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Coronavirus and Telecommuting
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) encouraged employers to consider implementing telecommuting practices to reduce the risk of infection among their workforce. Those employers who implement telecommuting practices should ensure they have an updated, relevant, written telecommuting agreement in place. A strong telecommuting agreement will address:
Employee eligibility for telecommuting
Expectations for work hours
Equipment and cybersecurity
HIPAA and protected health information security (for certain healthcare-related employers)
Safety of the remote working location
Liability to third-parties
Tax and zoning issues
Other issues unique to your business
For those employees ineligible to telecommute, the CDC recommends keeping the workplace safe by encouraging employees to:
Practice good hygiene Stop handshaking Use other non-contact methods of greeting Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders by email Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
Be careful with meetings and travel Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings Assess the risks of business travel
Handle food carefully Limit food sharing Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene
Stay home if They are feeling sick They have a sick family member in their home.
For more information about employee telecommuting or otherwise adapting your employment policies and practices to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact John Conley at email@example.com.
 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf, accessed March 16, 2020.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf, accessed March 16, 2020.
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