Updates in the Law
One thing we are seeing as COVID related claims are starting to arise is a failure on the part of employers to adequately document how they are specifically dealing with a myriad of COVID issues. For example, employers should create logs showing how they are going about cleaning and disinfecting their plants, buildings, or offices, and how often this is occurring. Documentation of the reasons for leaves and how pay for the leave was calculated should also be maintained. If there is a need to furlough employees or engage in a reduction in force, there should be thorough documentation of the decisional process. Because the ADA is heavily implicated when dealing with employees with COVID related problems, there should be documentation of the interactive process engaged in with an employee to appropriately address the problem. Obviously, there are many other instances where proper documentation is imperative.
Ultimately, the best practice is to emphasize to your employees that they need to carefully document, as best they can, any and all actions taken in response to COVID related issues. Otherwise, if litigation ensues and the documentation isn’t there, the assumption will be that no action was taken by the employer even if that assumption is incorrect.
If you would like to discuss the areas where documentation is essential and how you can ensure that it appropriately addresses the specific issue or concern in question, please feel free to contact one of our employment law attorneys via email or calling the office at 402.492.9200.