If you have employees who aren’t coming to work because of coronavirus fears, you must weigh your rights and business needs as an employer with the employees’ rights and feelings. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Talk to the employees. Listening to the employees’ concerns and having an honest conversation may be all that’s necessary to de-escalate the situation.
- Understand employees’ right to refuse to come to work if they have a specific fear of infection that is based on fact and not on generalized fears.
- Address employees’ specific fears in a way aimed at ensuring a safe working environment.
- You may rely on the terms of existing time-off policy, or you may possibly put hesitant employees on leave as a more constructive alternative to dismissing them.
- Be prepared to accommodate employees who request altered worksite arrangements.