As business owners and operators, your business plan should always include the health and safety of your guests and employees. Generally, this involves physical hazards or barriers, but did you know this can include public health hazards?
We've all been hearing and reading about the impact the Coronavirus is having on global travel. In the golf business, a large percentage of our guests are world travelers. The impact this new virus will have on our industry is still unknown but you need to be aware of and prepare for the impact should it present itself in your golf club environment.
Our service employees are the most susceptible to coming into contact with individuals who have been exposed to the virus. So what should we do? According to the CDC, in addition to monitoring the CDC website, remember to take everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses of all kinds:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with the virus in the last 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care.
- Before going to the doctor, call ahead to inform them of your recent travels or symptoms.
Because of the significant health hazards associated with this disease, and in the event an employee contracts the virus as a result of occupational exposure, the employee is entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits in lieu of wages, reasonable and necessary medical treatment. If the employee contracts the disease from other than occupational exposure, they may still be eligible for disability benefits, depending on your insurance coverage.
If your club operation employs more than 50 people, the employee also is entitled to the benefits of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for themselves and any immediate family members affected by the virus. In many states, this is paid leave.