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Are Employers Obligated to Report COVID-19

Should an employee contract COVID-19, does their employer have an obligation to report this information to the CDC?

There is no obligation to report a confirmed case of COVID-19 to the CDC by the employer. The medical facility providing the test is obligated as the mandatory reporter to handle that responsibility only upon confirmation of a positive test result.

Should employees be told of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace if a co-worker has tested positive?

Yes, Employers should inform their employees if someone in their work place tested positive. Employers should not (even in confidence) disclose to co-workers who the quarantined employee is because of confidentiality requirements under federal law, state law and because of ADAregulations.

Do employers need to record COVID-19 on their OSHA 300 log? 

Employers must record instances of workers contracting COVID-19 if the worker contracts the virus while on the job. The illness is not recordable if the worker was exposed to the virus while off the clock. You are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

Read OSHA’s published guidance regarding this.

Can we require an employee to notify the company if they have been exposed and/or have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus?  

  1. Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home.
  2. Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
  3. Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.

 

With respects to the Law please note:

NY Penal Law § 120.25 Reckless endangerment in the first degree. A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, they recklessly engage in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person. Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a class D felony.

 

Credits:

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/ada.cfm

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

By |2020-04-04T06:57:36+00:00March 26th, 2020|CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19, Local News|0 Comments