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BY: RUSSELL D. MAYER, ADV.

CHEN LIVNAT, ADV.

SUBJECT: DEALING WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN THE WORKPLACE

DATE: MAY 2009

We have been asked to provide our advice with respect to safeguarding the work environment
in the context of exposure to infectious diseases. We are taking the liberty of sharing that
advice with our clients and friends.

Employers need to take into consideration, and attempt to balance, several potentially
conflicting factors (the “Factors”) in determining how to best address circumstances which may
develop:

1. an employer’s obligation, generally, to provide a safe work environment;


2. prohibition of defaming an individual;
3. an individual’s right to earn a livelihood.
4. an employee’s right to privacy;
5. the State’s legitimate interest to prevent or at least minimize the spread of infectious
diseases;

Under all circumstances, an employer is expected to act with a standard of not less than that of
the reasonable man. With the worldwide concern with respect to the possibility of a pandemic,
every person is expected to exercise extra caution – beyond typical precautions – and care in
order to contain the spread of disease. Unsubstantiated rumors should be reasonably and
diplomatically examined before actions are implemented which would assume the truth of the
assertions while at the same time taking the Factors into consideration.

We believe that employers should implement the following procedures:

(a) distribute to all employees instructions with respect to how one is to behave if he has, or
reasonably believes that he has, an infectious disease – attached is a sample of those
instructions (the “Policy”);

(b) the Policy should be objectively respected and implemented with respect to all
employees without discrimination or favoritism;

Jerusalem Technology Park, Building 9; P.O. Box 48193, Malcha, Jerusalem 914 81 ISRAEL
Tel #: +972-2-679-9533 Fax #: +972-2-679-9522
Email: mayer@livmaylaw.co.il Url: www.livmaylaw.co.il
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(c) employees whom the employer knows or suspects have infectious diseases should be
reminded of the Policy in private and without drawing attention that the communication
is being made;

(d) if the employer knows or reasonably suspects that an employee has a debilitating or
extremely serious infectious disease, that employee should be instructed to leave the
workplace as soon as possible, to seek medical care and to remain outside of the office
until the employee can present a note from a licensed medical doctor confirming that the
employee is sufficiently healthy to return to the workplace and that the employee is not
contagious nor poses a risk of infecting others;

(e) if the employer knows or reasonably suspects that an employee has the H1N1 virus
(AKA “Swine Flu”), she should advise those employees that may have come into close
contact with that individual, that they should seek professional medical advice.

* * *

Best wishes for your and your employees’ good health.

This memorandum is not to be considered as a legal opinion.


For legal advice, we suggest that you contact legal counsel directly.

R.D.M.

© 2009 - All rights reserved


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SUBJECT: EMPLOYER POLICY WITH RESPECT TO INFECTIOUS DISEASES


DATE: MAY 2009

Please note that we are concerned about the health, safety and welfare of our employees,
customers, staff and visitors. We are, therefore, implementing the following policy which
should be strictly adhered to by all employees:
1. abide by and implement all instructions of the Israeli Ministry of Health;
2. maintain good hygiene including:
(a) wash your hands – frequently with soap and water and before eating, before
handling food or food utensils, before leaving the washroom, after coming into
contact with sputum or nasal discharges or after coughing or sneezing or after
touching an object such as a tissue which already was exposed to any nasal or
oral discharge;
(b) do not touch other’s nose, mouth or eyes if you are not feeling well or if the
other person does not feel well – wash your hands well before you touch others
if you are not feeling well and after you touch others if they are not feeling well;
(c) cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing with a clean tissue and
not with your hand if possible. The tissue should be safely disposed of after use
and you should wash your hands well afterwards.
3. If you have a fever or otherwise suspect that you have an infectious disease, do not come
to the workplace but rather see a physician as soon as possible (if you are already at
work and develop a fever or otherwise suspect that you have an infectious disease, you
should advise your supervisor, leave the workplace and seek medical care). Do not
return to the workplace unless you can present to your supervisor written confirmation
from a licensed medical doctor that you are fit to return to work and are not contagious
of any infectious disease.
4. If you have a chronic infectious disease, you should follow your doctor’s instructions
with respect to your own health and the prevention of infecting others
5. Seek to avoid transmitting infectious diseases to others. You should be aware that with
respect to dangerous, infectious diseases, Section 218 of Israel’s Penal Code provides
that if someone negligently causes or allows the spread of life-threatening
infectious diseases he can be sent to prison for 3 years and if he intentionally
caused the spread of such a disease, he can be imprisoned for 7 years.
6. Without derogating from the above, you should use common sense.

With best wishes for your continued good health!!!