The 2019 novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, currently presents as a public health emergency of international concern.
Employers should be prepared in the event that COVID-19 becomes a pandemic, which is likely, based on the current global circumstances. We have summarized legal concerns facing employers in preparing and responding to a pandemic, including:
- How to maintain a safe and healthy workplace as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act and recommended by the CDC;
- How to ensure compliance with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, race, and disability;
- What leaves the employees are entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act; and
- When or how pay can be deducted under the Fair Labor Standard Act if employees are absent.