Frequently Asked Questions


What if an employee refuses to attend work for fear of coronavirus?

A generalize fear of the coronavirus is not a basis to refuse to attend work.  Employees can only refuse to attend work if there is a reasonable expectation that they’ll be infected by the coronavirus at work and it will shorten their life or cause a substantial impact.

What if an employee refuses to travel for fear of coronavirus?

Considering increasing governmental restrictions on travel, forcing an employee to travel may put you at risk of legal claims by employees. Alternative communication methods using technology.

Can I stop an employee from traveling on personal time?

You cannot prohibit your employees from traveling (or doing any other legal activity).  However, you can educate your employees on the risk of travel during this time and require them to work remotely for a period after returning.

Is an employee sick due to the coronavirus eligible for sick pay?

In some states, this is governed by your employment practices and policies and in other states paid sick leave is required by law. Review your policies and the legal requirements in your location for details.

What should I do if someone who has coronavirus comes into the workplace?

You should send the infected person home and consider also sending home any other employees who came in contact with the infected person. You should also consider a deep cleaning of the affected workspaces by a professional cleaner.

What if the workplace needs to close? You should consider the ability of employees to work from home (but also consider your obligations regarding confidential information and IT security)?

You should also review your obligations regarding compensation of your employees (paid time off, etc.) and health benefits. If it’s necessary to conduct layoffs, consider whether you need to comply with the WARN act by giving prior notice of mass layoffs.

Can I require employees to self-quarantine?

Yes. However, if an employee is not sick and is able to attend work, you are still required to pay their salary and benefits if you instruct them to stay home.

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