The health and safety of our employees, contractors, and customers is our highest priority. Over the past several weeks, William B. Meyer has been closely monitoring the developments regarding COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus). Below please find information regarding how we will respond to the risks presented by COVID-19.
William B. Meyer’s Response on Coronavirus
William B. Meyer expects that all employees, contractors, service providers, and other representatives follow the guidance published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it is updated, as well as any specific instructions or directives from local health departments. This guidance includes immediately sending home workers who have acute respiratory illness and/or who have been exposed to the virus, quarantining workers who have tested positive for the virus, and taking additional personal hygiene, personal protection, and surface cleaning steps. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread community outbreaks of COVID-19. Further information on guidance from the CDC can be accessed here.
With the prescribed CDC guidance, there are a variety of actions we will take to protect against Coronavirus in our workplace, including, but not limited to, asking personnel with acute respiratory symptoms to go home, re-assigning personnel, and providing some personnel the flexibility to work from home. However, as with all personnel decisions, federal and state employment law considerations will be taken into account.
William B. Meyer has an Emergency Response and Business Continuity Plan that has been tailored to our operations and workforce. This plan shall be followed should conditions escalate or warrant it’s use. Our plan includes elements such as mass communication protocols; work-from-home procedures; when to notify authorities or summon assistance; decision-making and authority protocols; building evacuation, shelter or lockdown procedures; and interaction with the media.
As it relates to our customers, the impact of the Coronavirus on our service offering is in how we interact with our customers in their homes and businesses. We need to be especially mindful we are not unintentionally putting our customers or ourselves at risk during on-site visits.
We encourage our team to choose methods that will minimize personal contact. We will ask our customer service and salespeople to ask questions that will provide information to help assess any risks. Based upon information provided by the CDC, these questions will be related to travel outside the United States, contact with or exposure to any persons diagnosed with Coronavirus, and/or symptoms consistent with Coronavirus. If those questions result in a medium or high-risk situation, the matter will be elevated to an appropriate decision-maker.
We will make sure William B. Meyer has implemented the CDC guidelines and other precautions, so as to minimize the risk of ill service representatives working on any given assignment. Upon request, we are ready to inform of the steps we have implemented to minimize the number of ill individuals who may be working with the general public in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our team will endeavor to keep at least six feet of space between themselves and the customer. Coronavirus is primarily spread between humans who are in close contact, through respiratory droplets produced due to coughs or sneezes. The CDC also recommends limiting handshakes and encourages fist or elbow bumps instead.
Facemasks could be used if needed. While we would not discourage any person’s decision to utilize them, please note per the CDC, facemasks generally do not prevent healthy individuals from acquiring Coronavirus. Instead, facemasks are used by people with symptoms to help prevent spreading the virus to others. We would ask you give consideration to the fact there is potential for a medical supplies shortage in combating the virus. However, we will not make assumptions based upon a customer wearing a mask. Many people wear them as a means of protective equipment in the case of respiratory outbreaks, and it does not necessarily mean they have Coronavirus or are at risk of having been exposed to Coronavirus.
With respect to handling physical objects, it should be noted while there is little information currently available about Coronavirus transmission via contact with objects, and it is not considered the primary transmission source. Still, we recommend the use of hand sanitizers and/or disposable latex gloves. Our employees and contractors have been instructed to follow CDC guidance on hand-washing, and to bring sterilizing wipes that can be utilized to wipe down certain fixtures before use.
If a customer raises the possibility they have Coronavirus or our employees and contractors are uncomfortable with the situation, without unduly raising alarm, we reserve the right to reschedule the job and remove the team from the premises. We will not attempt to assess for ourselves whether a person has or is at risk of having Coronavirus.
As it relates to more industry specific customers, we will attempt to follow all customer directions and precautions regarding working, if provided, and in accordance with the prescribed guidelines.
Finally, even in midst of worries Coronavirus may become more widespread, we have an obligation to treat our customers fairly. We will not engage in conduct that would constitute disability, race or national origin discrimination. We will not treat all ill persons as if they have Coronavirus if risk factors are not present, and do not generalize based upon news reports of the countries in which Coronavirus has appeared.