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Reopening Your Baltimore Business During the Pandemic


As many Maryland businesses are reopening or planning to reopen, cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus, continue to be discovered around the country. If you are a worker headed back to the workplace or an employer concerned about how to best keep employee’s safe and avoid workers’ compensation disputes, talk to a Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyer about your rights.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided general guidelines including the following.

The Process of Recalling Furloughed Workers

Furloughs have helped businesses survive during this global pandemic. The temporary layoffs are a way to decrease expenses until economic conditions improve for a business. Now, as things are reopening, businesses need to think about who to call back and who is not able to come back for legal reasons. With the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in place some employees may have a right to medical leave.

For workers who are returning, the following safety measures should be in place:

  • Access to hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, as needed.
  • All employees are provided with face masks.
  • Maximum capacity is reduced in common areas.
  • Cancellation of business trips that are not essential.
  • Wellness checks and work shifts that are staggered.

Of course, each business has its own unique concerns that will need to be handled. Additional precautions will be needed for many.

Wellness Checks Are a Tool for Preventing the Spread of Illness

Wellness checks are a beneficial tool for workplaces, they help to boost morale and maintain health within a workplace. Daily assessments are the norm for many Baltimore workplaces. These can include questions about possible exposure to the coronavirus, temperature checks, or inquires about symptoms an employee might be experiencing.

When temperatures are taken, use a touchless thermometer and follow the manufacturers directions each step of the way. In the event a fever is detected, that employee should be sent home. If there is a delay in when they can return home, they should be separated from the other employees during that period. The temperature degree and all other health issues should be kept confidential to ensure employee privacy guidelines are adhered to.

There are personal behaviors that can help as well. Individuals within a workplace should be reminded to wash their hands regularly and efficiently. Social distancing should be practiced and all high touch surfaces need to be disinfected on a consistent basis. And, all coughs and sneezes should be covered.

As more is discovered about the novel coronavirus, guidelines may shift. For that reason, it is essential business owners stay informed. There are federal guidelines and local directives to follow. Keeping employees and customers safe is of the utmost importance.

For Maryland workers there are protections, including provisions under the Workers’ Compensation Law, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Contact a Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyer about your specific concerns.

Are you concerned about illness or injury at your Maryland workplace? Contact the legal team at Iamele & Iamele, LLP to understand the protections available to you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.


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