Overview: The workplace is no place for an infectious disease. Whether it is one of the many flus that develop each year or the common cold, employers should do whatever it takes to keep these contagious germs off the premises.
The first defense against these infectious diseases is to stop germs before they attack. Offering wellness programs, paying for vaccines and encouraging proper employee hygiene (especially hand washing) are ways in which to do this.
Still, employees will get sick no matter how much employers do to keep them healthy. Accordingly, the next step of a contagious disease containment plan is to keep sick employees out of the office. This can be done through a generous sick leave policy or providing telecommuting options, if the job description allows.
Trends: Employers should also be concerned about infectious diseases that arise overseas, such as Zika or Ebola, when employees must travel to an affected country for business or when employees choose to vacation in an affected country.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
A flu outbreak has the potential to wipe out large portions of the workforce for multiple days. XpertHR has many valuable resources on this topic to help employers stop the spread of germs in the workplace.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to navigating employee health concerns in the office.
This How To details the steps an employer should take when dealing with an employee with an infectious disease.
An employer may use this policy to promote a healthy work environment. Included in a Contagious Disease policy are standards and requirements that adhere and comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
HR guidance on preventing infectious diseases in the workplace.