Periodically in the news, you will find stories of very large lawsuits granted to claimants who have suffered from mold toxicity in a commercial building due to employee claims. This is one harmful consequence of mold growth for commercial building owners, but there are other consequences if the building owner is also the business owner.
One employee may claim that he or she suffered illness caused by mold in your building, but this can stir panic among other employees. It may even make them feel sick believing there is mold present. This is why it is important to handle mold situations with care, so a mild mold problem doesn’t interrupt business flow or result in costly lawsuits.
If you cannot visibly see mold, but you have a concerning complaint from an employee, make sure you get your building tested right away. All buildings have a little mold because spores can travel inside on the clothing and feet of everyone who enters. However, your building could, unbeknownst to you, provide the right environment for that mold to grow. Take your employee’s complaint seriously enough to get the building tested. Not only does this appease the employee, but it shows all of your employees that you value them and care about their safety. It will calm the fears that can snowball if you don’t handle it immediately.
Call your insurance company and let them know what you are doing. They may or may not cover mold hazards, and you must figure out what resources you have to take care of any mold problems. If they do cover mold, then you will be able to start a claim.
Let your employees know the steps you are taking to remove any mold present in the building, or let them know that you have had the building tested. If mold removal will be taking place, make sure your employees are removed from the area until the mold is successfully removed. Again, it’s all about showing your employees that you care about their health. Don’t hide from your mold. Instead, tackle it, and let you employees know that you are tackling it.
Mold is a difficult subject to tackle legally because there is little scientific proof that it causes illness, but it is generally accepted that it is responsible for several health conditions. This is why lawsuits have been successful. Touch bases with your attorney, and find out if you need to protect yourself through any further actions. Each state will have different laws that come into play.