Thursday, May 28, 2020

What an Employee Wellness Screening Should Include

A key component to businesses reopening in Illinois is daily or more frequent health screens for employees. Of course, it is important to maintain a safe and healthy environment. As part of Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) developed as a “best practice” the following questions to ask employees at least daily:
  • Have you felt feverish?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you have a sore throat?
  • Have you been experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath?
  • Do you have muscle aches?
  • Have you had a new or unusual headache (e.g., not related to caffeine, diet, or hunger, not related to a history of migraines, clusters, or tension, not typical to the individual)?
  • Have you noticed a new loss of taste or loss of smell?
  • Have you been experiencing chills or rigors¹?
  • Do you have any gastrointestinal concerns (e.g., abdominal, pain, vomiting, diarrhea)?
  • Is anyone in your household displaying any symptoms of COVID-19?
  • To the best of your knowledge, have you or anyone in your household come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
While it is always a best practice to conduct a health screen in person, it is not always practical, especially in businesses with numerous employees waiting to sign in. For one, this is not encouraging social distancing, and secondly, it can create inefficient operations with a backlog of people either screening or being screened. Another option is to notify employees that they must report experiencing any of the above 11 circumstances to their supervisor immediately. The notice should be in writing and as a reminder should be posted in common areas, like copy rooms and restrooms. Either way, the requirement is that employees report, either by answering questions or initiating notice, that they may not be well.

Requirements like health or wellness screenings are just one of the new protocols for the workplace. Policies or protocols for employees who are returning after furlough or teleworking, or have remained in the workplace, are important to set the standards for how people work during the pandemic.

The labor and employment attorneys at Ancel Glink can help you prepare a COVID-19 Workplace Policy that fits your particular workplace. For assistance, contact Margaret Kostopulos at; Bob McCabe at; Matt DiCianni at; or the Ancel Glink attorney with whom you regularly work.