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New workplace norms will greet workers as they get back on the job

Masks, daily temperature checks and social distancing to name a few
Posted at 9:35 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 08:36:10-04

WXMI — As people get back on their feet and start heading back to work, there’s going to be a new normal in workplaces to make sure people are healthy.

On the east side of the state this week, some UAW workers are getting back to work at Ford and General Motors.

But before heading into the plants they will be adhering to new strict safety protocols, including health screenings, temperature checks and social distancing.

“The things that we’ve seen on the east side will continue and take place in workplaces throughout the country including the west side of Michigan and that’s going to be the screenings,” Varnum Labor and Employment Attorney Rouse-Ayoub said.

Those screenings part of a new normal for Americans according to Rouse-Ayoub.

“I think the screening measures will be in place right when as soon as the stay at home order is lifted so that more employees can return to the workplace,” Rouse Ayoub said.

“The equal employment opportunity commission has agreed that these are appropriate measures, so long as the input gathered from the employees is maintained confidentially,” she added.

Rouse-Ayoub says most employers are equipped to handle confidential information.

“That information if it's being recorded and written down, it's going to be kept in a separate file won't be kept in the personnel record and it's not going to be available for anybody else in a place to look at, it's simply a screening tool, and that'll be the same with respect to any test results,” she explained.

COVID-19 testing at workplaces could also become a thing, as more test kits become available, specifically in places where social distancing is harder to achieve.

“For example, in the poultry industry and pork industry where it's very difficult to maintain that social distancing. This is just another tool that the EEOC has approved as being, you know, the workplace is appropriate for employer to take that extra step to help protect its employees,” she added.

When it comes to places like meat packing plants, The Department of Labor just released guidelines over the weekend that include disinfecting shared equipment.

Right now it’s not mandatory for employers to offer on-site testing.