Occupational safety and health

COVID-19 Return to Work: What Can an Employer Do When a Higher Risk Employee Wishes to Return to Work?

In another recent blog post, we addressed the issue of what employers may do when they have employees who the employer knows are at high risk. The short answer is that even if they are trying to act in the worker’s best interests, an employer is not permitted to assume the role of a benevolent parent – it is within the employee’s control to exercise their rights. Here, we go into more detail related to what an employer can do when a higher risk employee wishes to return to work. According to the EEOC, if an employer is concerned about the employee’s health being jeopardized upon returning to the workplace, the ADA does not allow the employer to exclude the employee..

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COVID-19 Return to Work – What Can an Employer Proactively Do about the Health of a High-Risk Employee Returning to Work?

With the gradual return to work associated with the various Executive Orders, an issue that is popping up with increasing frequency is what may employers do when they have employees who the employer knows are at high risk. Read on for tips related to the health of a high-risk employee returning to work. The Basics The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued interim guidance for employers with employees at high risk. Basically, the CDC notes that when gradually scaling up activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices, it is important to note that certain employees are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These employees include individuals over age 65 and those with underlying medical conditions Such underlying conditions include..

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The Need for Businesses to Accommodate At-Risk Customers | Executive Order Under COVID-19


In addition to the Minnesota Governor’s May 13, 2020 Executive Order related to the Safe Reopening of Minnesota’s Economy, the Minnesota governor issued an Executive Order the same day that also warrants attention by businesses providing in-person services to customers. In Executive Order 20-55, the Minnesota Governor ordered the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to issue guidance necessary for private and public businesses to provide accommodations to at-risk customers by adjusting times, services, and manner of delivering goods and services to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. The Executive Order is called Protecting the Rights and Health of At-Risk Populations during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency. At-risk persons include people who are: 65 years and older. Living in a..

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The Right to Refusal to Work Executive Order Under Covid-19

While the Minnesota Governor’s May 13, 2020 Executive Order related to the Safe Reopening of Minnesota’s Economy is generating considerable headlines and discussion, it is notable that there was an Executive Order issued the same day that also warrants attention by employers. In Executive Order 20-54, the Minnesota Governor ordered that employers must protect workers from unsafe working conditions and retaliation during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency. Employers are forbidden from discriminating or retaliating in any way against a worker communicating orally or in writing with management about occupational safety or health matters related to COVID-19, including asking questions or expressing concerns. This Executive Order also specifically applies existing law related to a refusal to work under certain conditions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers have the..

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