Updated on 1/06/21
Can I require an employee to travel to an important client meeting if the client is located in a domestic location where the outbreak hasn't been as severe?
Employers may still require employees to travel for important client meetings to low-risk, domestic locations. However, the following guidelines should be followed regarding business travel:
- Avoid requiring non-essential travel;
- Avoid countries identified by the CDC, and other high impact areas of the United States; and
- Avoid other non-essential day-to-day travel in order to promote social distancing.
Employers cannot prohibit employee personal travel plans, however employers can:
- Deny time off if the denial is based on the destination, business cost of a resulting quarantine, or other legitimate business-driven reasons (but not the national origin of the employee).
- Advise employees that such travel may result in quarantine or self-monitoring (including work from home, if applicable), possibly for a prolonged period (at least 14 days). Employers may consider a shorter quarantine period in accordance with CDC guidelines, which recognize a low but increased chance of transmission, of either (1) 10 days from the date of potential exposure or (2) 7 days from the date of potential exposure with a negative COVID-19 test performed at least 5 days after the date of potential exposure.
Remain aware of obligations under leave laws to allow employees leave to care for others who are ill, including persons in affected areas.
This is a fluid and rapidly changing situation and these resources are current only as of the date of publication. We recommend that you contact your local Quarles & Brady attorney regarding the most up-to-date information or with any other questions regarding this subject matter, or contact Otto Immel: (239) 659-504 / [email protected].