Group 4 Created with Sketch.

Episode 13: Health Screening and Unemployment on the Farm During COVID-19

Share
station description The educational Farm Commons podcast.
Farm Commons
Duration: 22:38
Show Notes:
In this episode, Eva and Rachel discuss important considerations for farmers who want to health screen employees on the farm with temperature checks and what to be wary of regarding unemployment and discrimination.
Many farmers are just as concerned with what the COVID-19 pandemic means
Snippets are a new way to share audio!
You can clip a small part of any file to share, add to playlist, and transcribe automatically. Just click the to create your snippet!
Snippets: Clips of Episode 13: Health Screening and Unemployment on the Farm During COVID-19 that people like
There are currently no snippets from Episode 13: Health Screening and Unemployment on the Farm During COVID-19.
Snippets are an easy way to highlight your favorite soundbite from any piece of audio and share with friends, or make a trailer for Farm Commons
Playlists that Episode 13: Health Screening and Unemployment on the Farm During COVID-19 appears on.
There are currently no playlists containing this audio.
Add this audio track to one of your playlists
Add to Playlist
Up Next
Full Description
Back to Top
Show Notes:
In this episode, Eva and Rachel discuss important considerations for farmers who want to health screen employees on the farm with temperature checks and what to be wary of regarding unemployment and discrimination.
Many farmers are just as concerned with what the COVID-19 pandemic means for food safety, employee equity issues aside. Say you’ve done the best you can to offer sick time but you are still worried about exposure for you, fellow employees, and customers. Say you want to protect your workplace by screening – can you ask about social contacts they’ve had? Can you take their temperature at the door? It’s hard to say. Employers can’t require employees to undergo a medical examination unless necessary for job performance, and taking a temperature is an examination. Normally, a temperature of 98.6 isn’t necessary to perform most jobs. Where is the line? And what will you do when folks are running a temperature? Maybe it’s from COVID-19, but maybe not. Will you send them home? With or without pay? If it’s without, you are risking dismissing them opening you up to potential discrimination claims.
So, can you force an employee to stay home? Can you prohibit them from coming to work? Well, that’s usually called firing someone, so see what we said above! But, can you send them home for the day? Send them home for 14 days? If you are sending someone home without pay, you are likely firing them… We need to take a step back and think about how the law looks at these issues. Farm workers are generally at will employees. If a worker isn’t under a contract, they are at will (assuming you aren’t in Montana). What is at will? It means the employer can fire an individual worker at any time and for any legal reason. “For any legal reason” means unless a reason is illegal, a person can be let go. You can let a person go for any number of reasons: e.g. you don’t like their performance.So, why are we asking this question? What are we afraid of? We are afraid of two things. First, a claim of discrimination. We want to be able to show we didn’t discriminate against someone on the basis of a protected class. Protected classes? It’s a legal term. The state and federal government tell us on what bases we may discriminate and on which we may not. For example, can a farm let a woman go because she becomes pregnant? No, that’s illegal. The second thing is unemployment insurance. Persons let go through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment. The business is worried that the person will collect unemployment. What’s wrong with that? It causes the employer’s unemployment tax rate to go up. But let’s get back to the issue at hand. You have a worker who isn’t practicing social distancing. You know they went out to a big party last week. Can you let them go?  Is it discriminatory? Maybe. Was it a party for a religious holiday? Was it a baby shower? A fight is possible. Can they collect unemployment insurance? Well… Most farm workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits anyways but let’s set that aside… They are eligible if they were dismissed through no fault of their own. Going to a party has little to do with work so likely this threshold is met. If you asked them not to? Well, we’re getting dicey here. We don’t have thorough policy for a pandemic. We don’t normally allow businesses to tell employees what they can and can’t do in their personal lives. So long as it doesn’t create a safety issue on the job. You’re taking a risk if you do it. You’re also taking a risk if you don’t.
Bottom line is having people go home without pay because of their medical condition or social practices outside of work is risky. You minimize that risk if you give them their pay and they keep their job. You can also consider modifying the job to eliminate risk, e.g. asking an unwell employee to work on inventory and packing orders rather than selling at market or delivering orders. You can also lay people off. Just remember what we’re afraid of – discrimination and unemployment insurance.
For more information on farm unemployment, read our Hiring a Farm Employee: Tax and Paperwork Checklist for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvan
Up Next
Add to playlist
New playlist

Embed

COPY
Embed Options
Create Playlist
Select the Station you want to upload this audio to
Station
0 / 140
0 / 2000
Playlist Icon Image:
(.jpg, .png, min size 500x500px)
Privacy
Subscribers
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Password reset

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with your username and a link to reset your password.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Password reset sent

You have been sent instructions on resetting you password to the email associated with your account. Please check your email and signing in again.


Back to Sign In
If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Reset password

Please enter your new password below.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your voice matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Verify Email

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with a link to verify your email.



Cancel
Delete Profile
Are you sure? We will miss you :'(
Delete
Delete Audio
Are you sure?
Delete
Delete Playlist
Are you sure you want to delete this playlist?
Delete
Notifications
You must be signed in to view
your notifications. Please sign in
Edit Snippet
0 / 140
0 / 140

Tag a Station

Type station name to add additional tags
*Station owners will be notified when you tag them
Open this link in the Vurbl Mobile App for the full Vurbl experience.
Open in Vurbl mobile app
Continue to Vurbl website