Delicate Balance: Personal Responsibility and Employer Responsibility

While businesses and offices slowly reopen, employees are faced with understanding what their employers are required to do to secure their safety at work and what is their responsibility.

Employer requirement:

  • Establish health and safety protocols
  • Educate employees about safety rules and make sure they follow them.
  • Ensure their practices meet all local, state and federal guidelines
  • Educate employees about paid sick leave policies in case they get sick or someone at home does.

An employer’s responsibility lies in ensuring the safety of its employees and customers alike. Developing safety protocols is not only recommended; it’s a requirement depending on where you live.

Some businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels and salons have a different set of requirements to ensure a clean and healthy workplace.

Employees need to mind the rules. They can also make sure their employer abides by them too. Federal law prevents your employer from retaliating against you for raising health or safety concerns. The State of Florida, for example, set up a website to file complaints against businesses that don’t follow guidelines. Take a look

Beyond what’s legal, employees need to practice common sense.

  • If you don’t feel well, stay at home.
  • Get tested if you fear you have the virus.
  • If you contract the coronavirus, tell your employer so they can take the proper steps in the workplace.
  • Wear a facemask and follow office rules.
  • Don’t share equipment or desks.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • If you feel unsafe at work, check for the option of working from home. If that’s not an option, you may qualify for unemployment benefits if you quit.

Whether you are an employee or an employer, the safest step is checking with an attorney to know your rights before taking any action.

Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these blog posts may change on a daily basis. Please contact the Winston Law Firm for timely advice.