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What does coronavirus mean for your Maine workplace?

A Friday Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce meeting on how the City of Bangor is preparing and offered advice to Maine businesses for its workers.

BANGOR, Maine — As the outbreak continues to spread, employees and employers are also thinking about what to do if coronavirus becomes wide-spread in Maine. Both trying to figure out their rights and responsibilities.

Today the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce made answers and advice available via an online seminar.

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All in an effort to protect the health of workers and community members.

Anne-Marie Storey, an attorney from Rudman Winchell, offered a variety of legal tips for workers.

"If I am now asked to do the work of four people because three of my colleagues are quarantined for 14 days, and there is nobody else to do the work...that may very well lead to a stress and anxiety claim from me if I'm feeling that way because I'm totally overwhelmed," said Storey.

For all the tips from the speakers, you can find the live-stream at the Facebook page of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.

"We are going to see the spread in Maine as its spreading everywhere else, eventually it will get to all of our communities and so preparing now is really critical," said Dr. Noah Nesin, the Penobscot Community Health Center's Medical Director.

"In the event that employers have to be out, schools are closed, employees are sick, customers aren't coming to the door...how do we put a plan in place," said Deb Neuman, the President and CEO of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.

Bangor Fire Chief Thomas Higgins among those answering questions and offering advice on how city officials have been preparing for weeks.

"Like with anybody, we don't have quite as many supplies as we'd like...this is going to take more than we stock," said Higgins.

"We will adapt the needs we need to meet," said Higgins.

Storey says it is very important for businesses to be consistent with your workers.  

"Whatever you do for one employee, you're going to have to do for all employees..you can't treat people differently," said Storey.

And you have to treat them all wisely.

"Require people that are ill with respiratory illness to stay home, and if they show up to work...require that they go home," said Dr. Nesin.

For more advice you can watch the entire seminar online at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

The City of Bangor has also set up a new page online to share communications from the city, the school department, the state and the C-D-C.

This page is updated daily with the latest information.


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