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COVID-19 Reporting and Privacy Issues

March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised new and important questions for employers, including those about balancing employee privacy with the need to warn employees about possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.  Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance encouraging employers to take steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.  This guidance stems from OSHA’s determination that COVID-19 is a “hazard” implicating the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s General Duty Clause, which requires employers to furnish “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”  29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1).

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