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COVID-19 Business Resources

The Tennessee Chamber is committed to helping businesses create a positive work climate. COVID-19 has impacted the way we work and live; It is imperative that Tennessee employers are prepared to handle this pandemic and how we return to work safely.  We are sending periodic updates and business resources; Click here to sign-up if you are not receiving those e-mails.  Below are some resources gathered to help educate employers on the coronavirus.   

OSHA: Coronavirus Resources Page



Additional Resources for Employers and Chambers



How Does the Coronavirus Spread?

Coronavirus typically spreads between people within six feet of each other through respiratory secretions, especially coughing and sneezing. Currently, it is unknown whether the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it.

What Can Employers Do Now?

It is imperative that employers maintain open communication with their employees. Employers should ensure that they have updated contact information for current employees and stay informed of the latest news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease.” The CDC recommends employers begin implementing the following steps now:

  • Encourage employees with acute respiratory illnesses to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Advise employees about the risks prior to travel to countries that have had a significant outbreak
  • Consider informing employees in the case of possible exposure in the workplace

Can Employers Require Employees to Undergo Medical Examinations?

As stated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” employers may not require medical examinations under the ADA unless the medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Whether a medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity depends upon the facts presented (e.g., what are the employee’s symptoms, where has the employee been, etc.) and the latest CDC guidance on coronavirus.

Situation Summary (Updated 3/21/20): 
CDC is responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease spreading from person-to-person caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.

In the case of a pandemic, employers have the right to send employees home if they show coronavirus-like symptoms at work. Also, employers may enquire if employees are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms as long as they are mindful of confidentiality obligations. Finally, if an employee returns from traveling during a pandemic, an employer may ask the employee whether they are returning from a location where that individual may have been exposed to the virus.

Letter to Tennessee House Delegation: Vote Yes on CARES Act
Tennessee Chamber Commends Governor Lee for Business Conscious Approach, Urges Continued Caution
Governor Bill Lee names Bradley Jackson, President & CEO of the Tennessee Chamber to the Coronavirus Task Force
U.S. Chamber Letter on Legislation to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic


Disclaimer: The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TN Chamber) seeks to provide access to recommendations, regulations, services and expertise to its members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this mission remains constant. Prior to acting, members should consult their own professional advisors for information and counsel specific to the individual and unique situations faced by organizations, individuals and corporations. The opinions, interpretations and recommendations of the TN Chamber are informational only and should not be relied upon by the recipient as legal or professional advice. The TN Chamber makes no representations as to the accuracy or reliability of the content contained herein. Users of this information accept any and all risks associated with the use of such information and agree that the TN Chamber has no liability to user.

© Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry