How to Facilitate a Safe and Privacy Compliant Return to Work: Laws and Guidance

Strategies designed to gradually return employees to the workplace – which some countries and industries have already initiated – will involve the collection and use of employee information to protect the workforce from the spread of coronavirus, and will require the consideration of privacy issues. In this first article of our three-part series on how to facilitate a safe and privacy compliant return to work, we examine the relevant laws and guidance, as well as how to balance competing interests of safety and privacy, and what to expect from U.S. regulators. Part two will provide practical steps for implementing an infection response plan, including examples of policies and protocols for identifying and responding to symptomatic or sick employees, and insight from some companies on what steps they are taking. Part three will focus on contact tracing and considerations for deciding if, and in what form, it is appropriate for your company. See “The Pandemic Effect: How Compliance and Enforcement Are Evolving” (Apr. 29, 2020).

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