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I work for a small company and work in a remote office for my department. When I was requested to return to the office, I was assured that we were following Covid guidelines, by the site manger/supervisor and I had read the email from HR with the company guidelines. I go into work a realize no one is following the company guidelines and are conducting business as if it was pre-Covid. Do I have any recourse? I felt political pressure, office politics, to return to the office so it wasn't really a choice in my opinion. I am in Minneapolis Minnesota which has a state regulation saying to wear mask indoors at all times.

The event that pushed me over the edge was a full staff meeting in a small room where we were packed in even for pre-Covid and I was the only one with a mask on.

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    " i was assured that we were following covid guidelines" Who assured you? Have you spoken to them to let them know that the office is not following the guidelines? – sf02 Aug 20 '20 at 14:10
  • are these state guidelines, city guidelines, or corporate guidelines – Old_Lamplighter Aug 20 '20 at 15:11
  • @Old_Lamplighter, State and corporate guidelines – Styxsksu Aug 20 '20 at 15:13
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If you have an HR department that has published COVID guidelines and find that your office isn't following them then your first step should be to reach out to the HR department and inform them of the problem.

Alternatively, you could speak with the senior manager in the office and discuss your concerns directly.

Ultimately you are in a difficult position, either course of action could result in repercussions and only you can determine what risks are acceptable to you.

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To add to the other answer; If you can pin-point to the unsafe activite that they do you could talk to the HR/manager and propose a possible solution.

Like; can they allow to join the meeting by video (jabber, zoom, etc..) or by phone.

Such way to bring the problem show them you are open to find a solution other than just staying at home.

In the end if they participate in a unsafe gathering of people into a small room you could contact the regulator in such case too, but for that I would expect major repercusion(s).

To ask questions or report violations of this Executive Order that relate to worker health and safety: Contact the Department of Labor and Industry by email at osha.compliance@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-284-5050 or 1-877-470-6742

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You have two concerns:

  • Health
  • Career

You need to keep all options in mind, including leaving the company. I'll explain why below.

If you are high risk, then you have cause to go to HR and ask for accommodation, such as work from home or remote meetings. That would be the least disruptive route.

All of the rest of the options put your future employment with that company at risk, so only do the following if you are ready to move on to another company.

  • Escalate to management and ask about enforcement. This may ruffle a few feathers, but if you want the guidelines enforced, this is the place to start
  • Escalate to HR. This will DEFINITELY ruffle feathers, so if you do this, be prepared for backlash. While reprisals are illegal, I've found that companies can be very clever in pushing you out the door if they're done with you.
  • Escalate to government. This is the nuclear option. The end results of which could be your company getting fined, or even shut down. Since you were the only one to wear a mask at your last meeting, it wouldn't take a genius to figure out who dropped a dime on your company. Either way, your career with the company would be over, and if word got out in your industry that you did it, you could find it hard to get work.

The ultimate decision is of course, yours. Just be very mindful of any consequences, and prepare accordingly.

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