Help Your Employees Feel Safe Psychologically When Reopening
It's crucial they are emotionally secure in their workplace
As the doors to stores, offices, and manufacturing plants open again, leaders are grappling with new local and federal safety procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But whatever number of facemasks or bottles of hand sanitizer are on hand, business owners still need to make sure employees feel safe, both in the workplace and around customers.
One group of Amazon workers clearly doesn't feel that way. Last week, Amazon warehouse employees in New York City sued the retail giant, claiming that its working conditions put them and their family members at risk of contracting COVID-19. They accused Amazon of violating public nuisance and employee safety laws by misinforming workers of the dangers. Amazon said Wednesday it was reviewing the complaint, according to Bloomberg.
"If there is not a good process and procedure in place for employees to bring those concerns forward and feel that they are being addressed, companies run the risk of one of these Amazon-type suits," said Erin McLaughlin, labor and employment attorney at Pittsburgh-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. McLaughlin said a lawsuit like that could be fatal for small businesses that don't have deep pockets.
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