Michael Schmidt spoke to Law360 Pulse to discuss the challenges employers face with employees with long-term COVID-19 symptoms. But even before accommodation and leave requests start trickling in, employers would be wise to have their protocols for handling those requests locked in and avoid trying to figure out what to do on the fly, according to Michael. "They need to know now what those protocols are going to be and who's going to be involved in making those decisions so that those processes are in place," he said, adding that company leaders also should know "how they are going to go about determining the need for accommodations versus whether an individual is unable to return and what may be available from either a short-term disability or long-term disability standpoint." Similarly, employers also should move quickly to get managers and supervisors trained so they know the rules of the road when dealing with long-haulers. "They're the ones who really need to know what they can do, what they can't do, what they shouldn't say, and who to direct any type of need or request to within the company," he said of frontline supervisors who interact with workers on a daily basis.
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