The owners of office buildings, similar to hotels have a duty to properly maintain the work environment free of bed bugs. Office buildings are high traffic areas where lots of humans spend long periods of time. Bed bugs usually enter office buildings on the clothing or in the bags of either guest or employees that work in the building. It is reasonably foreseeable that a bed bug infestation could take place at any office building and therefore the owner of a building must take precautions to prevent bed begs. Unfortunately, most building owners do not have any procedures in place to prevent the infestation of bed bugs. As result employees encounter bed bugs in their office environment and then transport the bugs to their homes. Once the bed bugs enter the home, the bed bugs attack while the residents are sleeping. It is reasonably foreseeable that any employee could bring bed bugs into the office building and expose all of the employees to bed bugs. In addition to regularly inspecting a building for bed bugs in an office building, once an employer is aware of an employee with a bed bug problem, then the employer has a duty to warn all other employees and take action to prevent the spread of bed bugs to other employees.
Any occupant of a building that encounters a bed bug should immediately try to capture the bed bug. It is crucial to take pictures of the bed bugs or any evidence of a recent bed bug fecal dropping which look like little black dots. Immediately make a report to either your employer or the building management. If you have been bitten, you should seek immediate medical attention and take pictures of any of your bites. If there are any other employees that witnessed the bed bugs, then you should write down their name and contact information. Contact one of our bed bug attorneys for a free consultation to learn what your rights are following a bed bug attack.
An interesting example of a bed bug infestation in an office building is the infestation that took place in September 2013 at the New York City Department of Health office building in Long Island City. According to a New York Daily News story, the employees had been seeing bed bugs for weeks on multiple floors and an entire group of bed bugs was located on the 11th floor. While the bed bugs are being treated, these employees now need to be concerned that they have brought the bed bugs into their homes and exposed the occupants of their home to a bed bug attack. There have been documented reports of bed bugs at the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center and Bloomingdales in New York.