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Submitted by lar12 on


BLUF - Is knowingly exposing oneself to COVID a fireable offense?

One of my direct reports, and a top performer, is in quarantine after having been exposed to COVID. Having exhibited no symptoms and having a negative test, the individual has continued to visit their family member that has the virus. 

The direct has stated repeatedly that they prefer to work from home.

The direct is effective and gets results from home. The role requires periodic travel and face to face communications. Those two requirements can not be met remotely, nor completed because of corporate policy to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine.

Simon Flowers's picture
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I have no expertise here but it is an interesting question and I will venture an opinion. I assume that it is not a fireable offense. Firstly you can never be sure of their "guilt" e.g. they can easily say they washed hands, wore a mask, kept distance. You can't even be certain that was the instance where they caught it - they could have caught it at work and had symptoms later. Secondly there are many new or re-interpreted regulations out there to protect employees. Have a look at this news article where I think it was more extreme than your case - an employee (waiter) went to a party, was infected, and caused a two week shutdown of the restaurant. I don't think you really want to be the subject of the next article.

Breanna_Ileen's picture

If your staff knowingly exposed himself to covid positive and intentionally refused to follow Covid protocol (does not regularly wear face mask, not following social distancing, not following hygiene procedures as seriously taken, directed and monitored ), and got infected that affected the company's lockdown, then I think this could result to a stern reprimand or offense.

On the other, if your company does not give importance and emphasis on the rule of Covid protocol then it might not be an offense. Due to being lax, your staff may unknowingly exposed himself to covid positive.