Podcast: What the Zika Virus Means for Employers

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

Global health officials continue to be alarmed by the outbreak of the Zika virus because of its potential link to brain defects in infants plus a rare syndrome that can cause paralysis. But what does this growing public health concern mean for US employers?

On this podcast, Ogletree Deakins employment attorney Kathy Dudley Helms of the firm's Columbia, South Carolina, office, discusses how employers should respond, whether they should curtail business travel and how to handle pregnant employees in light of the Zika virus.

Podcast: What the Zika Virus Means for Employers

February 22, 2016

"When it comes to international travel, it's important for employers not to be paternalistic and make different decisions based on gender or pregnancy," says Helms. Instead, she suggests the best route is to educate employees about the risks and give them the option regarding travel to high-risk areas, such as parts of South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

While there have been few reported Zika cases in the US thus far, southern states such as Florida, Georgia and Texas, where the Aedis aegypti mosquito is common, are considered especially vulnerable.