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Are Employers Prepared for Outbreak of Swine Flu?


As if a battered economy weren't bad enough, Houston employers now face the possibility of further business disruptions, uncertainty about travel and the possibility that large chunks of the work force could be forced to stay home, perhaps for a week or longer courtesy of the swine flu.

Swine flu is suspected of killing more than 100 people in Mexico and sickening hundreds more. Cases also have been reported in Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, Israel and Spain, as well as California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas in the United States.

If this outbreak continues to spread, are our employers prepared? Planning now can also help companies prepare for other kinds of disasters.

Many factors may need to be considered, depending on the circumstances of the employer. One thing is certain, however: Now is the time to examine the situation and make provisions, not on the day when 25 employees call in sick, and the rest are frightened and asking to go home.

This article appeared in the April 30, 2009 issue of The Houston Chronicle.


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