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samUwell
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1 - 07-15-2020, 16:47
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Looking for a bit of advice with the word - should.

Used differently - as we all know - and used differently across the pond. However, when we read it in something legal or official, how does that word work?

For instance (taken from here):
Quote:
An employee who is sick and who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and for 72 hours after their recovery (once symptoms are gone without having to use medication).

Employees exposed to COVID-19, but not showing symptoms should quarantine for 14 days, which is the incubation period of the virus.
Doesn't the word 'should' imply that it can also not happen? Like it is advice or like a recommendation? It is very different than the word must or need. For instance:
Quote:
If someone is determined to have been in “close contact” with an infected employee, that person also needs to be sent home, but, in their case, for the incubation period of 14 days.

If the quarantined employee develops COVID-19 symptoms, then she will need to stay home for 10 days after her symptoms first appeared and for 72 hours after being symptom-free.
Need is final. It must be done while should is suggesting that it is more of a recommendation.

When we look at the meaning of should, we see it says:
Quote:
in general usage, "should" implies an obligation or something that ought to be done
Obligation being key here. When we look at obligation, we see:
Quote:
the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)
or,
an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
So the way I am reading the word should (above), it is being substituted for must or need.

Apparently, I am not the only person debating the actual meaning of the word should.
Quote:
This may be a duplicate of another question here on english.stackechange, but the answers given to that question did not provide a definitive legal definition of 'should' vs. 'must'.

It has long been my impression that 'shall', 'will', and 'must' have about the same imperative weight; that is, the phrase that follows these words is a command that is not to be questioned. However, in my mind, 'should' falls in a category of lighter imperativeness, almost to the same level as 'may'; that is, the phrase that follows 'should' is a command that does not need to be completed.

Does 'should' imply an unquestionable command, as is the claim in the chosen answer on programmers.stackexchange and the second definition on wiktionary, or is it closer in meaning to 'may'?
I need to know exactly how to move forward with my employee whose wife has tested positive for the rona. He has been working right next to 3 other dudes and even though they are all wearing their PPE, that does not guarantee the others safety. One of these guys is 60 years old and immunocompromised.

I do not want to shut down the entire job for 14 days, but I also need to make sure the guys are safe. I think this will all boil down to what my employees test result is.
 
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amRam
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2 - 07-15-2020, 16:49
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You should shut the **** up.
 
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samUwell
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3 - 07-15-2020, 16:50
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zxactly
 
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lemontw
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4 - 07-15-2020, 16:51
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do what feels good man
 
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bowl of blood
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5 - 07-15-2020, 16:53
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i think it's subjunctive but don't hold me to it
 
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bowl of blood
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6 - 07-15-2020, 16:58
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Quote:
Undaunted by mere appearances, Thornton proposed that he underwent an immediate tracheostomy and that he should be warmed by gentle massage and washing and be transfused with fresh lamb's blood! [Transactions of the Medical Society of London, 2000, Vol. 117, p. 6 ]
 
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bowl of blood
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7 - 07-15-2020, 17:02
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like in your case "should" is contingent upon being an employee i.e. remaining employed/undisciplined. the document cannot literally order you to stay home - "you shall stay home" - so the subjunctive "should" is used, implicitly bundled with a consequence.
 
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cael
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8 - 07-15-2020, 17:04
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yep this is the problem w/ grammar nazi's
 
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samUwell
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9 - 07-15-2020, 17:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowl of blood View Post
like in your case "should" is contingent upon being an employee i.e. remaining employed/undisciplined. the document cannot literally order you to stay home - "you shall stay home" - so the subjunctive "should" is used, implicitly bundled with a consequence.
Ah ha!

As I was reading the page, I kept saying to myself, "they should have used a different word. Why did they use should for a person who has tested positive, and then need for someone who was within close contact with someone positive?"

But it is an obligation of the infected person to remain self-quarantined until those days are up. If he does test positive, this is going to be fun: "Lastly, should an employee test positive for COVID-19, the employer will need to contact their local health department."

Sweet. Because I have time to do all this.
 
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bowl of blood
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10 - 07-15-2020, 17:14
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you can't really go to war over this i mean at best you could argue there is some room for interpretation but if it's not a legally binding document that probably doesn't matter and if it is a legally binding document well then you probably need a lawyer moreso than dictionary.com
 
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bowl of blood
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11 - 07-15-2020, 17:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samUwell View Post
"Lastly, should an employee test positive for COVID-19, the employer will need to contact their local health department."
and this "should" is unambiguously subjunctive
 
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samUwell
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12 - 07-15-2020, 17:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowl of blood View Post
you can't really go to war over this i mean at best you could argue there is some room for interpretation but if it's not a legally binding document that probably doesn't matter and if it is a legally binding document well then you probably need a lawyer moreso than dictionary.com
I am going to err on the side of caution. I don't want to mess around with this covid **** at all. I am going to keep the guy home for 12 more days unless he starts showing symptoms. Then it will be extended, only to return to the job with proof he no longer has it.

His wife works at Target and they won't let her come back to work without proof from test results. If they are doing it, they are doing it for a reason so I might as well too.
 
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Falhawk
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13 - 07-15-2020, 17:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amRam View Post
You should shut the **** up.
Excellent first post.

Sent from my SM-T867U using Tapatalk
 
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Brasstax
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14 - 07-15-2020, 21:23
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That **** is the worst example of policy I have seen in ages. Who wrote that ****? a 22 year old new HR hire?

"Is required" goes a long way.

Quote:
An employee who is sick and who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and for 72 hours after their recovery (once symptoms are gone without having to use medication).

Employees exposed to COVID-19, but not showing symptoms should quarantine for 14 days, which is the incubation period of the virus.
Employees testing positive for COVID-19 by an authorized healthcare facility must provide the results immediately to the HR department and inform their supervisor. The employee is required to shelter in-place at their home for a period of 10 days. If there are no signs of sickness or irregular temperature after this period, the employee should contact their supervisor to inform them that they are ready to return to work. Upon approval, the employee can report to work under the conditions set forth for return as long as the employee has remained symptom free for an additional 3 days after the quarantine period and managerial approval. This may include additional time working from home or under a modified schedule.

**** isn't rocket science


Ummm like if you feel like you might have some covid or something, you might want to shelter for a bit. But, don't feel all bad about it. It can happen to anyone. When you feel like you might want to return to work, we will work with you to do the right thing because your and the company's well being is the most important thing to everyone.

durp
 
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Last edited by Brasstax; 07-15-2020 at 21:41..
Data
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15 - 07-15-2020, 21:39
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The document you linked is guidance, not policy. That's why it uses suggestive language rather than commanding language. Policy would say "must" instead of "should". As the employer, it's up to you to establish policy based on the available guidance and any other information you can reasonably gather, including the advice of an attorney.
 
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Mitchdubai
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16 - 07-15-2020, 23:06
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You could change it to "should stay the **** home" to make it less open to interpretation.
 
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Plasmatic
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17 - 07-15-2020, 23:55
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You should kill yourself midxe.
 
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Brasstax
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18 - 07-16-2020, 00:33
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stfu mitch - you horrible halitosed hunchback
 
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NoGodForMe
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19 - 07-16-2020, 04:57
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"Should" is a bad word to use period. Years ago I learned it has a demeaning tone because you are telling people what to do as an opinion. Where as Must and Need are final like you mentioned.

I try to avoid using the word "Should" and use different words in my posts.
 
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Chrom
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20 - 07-16-2020, 05:32
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My understanding is that Should infers a choice.

"I should be a better person". I have the choice to be a better person, I just chose not to.

if it were "I could be a better person", that allows me an action to do it, I can do it. "I would be a better person" is about will, meaning I will be a better person.

It all involves choice though, and if you chose not to do anything, well.. so be it.
 
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