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Can an employer force you to self quarantine for travel out of the country (thread started 3-10-20)

BarbmC

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My husband works for a small privately owned private K-8 school, in New Jersey. The people who own the school have made a policy that anyone who travels out of the country must self quarantine for 14 days upon return. We are due to leave for Aruba on 4/10. Aruba is not a "hot spot" Does anyone know if this is legal for her to do? Trying to weigh our options here. I understand the safety concerns, and should the CDC recommend against travel to Aruba, I would abide by their regulations.
 

Passepartout

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He's much better off to get a ruling from his employer before departure than from us. If they continue his salary, and self-quarantine is a condition of continued employment, then his staying home upon return from Aruba is 'what he does for a living'. If it's a condition of him returning to work upon his return and there's no pay involved, then you and he have a decision.

Now, I would think that since Aruba is not on CDC's current list of countries where the CV-19 virus is a known risk, he has a good chance of a waiver of his quarantine requirement- but that 'clean' rating is subject to change. e.g. a week ago tourists and locals could come and go freely in Italy, and by yesterday the whole country is in lock-down at home.

The situation is in flux now. Maybe by the time your return is happening, the authorities will have decided that efforts to contain the illness are futile and the economic cost of quarantine is too high, so everyone may as well accept that there is a new disease on the world stage and everyone is simply non their own until a vaccine is developed- and that may be 1 1/2 years.

Jim
 

1Kflyerguy

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That's a tough situation and i am not sure about the legality of this. It may vary by state or region. As others have mentioned the situation is so fluid, it hard to know if a particular destination will still be safe by the time you return.

I live in Ca and we are being hit hard in my country. Locally a lot of parents are wanting to keep their kids home, but so far most school districts are resistant to that. I can see how having staff that travel internationally may cause more concern with parents.

Of course there are plenty of areas with concentrations of infection in US, so you don't need to leave to catch this.
 

theo

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My husband works for a small privately owned private K-8 school, in New Jersey. The people who own the school have made a policy that anyone who travels out of the country must self quarantine for 14 days upon return. We are due to leave for Aruba on 4/10. Aruba is not a "hot spot" Does anyone know if this is legal for her to do? Trying to weigh our options here. I understand the safety concerns, and should the CDC recommend against travel to Aruba, I would abide by their regulations.

While not offering any legal advice or opinion, I would certainly be inclined to believe that a privately owned school could indeed impose such defensive measures, particularly in view of the venue being protected involving young children, together in close quarters. I'm reasonably sure that the owners of the private school would much prefer to deal with the dissatisfaction of one (or several) employee(s) than with (who-knows-how-many) irate and angry parents if one of their teachers, however inadvertently, "imported" and then "shared" a surprise, unwelcome and communicable viral "gift" as a direct consequence of the teachers' international travel.

That Aruba itself is not a "hot spot"seems (to me, anyhow) completely irrelevant, in view of the many different geographic origins of the many travelers going to and from the destination, necessarily involving multiple countries and numerous assorted airlines. :shrug:
 
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geekette

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legality doesn't enter into it, it's school policy, not law. If it's in the handbook or otherwise demonstrated policy, it's a choice to abide by the rule or not. There could be consequences, or maybe not. But I do not foresee jail time either way.
 

1Kflyerguy

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LOL!! Just curious as to when California became a country? Or did you mean "county"? :unsure:

Yes, typing too fast i guess... I meant county, specifically Santa Clara County.. At the moment we have 43 cases, and 1 death.
 

Tacoma

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My thoughts are if the teacher is being asked to self quarantine for 14 days (whether with or without a salary) those rules then need to apply to all of the students as well. I'm sure some parent will avoid telling or even lie but passports could be checked. If a staff is a threat so are all of the students. What if the students parents travel out of the country? This can go on and on.
 

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I think a year ago it would have been an issue

Today with this Global problem I think the school might be praised before punished
 

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moonstone

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Our DD who works in municipal government at a township near us has just received a memo staying that any employee returning from a vacation anywhere outside of Canada must self quarantine for 14 days. Any employee that is eligible to work from home (she is) will continue to be paid. Their Union is talking to management about the other employees.

Our DD & DiL are teachers and it was just announced that all publicly funded schools will remain closed after our spring break (it starts tomorrow) for an additional 2 weeks minimum. They are also wondering if they'll be paid.

-Diane
 

Tacoma

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I actually thinking closing the schools for 2 weeks after your spring break is a good idea. As a retired teacher I feel that after the break is the most serious risk time for schools. Here's what I think will happen in reality though. People will travel and with no rebooking fees charged some will change their return date to closer to the reopening date of the schools. Therefore they will not have self quarantined for 2 weeks and it will still spread. I don't mean this as a panic situation I just think the spread can't be stopped only slowed at this point. Most people only get slightly sick but with the estimate of 30% to 70% will get this I think it is inevitable. We have an empty house in the family which we will use to quarantine relatives if we have to. My daughter has already been told to work from home as of today.
 

dioxide45

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Are they requireing a 14 day self quarantine, or just 14 days away from work? My employer just requires us to work from home for 14 days. If work from home isn't possible, then take vacation time, personal time or unpaid time. I don't think they could stipulate that we stay at home that entire time in quarantine. Of course, if you are in an at will state, then they can tell you just about anything and if you didn't comply, they could terminate you.
 
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geekette

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Are they requireing a 14 day self quarantine, or just 14 days away from work? My employer just requires us to work from home for 14 days. I don't think they could stipulate that we stay at home that entire time in quarantine. Of course, if you are in an at will state, then they can tell you just about anything and if you didn't comply, they could terminate you.
Yes. They can say whatever they want, and it remains a choice as to what a person actually does in either complying or dealing with repercussions of not complying. But "force" is not possible.
 

TimeshareTraveller

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This is an older thread, but to the persons traveling to Aruba that feel that is not a COVID-19 hotspot so you shouldn't have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

So, how are you GETTING to Aruba? Magical portal? Or are you flying through Orlando, New York, DC or some other major hub? I'd bet the latter. And those hubs are not safe. There is no way that getting on a plane or a cruise boat is not a possible disease vector at this point. Don't be naive. New York has half of the infections in the US right now. Florida is beginning to skyrocket.

One good cough and touch your face, you have a low chance of getting the virus. One touch on a surface with the virus and touch your face, you have a low chance of getting the virus. But here's the thing about statistical low chances --they're low, but they recur often. So while it may only be a 15% or 10% chance, you're being exposed in an airport about 50 times. You roll the dice on each exposure.

Going out to Aruba may be fine. Getting home will be through the hotspots. You're a teacher. Your school is likely closed by now as many schools are. Maryland schools won't open for the rest of the year, it seems.
 

R1964

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You may not even be able to get to Aruba April 10th. Many airlines are not resuming flight to the island until May. You better check with your airline to make sure you can even go.
 

dioxide45

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You may not even be able to get to Aruba April 10th. Many airlines are not resuming flight to the island until May. You better check with your airline to make sure you can even go.
The thread was started before the block on travel by the Aruba government.
 

Panina

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This is an older thread, but to the persons traveling to Aruba that feel that is not a COVID-19 hotspot so you shouldn't have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

So, how are you GETTING to Aruba? Magical portal? Or are you flying through Orlando, New York, DC or some other major hub? I'd bet the latter. And those hubs are not safe. There is no way that getting on a plane or a cruise boat is not a possible disease vector at this point. Don't be naive. New York has half of the infections in the US right now. Florida is beginning to skyrocket.

One good cough and touch your face, you have a low chance of getting the virus. One touch on a surface with the virus and touch your face, you have a low chance of getting the virus. But here's the thing about statistical low chances --they're low, but they recur often. So while it may only be a 15% or 10% chance, you're being exposed in an airport about 50 times. You roll the dice on each exposure.

Going out to Aruba may be fine. Getting home will be through the hotspots. You're a teacher. Your school is likely closed by now as many schools are. Maryland schools won't open for the rest of the year, it seems.
Bottom line imo is everyone has to believe they are a carrier to stop the spread. As a traveler you can’t know you are not carrying the virus and can ultimately be a spreader and the cycle of infections continues.
 

Passepartout

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Interesting that this thread was started less than 3 weeks ago, and seems like ancient history. My-oh-my, what strange times we are living through. I'll go out on a limb and say that in 3 more weeks, there will be many more changes- including stricter isolation rules.

Be well, my friends!

Jim
 

BarbmC

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Interesting that this thread was started less than 3 weeks ago, and seems like ancient history. My-oh-my, what strange times we are living through. I'll go out on a limb and say that in 3 more weeks, there will be many more changes- including stricter isolation rules.

Be well, my friends!

Jim
Agreed - I can't believe now that 3 weeks ago I thought we could get to Aruba. Please everyone - be safe.
 

Panina

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Interesting that this thread was started less than 3 weeks ago, and seems like ancient history. My-oh-my, what strange times we are living through. I'll go out on a limb and say that in 3 more weeks, there will be many more changes- including stricter isolation rules.

Be well, my friends!

Jim
Too bad stricter rules aren’t in place now. The pain of this is just stretched out.
 
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