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Ask Leslie: How Should I Work With A COVID-19 Safety Violator?

By Leslie Zieren, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

Dear Leslie:

Per our written safety policies, we all wear masks in the workplace. We physical distance; have barriers installed; use HEPA filters; wash our hands; and the common areas and individual offices are sanitized several times a week. Some people work at home; others are here. We want to do everything we can to avoid the coronavirus, and we think we are doing a good job. However, there is one employee, Mike, who arrives at work wearing a mask, but throughout the day, when he exits his individual office, he will walk to the copier or to the restroom through the common area without his mask. 

What can I do? 

Signed: Joe


Dear Joe:

Mike is violating your organization's written safety policies and procedures. Talk to Mike if you feel safe doing so and, if not or if you are ignored, then bring the concerns to upper management. They have put in place all these precautions for a reason.

This is an excellent time for upper management to set a good example and enforce the policy. By doing so, other employees will feel safe and Mike will be more protected.

Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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