PHOENIX — A recent Arizona State University poll showed 26% of Arizonans feel ready to return to the office as phased reopening continues, but what if you don’t feel safe at work because of the virus.
“You better be ready with the mitigation measures when you do open because people are going to be looking for that,” Dr. Will Humble, Arizona Public Health Association.
Positive COVID-19 cases keep rising as Arizona gets back to business. According to Arizona’s Department of Public Health there are currently more than 14,000 positive cases in the state. According to CovidExitStrategy.org, that’s a 28% increase in cases over the two-week trend of the virus.
“Businesses have a legal obligation to create a safe working environment for their employees. If they don’t, they can be sued,” Kimbell Dean Parker, President of SixFifty.
Kimball Parker is President of SixFifty, which specializes in the streamlining of the often-complicated areas of law and technology. He says if an employee feels unsafe, they can sue through state or federal law. “If an employer doesn’t take reasonable steps to protect their employees from Covid-19 and an employee gets infected at the office, then the business can be liable,” says Parker.
“The best thing you can do is reduce the chance of anyone getting sick on your premises,” says Court Rich with Healthy Verify Certification. Court Rich works for Healthy Verify Certification, developing individualized plans for businesses to reduce the chances of diseases spreading at work.
HVC considers things like business type, size and location and the number of employees and recently worked with Goodwill in Arizona as they reopen. He says the best way for businesses to protect themselves from lawsuits is asking those safety questions.
“How often are you cleaning this surface, what are you cleaning it with, what are you wearing to work, are you getting your temperature taken when you walk in the door,” said Rich.