Workers outing colleagues for not disclosing travel to employers

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, people are still traveling out of state and not telling their bosses, but posting about it on social media. It’s starting to create a new type of workplace culture that has people monitoring coworkers online. People said it’s not uncommon to go online and see someone out of town who may have not told their bosses about it.

“I’ve seen it first hand like, people going out of state and then going right back to work and I’m sure they didn’t tell their coworkers or anything,” Shayla Neeley, an Albuquerque resident, said.

Coworkers are seeing it. The KRQE newsroom has gotten multiple emails from people saying they see their coworkers traveling on social media who haven’t told their employers, most likely to avoid a 14-day quarantine. Some are even reporting them to managers.

Neeley said she hasn’t seen this at her work but did have a roommate that went to Arizona without letting people know until it was too late.

“She just went back to work like everything was normal and kind of didn’t tell anyone she was going out of town and she ended up testing positive (for COVID-19),” she said. “A lot of jobs don’t really pay for people to quarantine or stay at home so of course, they don’t want to miss out on the pay, so yeah, I understand where their concerns are coming from but it doesn’t make it right nonetheless.”

Coworkers reporting each other creates a new concern of people traveling without posting or telling anyone. Joe Garcia is the Vice President of Weck’s restaurants and La Peep restaurants. He said the company does its best to monitor employee travel to ensure a safe environment for workers and customers but said it ultimately comes down to personal responsibility.

“If we as a community in general, do our best to just take personal responsibility for, for our own actions and how they might affect someone else,” he said. “This is a bigger issue than just us, there’s a lot going on, a lot at stake.”

Under Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order, it is mandatory for New Mexicans who travel out of state, by plane or car, to self-quarantine for 14 days.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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