHO/other health organizations Information about potential exposure (without revealing confidential info) Steps taken to limit exposure, protect employees and others
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Ebola in The Workplace- Solutions Review safety and health program Encourage employees to engage in general hygiene and “social distancing” Recommended flu shots for all employees
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Employee Relations Impact Already, we have seen unions attempting to leverage media coverage on Ebola to organize employees –Airline employees went on one-day strike –Nurses union is actively discussing issues with media
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Managing Concerns Naturally, this issue will create concerns: What do you do if co-workers refuse to come to work? What if they speak with the media about your company’s lack of preparedness?
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Employee Relations Impact Be out in front of this issue Learn from the recent events –Clear Plan – We care about you and our patients and we are using all the best/current information to be prepared –Communicate –Get input – Give people a voice/involvement
● Phone (zzz) zzz-zzzz Goals Number 1 goal is to protect health and safety of employees, patients, and the general public Reassure employees that the employer takes these issues seriously Balanced with legal compliance and risk