Does my company have to report if a colleague has coronavirus?
Generally, companies are not required to tell their workers when someone tests positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that companies monitor their employees for possible symptoms and alert those who may have been in contact with an infected person. Some US states may order firms to follow these guidelines.
Companies have the right to take their employees’ temperatures, ask them about symptoms, and whether they have been exposed or diagnosed with the virus. If a worker does not answer these questions, they can be expelled from their workplace.
Companies have to provide a safe working environment. In addition, they must carry out a follow-up of infections contracted in their facilities and report any hospitalization or death from Covid-19 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Some workers are concerned about the lack of information. Amazon, for example, alerts its warehouse workers when there are positives, but offers a total infected count. So the employees started trying to keep their own.
There are also pending lawsuits against companies filed by employees who were exposed or diagnosed with coronavirus.
In general, there is a high standard for finding an employer guilty of endangering their workers, and most claims are resolved with financial compensation agreements. Additionally, there has been some debate over whether Congress should grant liability protections to companies during the pandemic.