More than 33% of companies reported workers who were “stranded” from their home work base for an extended period of time, according to two surveys done by CNBC in February.
While many companies have business continuity plans to deal with emergencies, with some having infectious disease management plans, Amber Clayton is still fielding questions. Clayton directs the Society for Human Resource Management’s Knowledge Center.
For employees who are coming home from China, employers are asking if those workers have to come back to work right away and if the company can require they stay home, Clayton says. “Employers worry about this, and that’s not a bad thing,” Clayton notes. “Employers need to assess each individual case. Say a worker came back from China, whether for business or pleasure, and a company asked the employee to work from home.... There’s nothing that says they can’t ask an employee to work from home if the person has the available resources and ability."