Every state has charted its own response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused
by the novel coronavirus with varying results. However, a key element
of many plans to suppress the virus has been a request for workers to
stay home if possible. Of course, the essential workers who keep our grocery
stores, gas stations, hospitals, and other crucial services running have
been at work this whole time. Meanwhile, most white-collar workers were
able to transition to a work-from-home system that, while not perfect,
is at least functional.
Then, there is another class of workers caught somewhere in the middle:
Those whose work requires them to be physically present at a job site,
but who are not employed in essential industries.
For these employees, lockdown meant furlough, because there was no way
for them to perform their job at home, but their workplace was closed.
Once state and local restrictions loosened, the question of whether to
re-open was decided by individual business owners. Though their decisions
may have been driven by economic concerns, there are major public health
implications to consider as well.
We understand the desire to get businesses up and running again so employees
could return to work. However, many business owners did so too soon, without
properly planning for operating in a post-COVID world. Many employees
were required to return to unsafe conditions knowing they would lose their
unemployment payments if they chose to protect their health and their
families’ by staying home. Many of these workers’ fears were
realized: After getting sick themselves, they passed the novel coronavirus
to their family members.
If you believe you were infected in the workplace, you may be able to file
a workers’ compensation claim, but this won’t provide any
help for the family members who may have also contracted the virus. That’s
where Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. comes in.
We are here to help you bring a claim against a company that put you and
your family at risk by requiring workers to return when it was not safe. Though we can’t take back the poor decisions these companies have
made, we hope we can at least pressure them into doing better in the future
by making them face the costs of their mistakes.
Call Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 or send us a message right now to schedule a free consultation.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Businesses
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has
posted safety guidelines for business owners, including many recommendations aimed toward certain high-risk workplaces.
While a government agency like the CDC can’t legally require companies
to follow its guidelines,
your boss still has an obligation to take appropriate steps to protect
employee safety. This includes:
- Encouraging sick employees to stay home
- Testing employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms
- Routinely cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces
- Informing employees if someone else at the company has tested positive
- Helping vulnerable workers reduce risk
- Putting measures in place to support social distancing between co-workers
as well as any consumers
- Limiting the number of people in common areas or small rooms
In addition to the above, the CDC has created a long list of best practices
and advised companies on how to enact them in any office, factory, or
retail joint. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) released a
35-page publication on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. While this may seem like a lot to put on business owners, they are responsible
for the health of their employees. The pandemic has required all of us
to make sacrifices and take extra precautions to keep each other safe.
This is just as necessary at work as it is in the public sphere.
How Family Members Can Challenge Negligent Companies
With the depth of guidance released by the government, it’s relatively
easy to see whether a business owner has made a good-faith effort to keep
employees and consumers safe.
If they have not, and a loved one brought home a COVID-19 infection from
the workplace, you may be able to file a complaint. COVID-19 is a serious disease that can lead to:
- 2+ weeks of missed work
- Emergency treatment
- Long-term hospitalization
- Extra medication needed for co-morbid conditions
Lingering symptoms that require continuing treatment
These expenses can add up quickly, especially when one or more providers
in a family end up having to quarantine or exhaust any paid sick leave
they have. However, you could be able to recover compensation for these
costs from the liable party—the negligent business that infected
you. Filing for financial support during this time can help you stay afloat
during one of the most difficult economic recessions in American history.
Our COVID-19 Infection Attorneys Can Help
We, like the rest of the world, are still learning new things about COVID-19.
However, it’s been clear since the beginning this disease is highly
dangerous. When employers fail to take the threat seriously, the effects
can ripple outward, affecting not just workers, but their entire families.
Our attorneys at Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. have made a name for
themselves by holding companies responsible for putting their workers
at risk of infection or disease. The coronavirus pandemic is yet another
case where businesses, determined to protect their profits, have let employee
health fall to the wayside. This injustice must be answered for, and we
can help you get started with a claim today.
Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. is here to help employees and their families
pursue justice against unsafe workplaces. Call us at (877) 958-7920 to learn about your legal options if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19.