By Anaridis Rodriguez

BOSTON (CBS) — If you’re still going to work everyday and someone at your job has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, do you have the right to know? Employment lawyer Kevin Kinne says you do.

“What we’ve been recommending to employers is to notify their workforce who may have been exposed, but not disclose the name of the person who has the virus,” Kinne said. “That way you’re protecting the privacy of the individual and you’re also keeping the workplace safe.”

But for essential employees, staying safe on a shift is nothing short of nerve-wracking.
“These are times of uncertainty. On the job we are very uncertain — who could be a carrier and not know it? Who could be sick and not know it? The stress level is up there,” said Bill, a Stop & Shop employee.
Fernando Lemus, president of UFCW Local 1445, is fighting for Bill’s workers’ rights. The union represents around 8,000 grocery store employees. He says at least five that they know of have tested positive for the virus.
“The company’s protocol at this point is to look at video tapes and to see who the person who’s been infected has been in close contact with for three minutes or more,” Lemus said.
Lemus is now stressing the grocery chain do more to minimize the risk of exposure by limiting the number of shoppers entering the store at one time. So far, Market Basket and Whole Foods have adopted the measure.
“Whether it’s the governor or the company or every other supermarket out there, union or not union, they should be doing this,” Lemus said.

But Massachusetts officials did not require shopper limits in its latest public health order. In a statement to WBZ, Stop & Shop said they’re taking all precautions necessary to keep employees safe, adding “we are in compliance with local and state regulations as it relates to the number of people in a store.”

Anaridis Rodriguez


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