Issues for managing employees during the crisis

Have a policy for sick employees and those exposed to the virus. If an employee is sick (either testing positive for COVID-19 or showing symptoms), he or she should not work outside of home, even if he or she wishes to do so. Many employers are extending this policy to employees who have any cold symptoms or who feel sick in anyway. Further, many employers are extending stay-at-home directions to employees who have been in direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone showing symptoms or who have recently traveled to affected areas. Such orders could be extended further (e.g., someone who has been in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19) although this seems less common so far.

Have a policy to deal with those who are not sick but who do not wish to abide by company policy. This includes both employees who do not wish to take assignments outside the workplace, and any who may desire to take a more active role than requested by management.

Provide guidelines for safe activity by photographer and others who must work outside of their home. Photographers should be advised to be careful and creative – for example, do not enter the room of a person infected with COVID-19; try for creative photographs through doors or windows. While staying 6 feet away is a good practice, taking even greater care may be advisable. Photographers and reporters out in the community need to employ situational awareness and adapt their behavior to the circumstances, since no hard and fast rules can cover all situations.

Provide materials for employee safety. Photographers should wipe down their equipment and the employer should make sure that everyone has the necessary wipes. Review and follow CDC guidelines on workplace sanity and safety.