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Preparing for the Holiday Season and Beyond

It's that time of year again. Thanksgiving has arrived, and Christmas is just around the corner. The holiday season brings lots of things to prepare for each year. For those of you out shopping, there were preparations for the big Black Friday sales events. Hopefully by the time you are looking at this article you have survived the crazy rush of the day and found all those awesome bargains you went out to get today. Some of you might find preparing for the holiday season to be a bit of a waste of time this year since the Mayan's have forecast the end of the world. 

What I wanted to point out today is a bit of guidance about preparing for the Black Plague of 2012. Or maybe just a simple flu bug. OSHA has a webpage with resources that have been prepared for employers to assist in dealing with a flu pandemic which can be found here. Whether this is the year of the massive global flu outbreak or not, it might be helpful to browse the information put together by OSHA just in case. There are a few items contained in OSHA's guidance that might have some more generic applications to a non-pandemic flu season such as:

1. Develop a sick-leave policy that does not penalize sick employees for staying home. The upshot here is to keep sick employees away from the workplace so the rest of the workforce isn't infected. If your sick-leave policy is already effective and in place, make sure your supervisors watch for employees working when they should be at home recovering. This may help hold down other employee illnesses.

2. Consider having a collection of various sanitizers, cleaners, gloves, and masks available in the workplace to help prevent the spread of the flu bug.

3. Utilize electronic communications, web meetings, and phone meetings to reduce employee exposure. In addition, consider the increased use of telecommuting and working from home, should a larger-scale outbreak occur.

There are plenty more nuggets of wisdom in OSHA's materials should a true global outbreak occur. If you have a few minutes take a browse of the materials. In fact, if you end up with a little flu bug of your own, it might make good reading from the couch while you are trying to recover.


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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
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Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
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Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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