Video: Employer Obligations to Accommodate Employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Part 4

Video Transcript:

Hi, I'm Jason Klimpl, an employment attorney and partner at Tannenbaum Helpern, and in this installment of the HRMinute, I want to talk about something we addressed in our recent article about accommodating employee concerns in connection with return to work in the covid-19 crisis. Specifically, I want to talk about, does an employer have to have an obligation to accommodate an employee who has a generalized concern or generalized anxiety about returning to the workplace? The answer actually is no. Unless that employee has an underlying health condition that they want to articulate and talk about or unless the employees in some other protected class, such as a person who has a mental health disorder or mental health issue where there's going to be a specific dialogue about that health issue.. I'm here to tell you that there is no general obligation to accommodate employees who simply have some sort of vague or generalized anxiety about returning to the workplace in the covid-19 era. Now, does that mean that employers are just uniformly require everyone to come back? No, I think the employer needs to consider its workplace culture and objectives and messaging its morale, the workforce and productivity. So there are other things to consider. But again, the question is, as we touched on in our article, is there some sort of generalized obligation to accommodate employees who are nervous about coming back to work? The answer from a legal perspective is no. Thank you. And we'll see you in the next installment of the HRMinute.

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10.08.2020  |  PUBLICATION: HRMinute  |  TOPICS: Employment

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