IRA Financial’s Adam Bergman Esq. shares some guidance about how a business owner should be testing for COVID-19 and the steps they should take to keep everyone safe.
Mr. Bergman wanted to share his thoughts, as a business owner, on what you can do in regards to COVID-19 testing. What types of laws are in effect that may impact your business? As a small business owner, Mr. Bergman has been diligent in his efforts to protect his employees from this pandemic. It’s important to work with your management team and communicate with all of your employees.
Most employers don’t need to test their employees for the coronavirus. The CDC recommends being on the lookout for possible symptoms. The first thing many businesses and schools are doing is checking the temperature of any individual who enters the building. A fever is one of the better indicators of the virus. If an individual is feeling under the weather, it’s best for him or her to remain at home. A cautious approach is best during these uncertain times.
Employers must recognize these unusual times in respect to days off and sick time. In today’s society, remote working and learning is commonplace. If an employee can work from home, he or she shouldn’t expose coworkers to any type of sickness. Of course, not all jobs can be done from home. It’s up to you, the business owner, how to handle these situations. COVID-19 testing may help reduce the stress, especially during flu season. Many people will get the common cold, but they should be aware of their fellow citizens.
COVID-19 Testing Based Strategy
If everyone is fine who works for you, testing is generally not needed. There are some businesses that use a test-based strategy. Employees would get tested before coming to work. The companies paid for the test. The employees needed two negative tests in 24 hours to come back to work. It’s not a legal requirement. Obviously, just because someone is negative before coming back to work, doesn’t mean they will stat that way. This is virus can spread quickly, without anyone being aware. Asymptomatic people can unknowingly pass COVID-19 to many other people.
What if an employee refuses a test? This is uncharted territory. Many people are still wary about going out in public as well. If they are more comfortable working from home, and it’s something that doesn’t affect performance, employers should allow them to do so. Accommodations should be made, especially those at higher risk of contracting coronavirus. Key employees may need to be furloughed if they cannot confirm they are negative.
Work with Your Employees
Every business is different. Employees come from all different types of backgrounds and have strong feelings about COVID-19. They may have religious beliefs that prevent them from being tested. There might be a health risk with them or someone close to them that prevents them from going into an office environment (or similar business). There are laws that protect individuals, however there are also ones that protect businesses. Many workers may end up losing their jobs for the “greater good of the business.”
As a business owner, you may think your employees are easily replaceable. Especially with so many out of work right now. However, good employees can be hard to find and retain. It’s up to you as the business owner to decide how to treat your employees and the business itself. You might have tough decisions to make. Each of those decisions will reflect on your and your company. Make sure you are doing the best thing for all.
It’s a rough time to be a small business owner right now. COVID-19 testing must be done to ensure the health and well-being of yourself, your employees and all Americans. Mr. Bergman has plenty of experience as a business owner, and dealing with unique situations. What works for one of his businesses may not work for another; or for yours. It’s up to you to decide how best to handle this situation.
Listen to the full podcast for more tips on navigating COVID-19 in the business world. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out our SoundCloud page for more podcasts. If you would like to speak with IRA Financial, please contact us @ 800.472.0646.