With cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) significantly on the rise, the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and Governor Baker recently declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth, employers should be prepared to address a number of potentially complicated employment-related issues that may result. This Client Alert is intended to assist employers in addressing scenarios that are likely to arise as the coronavirus spreads. 
As an initial matter, employers are well-advised to review the latest interim guidance for employers and businesses from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which can be found here . Among other recommendations, the CDC advises that employers should “actively encourage sick employees to stay home,” separate employees who “appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day” and send them home immediately, and perform “routine environmental cleaning” of the office. 
In addition to the CDC’s guidance, we have laid out several FAQs addressing anticipated employment-related scenarios that may result from the coronavirus. This is not an exhaustive list of possible situations and each particular circumstance may differ depending on the facts involved. For these reasons, it is recommended that employers consult with counsel if they are unsure about a particular course of action.