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Employers Try To Find a Policy Path for Ebola


Kevin Troutman was quoted in Austin American Statesman on November 10, 2014. The article “Employers Try To Find a Policy Path for Ebola” examined the rising concerns of employers regarding what steps they should be taking with workers, what kind of communication they should share and how to handle suspected cases or instance where employees travel to Ebola-stricken countries.

Kevin was quoted on the rising interest of employers regarding the Ebola outbreak and what they can do to better prepare themselves for future unforeseen pandemics.

Fisher Phillips was inundated with interest when the Atlanta-based firm offered to host a webinar on Ebola, said Kevin. The first webinar co-hosted by Kevin, maxed out with 1,000 participants that included senior-level executives, consultant, and even lawyers. That forced the firm to hold a second webinar, which drew hundreds more. In all, nearly 2,000 participated in the webinars, said Kevin.

“People are concerned. They are probably confused as to what they should do,” said Kevin. “This situation involved a weighing and balancing of risks: ‘What if an Ebola infected person or employee comes into your workplace?’ You have to balance that against the rights of individual employees and avoid any kind of overreaction.

Employers could restrict workers, depending on their risk level, from rejoining the workplace and ask instead for a self-quarantine,

The key, Kevin said, is following general, state and local guidelines.

“Employers need to be on their toes and not get caught flat-footed when these kind of issues arise,” said Kevin. “I would emphasize these main themes: Get information, share that information with your employees, no knee-jerk reactions, and get prepared for the next time.”


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