COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
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Should I implement procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19? Yes, you should. Check out some of these resources for more information on how to prepare your workplace: OSHA Guidance, ...
Are there any dealerships locking the doors to the public and working from within? Many dealerships are modifying operations. Some have simply implemented safety procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Some have closed the doors to the public, but are still servicing their customers. It is up to you to determine what is best for your customers and your business operations.
If an employee is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and stays home, can I require a Coronavirus test result to verify that it is COVID-19? In terms of verifying illness, testing for COVID-19 is not widely available, thus, the CDC has not made a recommendation to employers that they require verification. Health screenings are permissible under both EEOC and CDC guidance to evaluate employees for symptoms. According to the EEOC’s guidance, “During a pandemic, ADA-covered employers may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. Employers must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.” See the CDC’s Guidance for more information and the EEOC’s guidance on appropriate inquiries in the case of a pandemic.
Are we required to close for 14 days if we have an employee test positive? The CDC does not require closure. Research each state's orders. State and local laws may be different. You should verify your response and action plan with your attorney.
Is an employer required to report an employee who tested positive for COVID-19 to local health department officials? CDC Guidance recommends employers engage in such communication but state and local laws may also apply. You should verify your response and action plan with your attorney.
What about employee gossip or obvious absences in small operations? How can we protect an employee’s identity? The ADA requires confidentiality. You cannot prevent gossip but the identity of the employee should not be disclosed or confirmed.
We have reason to suspect that an employee was exposed to COVID-19 (recently came back from travel, attended a large group gathering, was informed that they were in extended-contact with a positive COVID-19 case, etc.), but symptoms are not apparent. Can we ask that employee to stay home even though they are showing no symptoms? ...
How do we handle employees who have a family member with a cough or cold, etc? Are they obligated or should we require them to stay home for 14 days? Such facts are common in the current environment and require the use of judgment. Dealers should review available CDC Guidance and consult with their legal counsel about such a determination. Remember, in terms of verifying illness, testing for COVID-19 is not widely available, thus the CDC has not made a recommendation to employers that they should require verification.
Can we take the temperatures of all employees coming into our dealership? Do we have to keep records of body temperature? Yes, you may take the temperatures of ALL employees. Any records created must be maintained in compliance with the ADA. Review the CDC and EEOC’s Guidance for more information.