The effects of COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it and has forced businesses to evolve in order to stay alive. COVID-19 is not the fault of anyone, but if you act recklessly and spread the disease through your business, you may find yourself being sued for negligence. Caring for both your customers and your employees is key to protecting your business against lawsuits related to the coronavirus.
In recent news in the state of Utah, two Utah county businesses are under fire for not following CDC guidelines related to workplace safety regarding COVID-19. A woman employed by one of the two businesses is suing her employer for ‘recklessly’ exposing her to COVID-19. Four of her co-workers tested positive for the virus but she was still required to come into work. The woman tested positive for the virus as well as her at-risk daughter who was hospitalized in critical condition at the University of Utah.
In order to stay ahead of the negative effects of COVID-19, here are suggestions to help protect your business from a potential lawsuit:
Research and identify CDC best practices
To stay on top of the latest best practices in the workplace, the CDC has free resources for your benefit. It discusses different topics such as providing support for critical workers and how to clean and disinfect businesses. Here’s the link to the CDC’s tips and advice for workplaces: https://bit.ly/2De2WWZ
Create a plan and implement it
Once you’ve reviewed the information from the CDC, work with your team to create plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You’ll need to do a thorough walkthrough of your workplace and develop a cleaning schedule. Once you’ve created a plan and have discussed it with your team, put your plan into action. Consistency in your cleaning schedule is key to protecting the members of your team. It’s also important to share with your customers and clients what you’re doing to provide a safe work environment which will result in more support of your business.
Provide work-from-home options if available
If you have a business where it’s possible for your employees to work from home, make it possible for them to do so. Not every business model requires everyone to be in the office all the time. While this transition can be difficult, if done properly will not only lead to a lower risk of your employees being exposed to COVID-19 but could also lead to greater productivity from your employees.
Encourage transparency and communication with employees
Just as great customer service requires excellent communication and transparency, the same goes for your employees. Navigating through the effects of the coronavirus pandemic can be tricky but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. By working together with your employees, you can be sure you’re doing your best to keep your business alive and your employees healthy. Always be upfront with them so they won’t be frustrated whenever you have to make any changes to workplace policies. Provide opportunities for everyone in your company to share insights and participate in your company’s efforts to create a safe work environment.