The rights and responsibilities of employers and employees during COVID-19 continue to evolve, it is important for businesses to adapt while protecting their operations and employees. Promptly and frequently adjusting your business’s procedures to ensure you’re protecting yourself and your employees from COVID-19, and legal matters arising from COVID-19, can be the difference between operating and closing down. It’s important to keep in mind that health requirements will differ by industry and business type. For specific guidance to your industry or business, contact an experienced business attorney to protect your company.
One way you can protect your business and employees is to create or update your employee handbook to define your business’s infectious disease policy. Since every company is different, it is extremely important to customize your handbook specifically for your business. Try to describe and contextualize all possible situations in your handbook. With an employee handbook, your staff will better understand proper procedures and expectations.
Staying up to date with COVID-19 guidelines and directives will help employers as well. Nevada Health Response lists Governor Directives and Declarations here. Nevada Senate Bills and Resolutions can be found here. The most recent Senate Bill relating to COVID-19, SB 209, states that private employers with at least 50 employees must provide paid leave to employees for the purposes of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination until December 31, 2023. It’s important to be aware of such bills as the Nevada Labor Commissioner, in this instance, may impose an administrative fine, up to $5,000, for each violation.
Educating your employees will help keep them compliant with guidelines. If you have established a safe working environment but an employee with no preexisting conditions declines to come to work for reasons that he/she feels unsafe, you do not have to provide compensation. This policy can be outlined in your handbook by your legal counsel in Nevada. Keep in mind that these policies will continue to change. Understanding and communicating these policies at your company can protect you from a number of legal issues.