August 3, 2020

Volume X, Number 216

August 03, 2020

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Coronavirus Concerns Continue as CDC Issues Additional Travel Notices

As employers are likely aware, cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19, but more commonly known simply as the “Coronavirus”) continue to spread. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to maintain that the risk to the general U.S. population presently remains low, the CDC is now stating that “[m]ore cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States,” and that “[i]t’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States.”

This assessment comes after the CDC expanded its Coronavirus travel notices to a number of additional locations. Most notably, on February 24, 2020, the CDC issued a level 3 travel notice for South Korea, recommending that individuals avoid nonessential travel to the country. This follows the issuance of a similar level 3 notice for mainland China earlier in the outbreak on January 27.

Additionally, the CDC has issued level 2 travel notices for ItalyJapan, and Iran, advising high risk travelers, such as older adults and/or those with chronic medical conditions, to practice heightened precautions while traveling or consider postponing nonessential travel all together.  A level 1 travel notice has been issued for Hong Kong, recommending that travelers follow usual sanitary precautions (e.g., hand washing, avoiding contact with those who are sick, and watching for potential Coronavirus symptoms), though at this time the CDC is not recommending that travelers cancel or postpone travel to Hong Kong. Further, the CDC is stating that “community spread” of the Coronavirus (defined as individuals being infected with the virus but not knowing exactly how or where they became infected) has been detected in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, though no official travel notices have yet been issued for these locations.

This continues to be a rapidly changing situation, and employers are strongly advised to frequently monitor the CDCWorld Health Organization (WHO), and U.S. State Department websites for further information about the spread of the Coronavirus and its local impact. Employers should also consult the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, which we discuss in more detail here.

Further, in light of the new CDC notices, many employers are also starting to consider enacting or expanding employee travel restrictions and/or “quarantine” protocols (e.g., remote work requirements) for workers traveling from affected areas. Employers considering such measures are advised to consult with counsel, as certain considerations including anti-discrimination, wage and hour, and leave policies may be implicated. Employers may also consult our more detailed (and frequently updated) blog on Coronavirus and the Workplace: What Employers Need To Know, where we discuss a number of employment-related concerns regarding the virus, including managing employee travel, OSHA requirements, leave and accommodation considerations, and more.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 57

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About this Author

Evandro Gigante Labor and Employment Lawyer Proskauer Rose Law FIrm
Partner

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of sexual harassment, race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force, employee relations issues and other sensitive employment matters.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment claims,...

212.969.3132
Guy Brenner, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Rose, arbitration proceedings Lawyer
Partner

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues, medical and disability leave matters, employee/independent contractor classification issues, and the investigation and litigation of whistleblower claims. He assists employers in negotiating and drafting executive agreements and employee mobility agreements, including non-competition, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements, and also conducts and supervises internal investigations.

Guy advises federal government contractors and subcontractors all aspects of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations and requirements, including preparing affirmative action plans, responding to desk audits, and managing on-site audits.

Guy is a former clerk to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court of the District of Columbia.

202-416-6830
Laura M. Fant, Labor & Employment Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Laura M. Fant is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the New York office. She is a member of the Accessibility and Accommodations Practice Group, and frequently counsels on matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state public accommodation law, as well as disability accommodation in the workplace. She has experience conducting accessibility audits and providing ADA and accessibility training for clients in a variety of sectors, including retail, sports, and not-for-profit. Her practice also focuses on wage and hour...

212-969-3631
Nayirie K. Mehdikhani Associate California Employment Law Hiring & Terminations Labor-Management Relations
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Nayirie Mehdikhani is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Nayirie represents clients in federal and state litigations, arbitrations, labor-management relations and collective bargaining, as well as, employment matters, including, class actions and employment discrimination.

Previously, Nayirie served as Assistant General Counsel at the New York City Mayor's Office of Labor Relations, where she represented the Mayor and City agencies in every phase of labor administrative proceedings including arbitration, improper practice matters and collective bargaining...

310-284-5664