Role of Businesses and Employers in Responding to COVID-19
Businesses and employers can play a key role in preventing and slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within the workplace. Employers’ COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans should take into account workplace factors such as feasibility of social distancing in the workplace, ability to stagger employee shifts, degree to which employees interact with the public in person, feasibility of accomplishing work by telework, geographical isolation of the workplace, whether employees live in congregate housing, proportion of employees at increased risk for severe illness, policies regarding sick leave for staff, and priority for continuity of operations. Employers should also consider the level of COVID-19 disease transmission in their communities.
All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and lower the impact in your workplace. This should include activities to:
prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
maintain healthy business operations, and
maintain a healthy work environment.
Prevent and Reduce Transmission Among Employees
Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19 regulations, guidance, and recommendations and ensure that workers have access to that information.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
Employees who are sick with COVID-19 should isolate and follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees who are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or pre-symptomatic (not yet showing symptoms) but have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection should also isolate and follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers.
Employees who are well but who have a sick household member with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.
Employers are encouraged to implement flexible, non-punitive paid sick leave and supportive policies and practices as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and reduce transmission among employees. Some employees may be eligible to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Families First Coronavirus Response Act