As New Jersey businesses reopen and employees return to the workplace, it's important for employers to take steps to keep their staffs safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and state recommendations for worker safety include flexibility in your sick leave policies, as well as ample break times so that workers can wash their hands throughout the day. There should also be supplies of hand sanitizer throughout the facility for both employees and visitors.
Depending on circumstances, you might also provide gloves and masks to employees.
It's also a good idea to place visual reminders around the workplace that alert everyone about maintaining six feet of physical distance from one another.
Employers should also take steps to isolate employees who show COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for it.
Businesses should limit meetings and instead make use of videoconferencing, phone conferences, etc.
If your work space is small, you should consider staggered shifts for employees or rotating scheduled hours or days.
Even if you do all of that and more, it is possible that a worker will report an unsafe working condition. Know that in April OSHA advised employers not to retaliate (termination, demotion, decreased pay or hours) against that employee.
Instead, take swift action to address the health and safety concerns. If no actions are warranted, be sure to document the complaint and reasons why no action was needed.
Those employers who are ready to reopen or anticipate being ready in the near future can contact a Morristown employment law attorney experienced in analyzing and formulating protective policies and procedures.