State Recommended Guidelines for Employers
Apr 28 2020

The state is recommending safeguarding protocols for all businesses in Tennessee, including those that are re-opening and those essential businesses that have remained open during the Safer at Home order. These safeguarding protocols are based on the recommendations of the CDC and OSHA. To support the Pledge for Tennessee, all employers and employees should take steps to reopen safely, help other industries be able to open more quickly, and help Tennessee remain healthy and open for business.


Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms with following questions:

  • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
  • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?

Temperature screening employees:

Best practice: employers to take temperatures on site with a no-touch thermometer each day upon arrival at work.
Minimum: Temperatures can be taken before arriving. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Direct any employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per CDC guidelines. Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.

Implement workplace cleaning and disinfection practices, according to CDC guidelines, with regular sanitization of high-touch surfaces at least every two hours.

Mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing guidelines and modify scheduling.

Allow employees to work from home as much as possible.

Plan for potential COVID-19 cases, and work with local health department officials when needed (e.g., monitor and trace COVID-19 cases, deep clean facilities.)

Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms.

Update the Employee Illness Policy to include the symptoms of “COVID-19” or create a COVID-19 specific policy. All staff should sign the policy, and the policy should be posted for confirmation.

Limit self-service options (customer samples, communal packaging, food/beverages, etc.)

Post extensive signage on health policies, including the following documents in the workplace to help educate building occupants on COVID-19 best practices.