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NextGen Magazine


You Likely Can't Refuse Business Travel Over Virus Fears

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Feb 12, 2020
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While each of the Big Four firms has, due to concerns about the coronavirus,advised its staff to avoid travel to affected countries, or has cancelled business travel there entirely, an article in Fortune says that, in most cases, people cannot decline business travel over epidemic fears. 

In general, said Fortune, workers cannot cite the virus as a reason not to carry out their ordinary duties, which might include travel. While the government does have protections for workers refusing to go into dangerous situations, legal experts believe that they are unlikely to apply in most cases, unless your work is sending you directly into the heart of the epidemic. However, said Fortune, if someone does contract the coronavirus while on business travel, that person might have a workers compensation claim, if one survives. Yet previous workers comp cases where employees caught a disease while on a business trip have shown that people are unlikely to get a windfall in court: For the most part, payments cover medical costs and a small portion of wages. 

On the other hand, while many workers cannot legally refuse to travel, given the number of companies, the Big Four included, that are accommodating virus fears, regular concern for workers and a desire to avoid looking bad in the public eye might be a better route.