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McDonald's Begins Screening Workers for Coronavirus

By Daniel B. Kline – Apr 2, 2020 at 9:54AM

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The company remains open for delivery and drive-through where allowed.

McDonald's (MCD -1.81%) has closed its dining rooms but still offers delivery, drive-through, and pickup in most locations. That puts the company in a challenging position as it has to make sure it does everything it can to keep its customers and employees safe.

Now, the restaurant chain and its partners have taken a number of new steps to ensure as safe an operating environment as possible.

The exterior of a McDonald's.

McDonald's has added worker screening. Image source: McDonald's.

What is McDonald's doing?

The company plans to screen all workers as they begin their shifts by asking:

  • Are you are showing symptoms associated with COVID-19?
  • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Have you had close contact in the past 14 days with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Have you been told by a healthcare provider or public health official you should self-quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure, or are you suspected of having COVID-19?

Workers who answer no to all of these questions can go to work. Anyone who answers yes will be sent home and can't return until cleared by a medical professional.

Employees at company-owned restaurants will receive two weeks of paid leave if they are absent due to the coronavirus. Policies vary at franchise-owned restaurants, but the company noted, "employees at a large percentage of franchised restaurants will receive emergency paid leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act."

Safety first?

While something is better than nothing, it's easy to see why a worker unsure of whether they might get paid if they're sent home may not be fully truthful. This policy offers employees and workers some level of protection, but it falls short of the temperature checks some retailers have been implementing.

Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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