San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/03/2015 -- The recent flu outbreak raises questions of how employers should respond, including what to do if a sick employee insists on coming to work, and what to do if a seemingly healthy employee prefers to stay home. Therefore it is important that every business employer consult with legal counsel long before they run into any of these issues.
Flu cases not only pose risks for individuals, but also threaten businesses whose productivity can decrease as employees stay home to avoid infecting others or work at half-speed because they're feeling less than 100 percent. Businesses should update employee handbooks and sick leave policies, as well as require employees sidelined by the flu to get a doctor's note declaring them fit for duty before they return to work. It is also important that employers should also take the outbreak as an opportunity to educate their employees about washing their hands.
Donald Scarinci, a New Jersey lawyer and managing partner of Scarinci Hollenbeck, advised that employers can require mandatory flu shots, but should do so with care. Anti-discrimination laws can come into play if employees request an exemption to the vaccination based on a disability or a religious belief. Scarinci warns employers to be wary of violating employee's First Amendment rights by discriminating against an employee's right to refuse to be vaccinated based only on secular reasons.
Flu season is not going away anytime soon. Fortunately, with the help of online employment lawyers, those who need legal advice can find guidance with the help of innovators like UpCounsel. These employment lawyers are able to connect with potential clients in a virtual legal marketplace compiled of thousands of attorneys located all over the United States, including lawyers in New Jersey. They are able to offer much more competitive costs for legal services since they are primarily based online and carry minimal overhead when compared to big law firms. This is an obvious advantage for companies as they adopt new policies and procedures in preparation of the flu season.
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