Tag: Ebola

Question: Is there something I should post for our employees regarding Ebola? We are a laboratory and do have some exposure to bodily fluids, including blood and saliva. Answer: While not generally required for most companies, some employers are choosing to distribute information about Ebola in an attempt to educate employees and calm concerns about…

Question: Our sales team is traveling to a trade show in a major U.S. city and one of our sales representatives is scared to travel due to the Ebola virus. Her manager told her it was mandatory and refusal to go could result in termination of employment. What can we do? Answer: Talk with the…

Question: With the latest Ebola scare, we would like to develop a policy and procedure to minimize health risks from employees coming into the office while sick to avoid contagious ailments. Answer: It is a good idea as an organization to implement appropriate safety measures for employees including policies and procedures designed to minimize potential…

Question: If employees have concerns regarding the transmission of the Ebola virus from co-workers who have been in the proximity of an affected area, can these employees be absent from work? What type of absence would this be considered? Would these employees be eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave? Answer: The Centers…

Question: What obligations does the employer have to provide regarding training or education about Ebola to employees who travel to foreign countries such as Nigeria? Answer: It is always a good work practice to provide an employee with information about any country that the employee will be visiting for work-related purposes, including cultural, medical, social,…

Question: We have an employee taking vacation time to volunteer to assist with the Ebola epidemic in Africa. What can we do as an employer to address concerns from his colleagues upon his return? Answer: Encourage employees to stay calm and inform them that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented a…

Question: An employee is requesting a leave of absence due to fear of contracting the Ebola virus at work. How long may an employee be allowed to take leave and how long is the employer required to hold the position open? Answer: The employee does not have job protection if he is taking a leave…

Question: What are a company’s concerns, rights, and responsibilities if an employee traveled to an area where there has been an Ebola outbreak and is now back at work? Answer: Employers have a general duty to protect employees from recognized hazards in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide…

Question: Our staffing firm places employees in caregiving roles, and we require employees to certify that they are free of any communicable disease prior to placement. One of our employees is going on vacation to Africa, and we would like to understand our options due to the Ebola outbreak regarding allowing her to return to…

Calming the Ebola Fear

As awareness of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in our world and specifically now in the United States rises, so does the rise of fear: Fear of how to prevent EVD exposure and how to manage any occurrence in the workplace. When we consider other communicable diseases — H1N1, HIV, hepatitis, and the common cold or…