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Coronavirus legal considerations: It’s time to think ahead

March 06, 2020

While much remains unknown about the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the virus is spreading human-to-human in mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. More limited human-to-human transmissions have been reported in other countries, including the U.S. The first case of the coronavirus was reported in Wisconsin on Feb. 5, 2020 and the first reported deaths in the U.S. were reported on Saturday. While employers have begun implementing measures to safeguard against the coronavirus, now is the time to think ahead and prepare for a potential impact on your workplace.

Six coronavirus considerations for employers

Employers should be thinking about the following when ramping up coronavirus precautions:

1. Limiting business travel
2. Implementing flexible remote work policies, sick leave and sending employees home
3. Proper handling of requests to wear protective face masks at work
4. Legality of employee medical examinations
5. Disclosing of employees’ private information
6. Encouraging effective precautions

While Godfrey & Kahn attorneys aim to keep you apprised of the latest COVID-19 developments, the situation remains fluid. Our COVID-19 Resource Center has more practical advice like this on the legal considerations impacting your organization's coronavirus response. It remains important to consult federal, state, county and city health agency websites regularly.

For up-to-the-minute updates on coronavirus-related policies and their legal implications for your business, contact our Labor, Employment & Immigration Practice Group.

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