CDC has strong words for companies that employ pregnant women, women who are planning to become pregnant, or even men whose wives or girlfriends are contemplating pregnancy. Wow, that is a lot of people! CDC wants employers to consider letting them work indoors if they are in areas with Zika transmission – this could be upwards of 32 or more states.
What is your continuity plan for that?
It is forecasted that the virus will likely reach the US mainland this summer and this recommendation could impose a major burden on industries such as construction, agriculture, transportation, amusement parks and cafes, which employ hundreds of thousands of outdoor workers.
This general set of guidelines was issued jointly by the CDC and OSHA to protect workers from occupational exposure to the Zika virus. The greatest risk of infection is from mosquito bites, although the new guidelines recognize that the virus can also be transmitted sexually. The interim guidelines are not legally enforceable however issuing advisory guidelines is common during emergencies like epidemics.
The new guidelines also recommended that pregnant employees not travel to areas where the Zika virus is circulating and that businesses consider allowing workers who are or may become pregnant delay traveling to those areas. That recommendation also applies to the male partners of such women.
This will likely cause a scramble in many employers as the summer months approach.