Considerations for Multinational Employers: COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Apps

SHRM

Erika C. Collins and Ryan H. Hutzler, attorneys in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, co-authored an article in SHRM, titled “Considerations for Multinational Employers: COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Apps.”

Following is an excerpt:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect workplaces throughout the world, employers are considering new ways to ensure a safe workplace when employees return to the office. Outside the U.S., employers must balance their duty of care to protect the health and safety of all their employees with the need to safeguard employees' privacy and comply with data-protection regulations.

Many employers already have analyzed whether they may require or request that employees do the following:

  • Submit to COVID-19 testing at the workplace.
  • Certify certain health information regarding exposure to COVID-19.
  • Wear a face covering in the workplace.

Another relatively recent development employers outside the U.S. should consider is whether they may require or request that employees download a COVID-19 contact-tracing app to their smartphones in order to track employees' movements and contacts. This will enable employers to alert employees if they have been exposed to a co-worker with COVID-19.