Osha’s New Guidance on Recording COVID-19 in the Workplace

  1. Employment Law
  2. Osha’s New Guidance on Recording COVID-19 in the Workplace

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance requiring nearly all employers with 10 or more employees to record cases of COVID-19 among their workforce if these three conditions are met:

  • An employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • The confirmed case is work-related.
  • The case involves one or more of these criteria:
    • Days missed from work
    • Work is restricted or employee is transferred to another job
    • Involves medical treatment beyond first aid
    • There was a loss of consciousness
    • Significant illness or injury diagnosed by a licensed healthcare professional
    • Death

Employers that make a “reasonable and good-faith inquiry” to determine if an employee was exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace and fail to do so are not required to record the illness. OSHA suggests that employers take these steps to fulfill their requirement to conduct a “reasonable and good-faith inquiry”:

  • Ask the employee how he or she believes they contracted the illness.
  • While respecting the employee’s privacy, inquire about any work or outside activities that may have led to the employee’s illness.
  • Determine if any other employees in the same environment have contracted the illness or if there are any conditions in the workplace that potentially exposed the employee to COVID-19.

In addition, OSHA advised that an employee’s diagnosis of COVID-19 may in fact be work-related and required to be reported if:

  • There are several cases among employees who work closely together.
  • An employee had a recent and lengthy exposure to someone with a diagnosed case of COVID-19 at work.
  • An employee’s job duties require frequent, close exposure to the public.

OSHA stated that an illness is likely not work-related if the employee is the only person to contract COVID-19 in the workplace and that employee does not have frequent contact with the public and if the employee has been in close contact with someone outside work who has COVID-19 and exposes the employee during the period when the person is infectious.

Has your employer violated your right to a safe work environment? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. Our team will work tirelessly to hold your employer—or employers in a joint employment relationship—accountable. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.

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