Human Resource Professional Says Workers Are ‘Afraid To Voice How They Feel’ About Returning To Workplace

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The coronavirus is showing no signs of going anywhere but more people are being called back to the workplace.

So how do you return safely and responsibly? Experts tell KDKA it’s all about transparency.


“A lot of people are really afraid to voice how they feel about it,” said Sandra Mervosh, the program coordinator of human resources at Point Park University.


The conversation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic may be awkward to have, but according to experts, dialogue about the virus must be open between employers and employees.


“If you’re not aware of your company’s policies and procedures, ask,” said Mervosh.


As Mervosh explains, in some cases, employers have teams of people or online platforms where workers can report coronavirus-related concerns. Make sure you know which options your job offers, Mervosh said.


If you believe you have tested positive for coronavirus, have been exposed or are getting tested, Mervosh said to use one of those platforms to alert your job. Otherwise, let your boss know directly and notify your healthcare provider.


All of this should be done within 24 hours, Mervosh said.


When it comes to alerting your boss about a possible coronavirus exposure, Mervosh told KDKA that there’s no such thing as too much communication.


“I would rather err on the side of call me too many times. Let me know if there’s any exposure,” Mervosh said.


If you notice a co-worker is not following safety guidelines, before reporting them to your boss or contacting human resources, experts suggest approaching them about the situation politely.


“If you see someone not wearing a mask, you might want to simply state, ‘Oh, hey, do you need a mask? I have an extra. It’s clean,’” said Mervosh.


If you think you may have contracted the coronavirus while on the job, Mervosh said you can file a worker’s compensation claim through your job’s human resources department.


However, Mervosh said these claims can often go unsubstantiated due to challenges pinpointing the origin of the infection. You may have a legal case but your steps will be traced to ensure you limited exposure outside the office.


“It would be a case by case because it’s going to be very difficult to prove exactly where you contracted the virus, especially because there’s so many individuals who are asymptomatic,” said Mervosh.