Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Alerts

Steps an Employer Should Take if an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

4.16.2020

As a follow up to our earlier post about employer requirements for recording and reporting COVID-19 cases, the following steps are those an employer should take upon learning that an employee has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Employer Steps for Employees with COVID-19:

  1. Instruct employees with symptoms of COVID-19 to notify their supervisor and stay home.
  2. If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner to have COVID-19, employers should inform the employee’s coworkers of their possible exposure to COVID-19, while preserving the employee’s confidentiality.
  3. Follow the CDC guidance concerning cleaning and disinfecting the workplace. The guidance can be found here.

Currently, the New Jersey coronavirus information hotline is advising that employers do not need to report employees who test positive to the New Jersey Department of Health. However, employers may wish to check with the New Jersey Department of Health and their local Department of Health for further guidance.

Additional Instructions for Employers that Have Employees with COVID-19:

Employers should remind sick employees to follow the CDC-recommended steps for those who have COVID-19, which can be found here. Employers should instruct employees with COVID-19 to not report for work until they meet the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. That determination must be made by the employee in consultation with their healthcare provider and their local Department of Health.

If you are an employer with questions about how to handle COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, please contact Tracy Armstrong, Ashley Morin, or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.

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