If so, you’ve done the following things:
Created a pandemic flu plan and educated your employees on that plan;
Have become aware of current CDC recommendations, and will stay alert for upgrades;
Reviewed and (if necessary) revised attendance policies;
Educated yourself on confidentiality issues and concerns;
Checked with HR or legal on questions of federal employment laws (including OSHA, privacy questions, wage & hour issues, FMLA policies, and ADA accommodation issues).
The CDC Guidance (www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/guidance/) Provides a Basic Outline of Issues about which employers should be concerned. That Guidance:
1. Includes preparedness and response recommendations:
Monitor personnel for unusual increases in absenteeism;
Work with state/local public health partners;
Be prepared to act if schools/daycare close.
2. Suggests components of an Influenza Pandemic Plan:
Review HR policies to assure consistency with existing laws;
Explore flexible work hours/work sites;
Establish lines of communication with employees;
Identify essential business functions to assure coverage.
3. Recommends “action steps” regarding symptomatic employees:
Sick employees should stay home (24 hrs after fever);
Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible;
Sick employees at work should be asked to leave.
4. Addresses issues related to vaccination of employees.
Encourage employees to get seasonal flu vaccination;
Encourage H1N1 vaccination when available;
Offer worksite opportunities for vaccination.
5. Provides action plan in the event of increased severity of H1N1 during the upcoming flu season:
Consider actively screening employees for H1N1;
Create opportunities for alternative work environments;
Consider increasing social distancing where possible.
6. Includes a list of additional guidance documents developed by the federal government to assist employers in planning efforts.