Tips for Small Businesses as They Reopen Under Phase II
As our country reopens, businesses have to comply with new laws regarding keeping employees safe and enforcing social distancing rules to eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Guidelines from OSHA and the EEOC
Some tips from OSHA and the EEOC to ensure you are complying with Phase II guidelines are:
- Remote Work – Continue to allow your employees to work remotely whenever possible and limit non-essential travel.
- Social Distancing – If employees are returning to the workplace, develop guidelines and social distancing policies to address these issues. Signage on the floor, one-way traffic through the building, and limited occupancy are some of the ways that companies are handling social distancing.
- Hygiene and Sanitization – Provide employees with the essentials for cleaning and disinfecting workstations, shared workspaces, bathrooms, and themselves.
- Personal Protective Equipment – Be sure to provide staff with masks, respirators, eyewear, and physical barriers to protect everyone and slow the spread of the virus.
- Health Monitoring – Use a wellness questionnaire and touch-less thermometer to gauge sickness and health before they enter the building. According to law, you can only ask about COVID-19 symptoms and illness. However, you cannot ask about anyone else besides the employee (e.g., a family member that may have been exposed to COVID-19).
- Require Sick Employee to Stay Home – You are allowed by law to require any sick employees to stay home, or if they show symptoms at the workplace, request that they leave immediately to avoid exposing others.
- Training – Be sure to provide proper training on new procedures, rules, and guidelines to make it as easy as possible for managers and staff to comply.
- Anti-Retaliation and Harassment Policies – Make sure you have in place clear policies against any retaliation or harassment for employees who raise concerns about workplace safety or health.
For further information about the laws regarding maintaining a safe workplace as you reopen during COVID-19, you can review the EEOC’s questions and answers here, or you can consult Haber Law about any questions and concerns you may have.
About the Author: Josephine Jorgensen concentrates her practice in the areas of complex business and commercial litigation, condominium and community association law and family law. Josephine Jorgensen received her Juris Doctor from University of Miami School of Law, graduating cum laude.