Workplace Investigations Reveal Issues Related to COVID Compliance in the Workplace

June 7, 2021

social distancing sign The Public Will Likely be the Whistleblowers Regarding COVID Compliance in the Workplace

COVID compliance in the workplace has been put in the spotlight as many regions experience rolling lockdowns that have challenged the viability of small to medium-sized businesses. Face masks, social distancing, and the closure of small businesses have created many frustrated business owners whose non-compliance could open the door for a flood of complaints from workers and the general public.

Now, during the third wave of COVID-19, compliance is under a microscope from the general public. Should complaints be issued to public authorities, workplace investigations and fines could cause your business serious, unnecessary financial hardship. The number of complaints against companies has seen a steady rise, and North American retailers, personal service professionals, and institutions should know that the general public is the ultimate whistleblowers for COVID compliance.

The Cold Hard Facts Regarding COVID-19 Compliance

Businesses that willingly defy public health measures or partake in non-compliance can be subject to government-imposed workplace investigations and fines. Bending the rules hasn’t been largely tolerated by social media, and the general public is quick to record businesses not complying with government-imposed protocols.

More importantly, small businesses that endanger the wellbeing of the general public by not complying with public health measures could expose the general public to the virus. Many companies, including gyms and personal services, can’t reopen safely at this time, and should they defy orders, they are willingly risking the public’s health. The consequences of such actions could result in the ultimate closure of your business.

officer worker with mask Workplace Investigations - A Complicated Matter in the Wake of COVID-19

Should a serious incident or outbreak occur within your business, you could be faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses. The cost of defending your business in a litigious manner is much higher than the costs of ensuring that your business remains compliant or closing temporarily. The price tag of a formal workplace investigation, government-issued fines, and general counsel far outweigh the financial burdens of properly addressing government-imposed public health protocols.

If your business is facing any legal challenges or workplace investigations, it is not a DIY (do-it-yourself) project that can be fixed internally. Workplace investigations require a third-party specialist who is highly informed on COVID-19 compliance business issues in your region. Investigations of this kind are highly complicated and could require legal counsel as well.

The challenges of workplace investigations must be addressed with outside, third-party assistance.

Final Judgement for COVID Compliance Comes from the General Public

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been inundated with complaints from the general public, reporting well over 60,000 reported incidents across federal and state-level offices. The public regulatory body works hand-in-hand with the American Department of Labor in the United States and reports on the nature of the public’s feedback.

With the emergence of smartphones and social media, COVID-19 compliance issues can quickly make their way online, becoming easily shareable for thousands to see. Social media communities have been quick to publicly shame businesses that aren’t in compliance with proper public health regulations. Videos that are shared online on digital mediums like Twitter and Facebook and can draw unwanted attention and publicity. Posts written by everyday people can even attract tens of thousands of views and potentially harm your business’s reputation in your immediate neighborhood.

These images and videos can be used in workplace investigations as evidence, resulting in endless legal troubles and financial hardships.

work investigation Navigate Workplace Investigations Related to COVID-19 Compliance or Non-Compliance

Today, small business owners are being challenged on their ability to maintain their operations and productivity while keeping staff and the general public safe and healthy. AFIMAC can offer guidance and tools for any workplace experiencing challenges with COVID-19 compliance or non-compliance. This includes third-party workplace investigations and specialized guidance through difficult compliance issues for small to medium-sized businesses. We can help guide you through any issues related to compliance investigations, including fines and legal challenges.

AFIMAC can help any employer ensure that they fulfill their duty of care obligations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us directly to learn more about available services and offerings regarding workplace investigations of all kinds.
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