MCM HR Solutions Group Advises on COVID-19 Workplace Practices
Published March 13, 2020
March 19, 2020 Update
Many states and counties have declared states of emergency and are encouraging certain organizations open to the public to comply with social distancing recommendations. It is important to stay updated on the decisions made by your state. Many states have made this easy by creating webpages with relevant state decisions and recommendations. Most state websites are hosted online at www.STATE.gov (i.e. www.kentucky.gov, www.indiana.gov), with COVID-19 state news links clearly visible on the homepages.
By visiting your state’s COVID-19 webpage, you can find useful information for your business. For example, some states have created printable signage to be placed in the windows of businesses asking sick individuals to not enter the business.
Additionally, more guidance in keeping yourself and those around you healthy has been stated by the CDC, including:
- Maintaining a distance of 6 feet between persons;
- Ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures including regular, thorough handwashing;
- Ensuring employees who are sick remain home; and
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
March 13, 2020 Update
The Coronavirus has been spreading around the world after its initial appearance in Wuhan, China in January. Many organizations are scrambling to create infectious-disease management plans and prepare their employees for possible outbreaks in their area.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined the Coronaviruses as “a large family of viruses that cause illness from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
While much is unknown about the virus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued some common guidelines for safety in the workplace. Such as:
- Encouraging sick employees, or those who are caring for sick employees to stay at home
- Separating sick employees if they are showing any respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Limit food sharing
- Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 second throughout the day
- Communicate with employees and keep them informed
Organizations are liable for its employees and creating an infectious-disease management plan is imperative. Employers should be ready to implement policies and procedures to protect its employees and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. The CDC encourages employers to be prepared to address:
- High volumes of absentees due to illness and childcare conflicts
- Flexible work environments
- Minimizing exposure between employees and employees with the public
- Business travel
- A business continuation plan during emergencies
We highly recommend that companies start preparing now how they will handle future emergencies. MCM’s HR Advisory Services Team can help provide guidance in business operations in addition to policies and procedures in response to the Coronavirus. To contact us, please visit www.mcmhrsg.com.
- For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- Here are some Helpful Tips: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf
**Data includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.