Six Elements of Preventing Employer Negligence Lawsuits as Businesses Fully Reopen in 2021
CHICAGO, IL, December 29, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — John, a truck loader for a medium-sized distribution center, found out that a coworker missed several days of work last week and tested positive for COVID. The previous weekend, John brought dinner to his elderly mom, and two weeks later, she died of COVID-19 pneumonia.
According to Dr. Tom Scaletta, an emergency physician and founder of Auscura, “This is an all-too-common scenario that devastates families and creates a lifelong burden for the spreader.” In 2020, over 1,300 wrongful death lawsuits were brought against employers by families who lost loved ones to COVID-19. Such cases are tracked by the employment law firm Fisher Phillips.
As employers plan to reopen their businesses, they are advised to adopt these six practices.
• Incorporate a risk waiver that must be accepted as a condition of employment. Include the fact that the vaccines have a five percent failure rate, and new, resistant COVID strain could develop.
• Require employees to attest to compliance with CDC and state public health guidelines.
• Perform daily symptom screening that adheres to state requirements.
• Track patterns where multiple infections are occurring in a particular area and mandate employee quarantine. A Wall Street Journal article emphasized that the most significant personal injury claims involve clusters of infections in contained spaces. Algorithms can be used to risk-stratify based on vaccination and the presence of new virus strains.
• Supervisors should be immediately alerted when one of their staff fails the screening survey. They will need to warn others and make decisions to relocate or send staff home.
• The ability to retrieve screening logs is essential. The entire history and acceptance of risk are the best evidence that the employer was careful in making return-to-work decisions.
Dr. Scaletta reminds us that “The beginning of the end of the pandemic is not the time to become complacent. We could easily double the number of deaths in 2021.”
Auscura is a business intelligence company founded in 2012 that automates secure messaging to improve outcomes and enhance customer loyalty. Auscura developed a low-cost COVID screening solution that addresses the six prevention measures used in twenty countries by large and small businesses.
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