The coronavirus pandemic has upended nearly every industry and has every employer wondering, “When will it be safe to bring employees back to work?”
Government guidance can shift rapidly, sometimes within the same week. Shelter-in-place orders have been extended by some officials, with others have lifted all coronavirus restrictions. With all this uncertainty, many employers are wondering how they can protect their employees once they’re ready to return to the office. Even if your local officials lift coronavirus restrictions, that doesn’t ensure the coronavirus won’t continue to spread. This is causing many employers to consider taking temperatures of everyone entering the workplace and asking questions about symptoms (or requiring self-reporting).
Best Practices for Implementing Employee Screening & Temperature Testing
If an employer decides to conduct employee temperature testing or any other employee screening, they should be sure to comply with all official rules including, but not limited to, the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Communicate the plan to take employee temperatures and require a self-screening daily well in advance and explain why.
- Be sure employees understand the implications of the tests (i.e., a high temperature means being sent home)
- Have a set temperature threshold and stick to it. For instance, 100.4 F is the CDC’s measurement of a fever. Employers should consider using that as the threshold for when to bar an employee from entering the workplace.
- Consider using no-touch thermometers and virtual self-screening to avoid spreading illness.
- Make sure the temperature checking stations are far enough from the workplace entrance and have proper social distancing set ups.
Maintain proper disinfecting procedures at the testing station and within the workplace as a whole.
Upon returning to normal business and in-office operations, precautions must be taken to ensure your employees are safe and unexposed to the virus. Without instilling a sense of security it will be difficult to restore in-office productivity levels. This is why employee screening and temperature testing are essential for a business to thrive post-coronavirus.