Because of the rapid change of information, please note this page was last updated 03/31/2020, 11:00 p.m.
Not every business is able to maintain daily operations remotely, so employers must take additional steps to ensuring their employees have a safe work environment.
Q: I can’t have my employees work from home, what can I do to make it safer for them to come to work?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Health are encouraging business owners stay current on the latest information on COVID-19 and take precautions to reduce the spread. Simple steps, such as increasing routine cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and other elements using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectants are helpful in maintaining a clean workspace. More information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Q: How can my employees practice social distancing at work?
A: When telecommuting is not possible, employers should consider the possibility of staggering shifts or implementing flexible working hours. Discourage employees from sharing desks, offices, phones and other equipment.
Q: My employees interact with customers frequently. What can I do to protect them?
A: When possible, install physical barriers and minimize face-to-face contact by limiting the public’s access to specific areas of the business. Make tissues, soap, water and disposable towels, or disinfecting hand sanitizer, available for all customers and staff.
Q: If an employee calls in sick, how much information can I request in order to protect the rest of my staff during the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it okay for me to measure and employee’s temperature upon arriving to work?
A: The CDC, along with state/local health officials, have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19, so you may check employees’ body temperature as a precautionary measure for your staff. When an employee calls in sick during a pandemic, ADA-covered employers may ask the employee if s/he is experiencing symptoms related to the pandemic virus; however, information about the employee’s illness and medical record must remain confidential.