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Employment Guidance for Delaware Employers of Essential Personnel

March 25, 2020

To fight the spread of COVID-19, Delaware Governor John Carney, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, issued modifications to the State of Emergency declaration ordering Delaware residents to generally stay at home and closing all non-essential businesses in Delaware. The modifications provide requirements for employers operating an essential business regarding the care and screening of their employees. In addition to reiterating the importance of social distancing, appropriate handwashing, and coughing hygiene, the modifications stress that teleworking must be maximized, especially for individuals with high risk of poor outcomes, such as those over 60 years of age and those with underlying chronic conditions.

Visitors are not permitted at the worksite unless providing essential services. Notably, all essential employees working on-site should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before work each day, following the recommendations from Delaware’s Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, which can be found here. The EEOC has recently issued guidance that screening employees for symptoms of COVID-19, as well as certain other precautionary measures, is permissible under the Americans with Disabilities Act during this pandemic. Employers must maintain all information about any illness as a confidential medical record, as they would with any health-related record, in compliance with the ADA. In addition, employers must implement flexible, non-punitive sick leave policies consistent with guidance from the U.S. CDC and DPH.

If you have any questions, please contact a member of Richards Layton’s Labor and Employment Group.

 

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