Coronavirus outbreak – Can I sue my employer?
When the Coronavirus outbreak occurred, Cal/OSHA provided guidelines and requirements for employers to follow to protect employees and maintain a healthy work environment. Using the guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cal/OSHA determined that employers needed to act to decrease the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and lower the impact in their workplace. They may have failed you. And you may need a Coronavirus lawyer Oakland CA.
Many prevention measures are included in the guidelines provided by the CDC and Cal/OSHA. Some of the guidelines include:
- Sending sick employees home immediately and encouraging sick employees or those with a sick family member to stay home
- Provide training to employees on hygiene, proper hand washing technique, cough and sneeze etiquette, and sharing of personal items
- Providing tissues, no-touch disposal trash cans, soap and water, and hand sanitizer in multiple locations throughout the workplace
- Performing routine cleaning of shared workspace
- Provide disposable wipes so commonly used surfaces (such as doorknobs) can be wiped down by employees before use
- Practicing social distancing
- Increasing ventilation rates and the percent of outdoor air that circulates into the system
In addition to prevention, employers are recommended to create a plan in case an outbreak at the workplace does occur. These are applicable to protect employees when the Coronavirus outbreak permeates the workplace. Some of the guidelines include:
- Canceling large meetings and events
- Allowing flexible worksites, such as telecommuting or meeting via the web
- Implementing flexible work hours
- Implementing delivery services (if applicable)
- Increasing physical space between employees and between customers
Although updates have been and will continue to be made as the Cal/OSHA and the CDC continue to get new information, the bottom line is that guidelines were given to your employer to protect the workplace and employees from the Coronavirus outbreak. If you believe those guidelines were not followed, you may need a Coronavirus lawyer Oakland CA.
What if I’m in a job with a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
More stringent guidelines are in place for employees who are at an increased risk of contracting airborne infections, such as Coronavirus (Covid-19), due to work activities. These guidelines stem from the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard and are part of the California Code of Regulations (Title 8, Section 5199).
Facilities that must adhere to the ATD Standard include:
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Clinics, medical offices, and outpatient medical facilities
- Home health care
- Facilities where high hazard procedures are performed, such as hazardous waste facilities
- Long term health care and hospices
- Paramedic and emergency services and medical transport
- Correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and drug treatment programs
- Any other location where Cal/OSHA informs employers in writing they must comply with the ATD Standard
- For a complete list, please reference the California Code of Regulations
The ATD Standard includes a control plan for aerosol transmissible diseases. It also includes requirements for personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, medical services, and training. In addition, ATD Standard lays out engineering and work practice controls, laboratory procedures, and recordkeeping requirements.
California adopted these regulations to protect employees in health care and other high-risk environments against the spread of infectious diseases. The law requires that certain employers have to have effective written safety plans, have to provide protective equipment as needed, and have to train employees on safety procedures.
If you were not given proper protection, you may need a Coronavirus lawyer Oakland CA.
Most cases require that you prove the defendant (your employer) did something wrong and that particular wrongdoing caused you harm. In this case, did you contract the Coronavirus (Covid-19) at work? And, did you contract the Coronavirus (Covid-19) at work because of employer negligence?
Regardless of risk, all employers are required to take proper safety precautions to protect their employees from the Coronavirus outbreak. If you believe your employer has not adhered to the guidelines set forth by Cal/OSHA and the CDC and thus, you have contracted the Coronavirus (Covid-19), you should immediately consult a Coronavirus lawyer Oakland CA.
At Siegal & Richardson, we will help you understand the intricacies of the laws and guidelines provided to protect you and ensure your safety. We will gather relevant information and documentation, plan a strategy for your case, and make sure your rights are upheld. We have the experience, resources, and passion to pursue justice on your behalf.