As an employer, you have several obligations to your employees. With that being said, your company also has rights that protect it from financial loss or subsequent damage due to the negligent acts of others. If you expect to operate a successful business, you must understand those rights and obligations in order to maintain a safe and protected work environment.

Maintain a Safe Workplace

You have the right, as well as the responsibility, to maintain a safe workplace for yourself and your employees. If your company falls within the parameters of having “essential” employees, it is up to you to provide them with the items they need to perform their duties. You must also supply them with any PPE items they need to keep themselves safe and protected while they are working.

Ask Employees to Work From Home

If your company does not have “essential employees,” it is in your best interest to offer each member of your staff the option to work from home. While it is impossible for some types of jobs to be performed outside of the workspace, caring for your employees should be a priority. 

Request an Employee to Get Tested for the COVID-19 Virus

If you own a company where “essential employees” are present, it is within your rights to request that your employees take their temperature before they come to work or to get tested for the COVID-19 virus if they begin to show symptoms. If an employee refuses to comply with your requests, you can lay them off indefinitely or take more decisive action if you feel it is necessary.

Termination Is Possible If an Employee Doesn’t Remain in Compliance

It is your responsibility to protect your employees from various types of hazards. This includes exposure to the COVID-19 virus. If an employee repeatedly refuses to comply with your requests to proactive measures, you may be required to take drastic measures. You have the right to terminate an employee who continually makes the choice to put their co-workers at risk.

As an employer, you have obligations to your employees to keep them as safe as possible and provide them with a secure work environment. You also have the right as a business owner, to protect your own interests. This means taking any action you deem necessary to protect yourself, your employees, and your company’s brand. Terminating an employee is only one option. You have the right to lay off employees without pay or allow them to work from home. 

Be sure that your actions as an employer do not violate the employee’s rights under The Americans with Disabilities Act.