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Keeping workplaces healthy during flu season

Activists hold signs during a rally at New

Activists hold signs during a rally at New York's City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. (Jan. 18, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Amid a flu season that has reached epidemic levels, many employers no doubt want to know what they can do to minimize the impact on their workplaces.

In a new “Employment Law Alert,” Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek provides some help.

In the online article, attorney Jeffrey M. Schlossberg says that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises employers to do such things as promote vaccinations, keep their workplaces clean and encourage ailing workers to stay home.

OSHA also advises employers to develop flexible leave policies that encourage workers to say home without penalty, he said.

Paid sick days have become a contentious issue during this chronic flu season because labor laws don’t require employers to provide paid-time off, unless a union or employment contract includes it.

Without paid sick days, employees who should stay home are trudging into the office, because if they miss a day of work, they miss a day of pay.

Schlossberg also advises employers that some employees sick with the flu may qualify for time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. But that leave is unpaid. It does protect a worker’s job and benefits, however.   

Click here for the full article.

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