Car dealers have a lot to worry about these days: the economic recovery (or lack thereof), credit markets, floorplanning costs, training, turnover.
Add bed bugs to the list.
In a recent newsletter, the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association warned members that they, like frequent hotel guests, should give some serious thought to the creepy little crawlers that have given the nation a case of the heebie-jeebies.
In a Q&A that the group says was sparked by dealer inquiries, the association offered some advice. Here's our short version.
Do you have to tell employees about an infestation?
Yes, or you might get sued. But, if you know, don't rat out the employee who gave the critters a ride to work.
Can the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fine dealers who know of bed bugs at their stores and don't take appropriate action?
If there's an outbreak, could employees be entitled to workers' compensation?
Theoretically, yes -- although generally the worst-case results of a bed-bug brunch are swelling, itching and being seriously grossed out.
Can you fire or suspend an employee who brings in bed bugs?
No firing, unless the employee refuses to take "reasonable" action to correct the problem. But, says the group, "Courts will uphold safety-related employment determinations such as requiring the employee to stay home until such problem has been cleared up."