I suspect an employee may have been exposed to COVID-19. Can I ask them about it?Yes, you can have open dialogue with the employee about it. If they have traveled, you can also ask if there was any known exposure. If it was on a cruise ship, ask for the name of the ship so you can research the vessel.
How should I handle pay for an employee that has been mandated to be quarantined?The safest course of action is to put the employee on paid administrative leave during the period of forced quarantine.
When can a quarantined employee return to work?It depends on whether the employee is quarantined for potential exposure or for showing signs of illness. For potential exposure, the CDC requires a 14-day period. If the employee is merely showing signs, you can require the employee to go 24 hours without any signs and without medication. The 24-hour period can also be added at the end of the 14-day period if the employee was quarantined for potential exposure. It is not recommended employers mandate a doctor’s note to return except in rare cases where a doctor has put an employee off work.
My agency is considering keeping impacted employees at work until things return to normal by providing daycare for employees’ children due to school closures. What is our exposure if we decide to provide childcare?Providing childcare services for children of employees is not recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that children and teens be discouraged from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help protect children and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Can we take the temperature of employees who return to work after being ill or take the temperature of members of the public entering our facilities and/or public meetings?Generally, measuring an employee’s body temperature is a medical examination. Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees’ body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever. Regarding a member of the public, asking them to submit to temperature checks can be considered a medical examination or inquiry in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Should staff wear N95 masks to prevent contracting COVID-19?No, the CDC isn’t currently recommending that members of the public wear masks while going about daily activities. The virus can enter your body through the eyes. A mask will not prevent someone from getting the virus; a mask should only be worn if the individual is sick.
How should we handle an employee who claims that they have had the coronavirus transmitted to him or her while at work?Any claim for illness at work should be handled as any other workers’ compensation claim. A claim should be completed and submitted directly to the Authority’s third-party administrator. Claims can be filed through the California JPIA’s website at the following link: https://5020.yorkrsg.com/clients/login.aspx
Federal Assistance and Resources
What assistance can the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide to local governments regarding COVID-19?For questions regarding FEMA assistance, access our information sheet on Government Assistance for Local Government Regarding COVID-19.
How can I learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?In an effort to provide guidance through the intricacies of the FFCRA, we suggest visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) website regarding COVID-19 and the American Workplace.
Health and Safety
We operate various recreational and senior services. What steps should we take to care for the health and safety of participants?Because of the close proximity of participants to others, members are considering altering or cancelling recreation events and excursions. Seniors present a unique risk to the coronavirus exposure and are particularly vulnerable to contracting the disease.
Insurance and Coverage
We will be canceling a community event because of the coronavirus outbreak. Can we rely on force majeure to release us from any financial obligations?This will be a case by case analysis, depending on situational factors and contractual language. Please consult with your legal counsel.
Is there event cancellation insurance available to members through the Authority?No. Event cancellation insurance does not cover COVID-19 or other epidemics.
Does the California JPIA Property Program provide coverage for tax/revenue interruption due to COVID-19?The Property Program may provide coverage for tax/revenue interruption experienced by members if COVID-19 is detected at a scheduled member or third-party location. Property claims can be filed through the California JPIA website at the following link: https://cjpia.org/report-a-claim/report-a-property-program-claim/
How has compliance with the Brown Act changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?For information on complying with the Brown Act during this period, refer to our March 2020 newsletter article, “Navigating the Brown Act During a Period of Local Emergency Due to COVID-19.”
Will the Authority’s risk managers be available to answer questions related to COVID-19?The Authority has compiled a list of resources below that help provide guidance on an issue that is quickly evolving. We encourage you to resort to these resources for the latest in information pertaining to the health and safety of your employees and the public with which you interact. Please contact the Authority’s risk managers should you require additional assistance.
Should my staff and employees be concerned with the rise in emails asking for donations or offering medical supplies that can be used to prevent contraction of the virus?Yes. Criminals are looking to exploit people through carefully planned phishing scams and social engineering. Please instruct your employees to be on guard against anything that remotely resembles malicious content.
- California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Resources for Public Information Officers who are developing communications on the topic of COVID-19
- California Department of Public Health – Local Health Departments
Listing of local health services and offices across California
- California Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Authority – (EMS) Guidelines for COVID-19
Comprehensive EMS guidance for all first responders who anticipate close contact with persons with possible or confirmed COVID-19.
- Cal/OSHA – Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Information on complying with the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard, which is designed to protect employees from diseases and pathogens transmitted by aerosols, and how that applies to COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Guidance for School & Childcare
Actions schools and daycares can take to disseminate information about COVID-19 and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their students and staff
- Executive Department, State of California – California Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 Proclaiming a State of Emergency in California
Details of Governor Newsom’s State of Emergency proclamation for California
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – COVID-19 Emergency Declaration
Fact sheet / details on the President’s emergency declaration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic
- International City/County Management Association (ICMA) – Coronavirus Resources: Plan and Prepare Now Before It Hits Your Community
Resources to support local governments’ planning for and response to COVID-19
- Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) – Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers
Centralized source of information for employers and workers that provides guidance on health and safety procedures surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak
- League of California Cites – COVID-19 Resources for Cities
COVID-19 resources for cities and local leaders, including the latest news, preparing your community, emergency preparedness, and coordinating with local public health agencies
- World Health Organization – Corona Virus Outbreak
Various resources, including FAQs, travel advice, how to protect yourself, and situation reports, regarding the COVID-19 outbreak
Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention
Planning for a Pandemic
- Preparing for a Pandemic
- Internal Communications
- External Communications
- Illness in the Office
- Business Continuity
Webcasts & Webinars
A webinar posted online on March 27, 2020, by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that addresses questions arising from the coronavirus pandemic and how Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws are affected