Deal With an Employee With a Contagious Disease

Key Points

  • The outbreak of a contagious disease, such as the flu, pneumonia or even the common cold, can be a major problem in a work setting. What may start as one sick employee can quickly spread through the workplace if proper measures are not taken.
  • Assess the dangers the disease may pose to other employees and consider requiring that an ill or contagious employee stay home. Flexible work arrangements may allow employees to work from home when they are well enough to work, but still contagious.
  • Help prevent illnesses in the workplace and lower the impact if they do occur by educating employees on ways to reduce the risk of exposure and how to protect themselves, communicating a clear sick leave policy and encouraging the use of sick leave when needed. Also, consider placing hand sanitizer in multiple locations around the workspace and encouraging employee vaccinations, e.g., flu shot.

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