You can educate your staff about the importance of following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on safety precautions to take during the pandemic. But what can you do if workers aren’t social distancing, avoiding crowds, or wearing masks when they’re off the clock?
You need to follow anti-discrimination laws, but you also need to ensure that any disciplinary actions are neither too firm nor too lax.
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Know state and local laws. Some states have laws protecting employees’ lawful off-duty conduct. However, if your jurisdiction has a mask mandate in place, not wearing one or refusing to mask up could be considered unlawful conduct.
- If you require workers to sign a document stating that they will follow all state directives at all times and they behave irresponsibly when they’re not working, you can discipline offenders for lying.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. Ask the employee about what happened and get all details about the alleged situation. Document this discussion.
- Make sure that any policies you have about pandemic safety measures are carried out fairly and consistently across the board. Failure to do so could hurt morale and result in employee complaints.
- Review wage and hour considerations for any employee who is ordered to self-quarantine.
- Model best practices for your employees to follow.