An Employer's Guide to Reporting Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace
Are Employers Required to Report COVID-19 Cases to OSHA?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has employers questioning whether they need to report cases of coronavirus illness. To answer the question, an employer must first determine whether they are subject to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recording and reporting requirements.
There are several different types of exempt employers, including companies that provide accounting services, doctor’s offices, full service restaurants, and retail clothing stores. The types of exempt employers can be found in the OSHA regulations, which can be found here at the OSHA website.
Additionally, certain employers with less than 10 employees may also be notified by OSHA, or another government agency, that they must comply with OSHA’s recording requirements.
Reporting and Recording COVID-19 Cases to OSHA
Employers subject to OSHA’s recording requirements must record a COVID-19 related illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. Employers are required to record such incidents when:
- The case is a confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19.
- The case is work-related (generally a condition is work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition).
- The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth by OSHA which include: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, and a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
Additionally, even employers that are exempt from OSHA recording requirements must report to OSHA any work-related incident that results in a fatality, the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees, an employee amputation, or an employee loss of an eye. OSHA’s guidance regarding COVID-19 does not specifically discuss this requirement, but it arguably may apply to certain COVID-19 cases.
If you are an employer with a question about OSHA reporting requirements, or any other aspect of employment law during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please contact Tracy Armstrong, Ashley Morin, or another member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.
The postings on this blog were created for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services. Although we attempt to ensure that the postings are complete, accurate, and current as of the time of publication, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.
This blog may contain links to independent third party websites and services, including social media. We provide these links for your convenience, and you access them at your own risk. We have no control over and do not monitor the content or policies (including privacy policies) of these third-party websites and have no responsibility for, and no liability with respect to, their content, accuracy, or reliability. Unless expressly stated, we do not endorse any of the linked websites or any product, service, or publication referenced herein or therein. We will remove a link to any site from this blog upon request of the linked entity.
We grant permission to readers to link to this blog so long as this blog is not misrepresented. This site is not sponsored or associated with any other site unless so identified.
If you wish for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., to consider representing you, please obtain contact information from the Contact Us area of this blog or go to the firm’s website at www.wilentz.com. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. However, the authors of Wilentz blogs are licensed only in New Jersey and/or New York and do not wish to represent anyone who viewed this site in a state where the site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.
Employer Alert: CDC Releases New Quarantine and Isolation Calculator
Employee Complaints About COVID-19 Safety Protocols are Triggering OSHA Investigations
Employment Law Update: New Jersey Executive Order to Require COVID-19 Vaccination & Booster for Workers in Certain Health Care Settings and Congregate Settings