Car dealership employee said to be infected with COVID-19; co-workers concerned

Employees say one of their co-workers has Coronavirus and the owner isn't being proactive.

NANUET – A female employee at Rockland Chrysler Jeep Dodge has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus and her coworkers are claiming that the dealership is not adequately addressing the issue.

Jonathan Pearlmutter, owner of the dealership, said that one of his employees claims to have had a positive test result for COVID-19 but the dealership has not received medical confirmation of the test.

“That employee left work over a week ago with a headache and no other symptoms.  The employee has not returned to work since that time.  In the interim, and independently of that test result, we have been engaging in overnight disinfecting and deep cleaning of our facilities,” Pearlmutter told Mid-Hudson News by email.

One employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said that management has refused to address the situation and at least four co-workers of the patient have recently undergone testing offered at the Anthony Wayne State Park.  “We have customers coming in and out of the dealership all day and management has made no effort to tell the customers that an employee had been stricken with COVID-19.  We don’t even have any warning signs posted,” said the employee.

Addressing the employee complaint, Pearlmutter said, “I am not sure where you are getting your information from, but I would caution you as to the potential motivations of different people who might seek to take advantage of these troubling times.”

Asked if the dealership had contacted the Rockland County Health Department regarding the employee’s positive test result, the owner replied, “We are, of course, concerned with the welfare of our customers, employees and the community at large, and have been following the directives of local, state and federal officials as we work through this unprecedented situation, including maintaining social distancing.  Since the affected employee left work, all other employees have been asymptomatic.”  Pearlmutter declined to directly answer the question regarding the county health department.

In response to the directives of Governor Cuomo’s workforce reduction announcement, the dealership owner said, “We have proactively reduced our staffing to create additional social distancing, and have offered all of our employees the opportunity to take time off.  Rest assured, we will continue to be vigilant and adopt such policies as recommended by appropriate authorities.”  When pressed, Pearlmutter refused to provide the number of employees on staff before and after the governor’s directive.



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