Ebola Concerns – How Should Employers Respond?

The public concern and confusion generated by the third reported diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. has reached the workplace.  What was once considered just a public health concern has become an employment issue as well. Employees are anxious about individuals who have travelled to and from West Africa, and about the potential for contracting the virus from co-workers, clients, customers, and patients. Discrimination and privacy-related employment laws limit the types of medical examinations and questions employers may ask of their employees and applicants. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken the position that Ebola is already covered by its Bloodborne Pathogens and Respiratory Protection standard. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued their own information page on the contagion. Earlier today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing to examine the U.S. public health response to the Ebola outbreak.

Many employers are left wondering what their obligations are in addressing this emerging health crisis. To provide employers with some guidance on handling the thorny employment law issues that stem from this new health scare, Littler will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Click here for more information on this session and how to register.  

For an overview of the Ebola crisis for employers, see Littler's ASAP, The Ebola Exposure: U.S. Workplace Considerations.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.