A handful of states are reopening for business following coronavirus-triggered lockdowns, raising two compelling questions: Must employers ensure the workplace is safe? And will they be held liable if employees contract the virus?
The short answer is that while health care providers must follow federal safety guidelines to guard against contagion, other businesses are not obligated to do so, leaving it to states and localities to set standards, experts say. And sick employees who seek damages, typically through worker’s compensation, must prove that they contracted the virus at work – an especially thorny challenge.
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