ESC’s Guide to Keeping Your Employees Safe During COVID-19

For those of us who aren’t in the privileged position of being able to telecommute from home, keeping our employees safe is just as important as any other stakeholders.

 

Whenever possible please telecommute from home. We’re #AllInIllinois.

 

Each employer is responsible for following World Health Organization (WHO), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state governor, and municipality’s health department guidance. Any laws and recommendations established by those bodies should be taken first and foremost.

 

The CDC has established Interim Guidance for Business and Employers during COVID-19.

The goal is to reduce transmission, maintain healthy operations, and keep a healthy work environment. The guidance is updated as what we know about COVID-19 and the current state of the outreach evolve.

 

The United States Department of Labor, federal Department of Health and Human Services, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) have written recommendations for preparing workplaces for COVID-19.

If your organization does not currently have a safety program, we recommend you start by reading OSHA’s “10 Ways to Get Your Safety Program Started” and “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.”

 

Temperature screening is an important part of employers’ response to COVID-19.  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided valuable guidance to employers on how to screen for COVID-19. On March 17, 2020 the EEOC wrote that, “Generally, measuring an employee's body temperature is a medical examination. Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees' body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.” The EEOC March 2020 guidance also provided that: An employer may take an applicant's temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical examination; An employer may screen applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer; An employer may delay the start date of an applicant who has COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it; An employer may withdraw a job offer when it needs the applicant to start immediately but the individual has COVID-19 or symptoms of it. Based on current CDC guidance, the individual cannot safely enter the workplace, and therefore the employer may withdraw the job offer, the EEOC explained. Employers should carefully monitory the updating guidance from the EEOC.

 

The United States Department of Labor’s COVID-19 work place posters are available for workplaces for free download. Make sure your workplace has them posted in all appropriate locations and languages.

 

In addition to governmental guidance and common sense, the Executive Service Corps recommends Oracle’s “Workforce Health and Safety” solution for Human Resource Departments who utilize Oracle Human Capital Cloud. The program is free and simple to use for those individuals who are already Oracle customers.

 

For members of the Society of Human Resource Management, the Executive Service Corps recommends SHRM’s COVID-19 Guide.

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