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What to consider when it comes an ill house director

Whether or not to quarantine sick members or employees at the chapter house is up to each individual chapter and house corporation to decide based on their organization’s guidance, their campus and local health department guidance, and the structure and layout of their individual facilities.

Many of our clients are feverishly preparing for their members to return to campus, both resident and non-resident. We can only imagine the stress and anxiety that you are facing as you navigate the opening of your chapter house. We appreciate you and your leadership as you face this challenge, you need to be confident in knowing that your organization has secured a comprehensive insurance policy to cover the entities and your exposure to liability. 

As we have urged, we are confident that you will implement the COVID-19 CDC guidelines, you will have trained your staff on the procedures, and you will have educated all your collegiate members on the safety guidelines. Having done so and doing your best to get compliance, your liability will be significantly reduced. The standard is “what a prudent and reasonable person would do.”

During these chaotic times, the comprehensive insurance coverage that your organization has purchased hopefully gives you the freedom to make the best business decisions for your chapter or house corporation.

Safety measures are being implemented for not only your collegiate members, but just as importantly, for your employees. We recently had a question that we wanted to address for reference. The question was what should be done if the house director becomes ill with the COVID-19 virus. 

Below are some points to consider:

  • If the house director has a private entrance and bath, it can be much easier to quarantine an individual in this space. If the chapter house is her only home, you can have her stay at the house. Safety measures must be considered during her quarantine time (see our Things to Consider Before Reopening resource for further guidance).
  • If there is no private entrance and bath, your options become more limited and must be carefully considered.
  • In quarantine, she will not be able to perform her usual duties, so a temporary employee will need to be hired that would not necessarily need to live in the chapter house who could assume these duties.
  • Should you hire an additional employee, we would ask that you contact us to discuss any insurance implications which are doubtful. Workers’ compensation laws are very strict, and we don’t want you being at odds with these conditions.
  • The insurance company does not require that the person who is doing the traditional house director functions live in the chapter house, so this gives you more options to consider.
  • We would encourage you to look to your university as they may have graduate students or past RAs that could be used for this temporary period.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact your Client Executive should you have additional questions or need further guidance.