Protecting Workers vs Employers

October 9, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Protecting Workers vs Employers Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are struggling with how to protect workers from contracting COVID-19 while also protecting employers from being sued for negligence. This is a complicated issue because both sides have valid points. On the one hand, we should be concerned about our employees' health and safety. On the other hand, we shouldn't be afraid to fire someone who gets sick. This is why we've created this page section called "Protecting Workers vs. Employers," where we will explore these issues and provide you with the information you need to make intelligent decisions.

Protecting Worker's Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID in the Workplace

COVID-19 has caused many businesses to close down temporarily, and workers are being asked to work from home. While this is a positive change for both employers and employees, it presents a unique challenge for companies that must now balance worker safety with business continuity. Workers are still expected to perform their jobs, but they must do so remotely. This means that they must continue to follow workplace guidelines while working from home. These guidelines include wearing masks, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and maintaining physical distancing. Employers are also responsible for protecting their workers. This includes ensuring that they have access to PPE (personal protective equipment), training, and other resources necessary to defend and protect themselves and others. It's important to remember that these measures aren't just for the protection of the employer but also for the employee's safety. While the current situation is challenging, we hope it provides an opportunity to learn and grow together. We look forward to seeing our colleagues back at work soon!

What Workers Need to Know About COVID Protections in the Workplace

COVID-19 has caused many businesses to close down temporarily or permanently. As a result, workers are being laid off or furloughed. While these measures are necessary to protect employees from contracting the virus, they can also put workers in danger if employers aren't careful. Employees laid off or on furlough should receive a notice via email or text message. These notices should include details about the company's financial situation and whether or not the employee will be paid during the closure. Employees should also be informed about any benefits they might lose due to the closures. In addition to providing notice, employers must provide workers with protective equipment, including masks, gloves, and sanitizer. Employers should also inform workers about any additional precautions they should take while working. For example, they should tell workers to avoid shaking hands and washi frequently. While most companies take extra precautions to protect their workers, some fail to do enough. In fact, according to the National Employment Law Project, over half of US states have no laws requiring employers to pay sick days or other benefits to workers who are quarantined or otherwise unable to work. This lack of protection puts workers at risk of losing wages and benefits, putting them in a difficult position during a pandemic. Employers must follow through on their promises to protect their workers. 

The Roles of Employers and Workers in Responding to COVID

We've seen many companies close down due to the coronavirus pandemic in recent years. While this has had a significant impact on workers, it's also affected employers. Employers have lost revenue from employees who cannot work, while workers have lost income due to layoffs and furloughs. The situation is further complicated because both parties have different needs during this crisis.  While employers need to protect themselves against potential lawsuits, workers need to focus on keeping their families safe. It's essential to understand each party's role in this scenario and how they can best support each other. Workers need to stay home if they feel sick, and employers need to provide paid leave for those who are quarantined or self-isolating. Both parties need to communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication. We all need to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing as much as possible. It's also essential for both parties to remain flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. Employers need to establish safety requirements and health standards and evaluate the health risks in the workplace. For example, if workers feel unsafe working from home, they could ask to return to the office. Likewise, employers could consider allowing remote work for certain positions.

Employer Responsibility to Protect Workers

It's no secret that many employers aren't doing enough to protect workers from dangerous conditions. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all workplace injuries occur during construction projects. While most employers are aware of the dangers associated with working on construction sites, they still fail to provide adequate safety equipment and training. As a result, workers are left unprotected and vulnerable to injury. In addition to providing safe work environments, employers must also protect workers who suffer injuries while on the job. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay injured employees for lost wages and medical expenses incurred due to accidents on the job. However, if an employer fails to compensate these workers adequately, they could face legal consequences. To avoid potential liability, employers need to understand their obligations under the law and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. For example, employers must provide workers with proper protective gear and training, conduct periodic inspections of worksites, and maintain accurate records of worker injuries. If you own or operate a business, you owe it to yourself and your employees to learn more about protecting workers. It's never too late to start making improvements, and you can begin by learning more about the requirements of the FLSA.

Establish Infection Prevention Measures in the Workplace

Infectious diseases are a significant concern for employers today. According to the CDC, nearly half of all workplace illnesses are caused by infectious agents. If you want to protect workers from these illnesses, you need to establish infection prevention measures in the workplace. One of the best ways to prevent infections in the workplace is through proper handwashing. Employees should wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. It's also essential to clean shared surfaces regularly, such as door handles, keyboards, phones, desks, and tables. Employees should also wear gloves while working to avoid spreading germs. Gloves should be worn whenever possible, especially when handling food items or other potentially contaminated materials. When employees are finished with work, they should always rewash their hands after touching anything outside of the office. It's also essential to educate employees on the importance of staying healthy. Ensure that they understand the risks associated with certain behaviors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Educating employees about the dangers of these habits can help them stay safe and healthy.

COVID Vaccinations in the Workplace

We've seen many companies implement mandatory vaccinations for employees in recent years. These include vaccines against flu, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and others. While these measures are intended to protect workers from potentially dangerous diseases, they also put employers in a difficult position. On the one hand, they must balance the risk of spreading disease among their workforce versus losing valuable employees who could spread the virus to other coworkers or customers. In addition, they must weigh the potential costs associated with implementing a vaccination program against the benefits of having healthy employees. While it's understandable that businesses would want to protect their employees, it's important to remember that the best solution is prevention. That means ensuring that everyone has access to clean water, food, shelter, and healthcare. It also means educating employees about the risks of COVID-19 and encouraging them to practice safe hygiene practices. It's also important to consider the cost of administering a vaccination program. Some companies have opted to pay for employee vaccinations, while others have provided free shots. Either option requires careful planning and budgeting. Ultimately, the decision to mandate vaccinations is a business owner's choice. However, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of each approach before deciding whether or not to go ahead with a vaccination policy.

Next Showdown in Congress Protecting Workers vs. Protecting Employers in the COVID Pandemic

Recently, we've seen many battles between workers and employers over issues like minimum wage laws, overtime pay, and paid sick days. But now, during the coronavirus pandemic, these fights are taking place on a much larger scale. While most Americans stay home to protect themselves from the virus, businesses are still operating. And while employees are being asked to work without pay, companies refuse to provide benefits or pay sick leave. This has led to several protests and strikes by both workers and employers. In fact, according to The New York Times, the number of labor actions taken against employers since January has increased by nearly 500% compared to last year. So far, the biggest battle has been over whether or not businesses should be required to provide health insurance coverage for their employees. While President Trump initially supported requiring employers to offer health care, he later reversed his position after pressure from business groups. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have proposed legislation that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees if they choose to operate during a crisis. However, Republicans have vowed to block the bill. The next showdown in Congress could be over whether or not businesses must continue paying their workers during the pandemic. As long as the government supports businesses through loans and other programs, they might feel obligated to continue providing wages and benefits. But if the economy does begin to recover, some businesses may decide to cut back on employee hours or lay off workers altogether. That means more job losses and less income for those who remain employed. In conclusion, we must all look after each other during these uncertain times. We must protect our fellow workers from contracting the virus, and we must protect employers from having to pay out large sums of money to their employees who contract the virus. We recommend that everyone follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and stay home whenever possible. This includes staying away from public places like grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. If you absolutely must leave your house, keep your distance from other people and wash your hands frequently. The bottom line is that we must all pull together as a community to help each other through this difficult time.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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