Updated OSHA Guidance: Employers Are Required to Investigate Whether Coronavirus Infections Are Work-Related

All employers, not just those with high levels of coronavirus exposure in the workplace, now must determine whether employees who have COVID-19 contracted it at work. The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement reverses the previous, April 10, 2020 guidance which required only employers in the healthcare industry, emergency-response organizations and correctional institutions to record work-related coronavirus cases. To comply with the May 26 OSHA’s guidance, whenever an employee becomes ill with COVID-19, the employer needs to conduct a mini-investigation. Employers will have to look for information about the cause of an employee’s virus infection while respecting the employee’s privacy. If the employee contracted the coronavirus at work or while performing work-related activities, the employer must record the illness on the OSHA Form 300.