As more and more communities enact COVID-19 related restrictions, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest workforce regulations. We took a look at the latest legislation and created this guide for our customers in the United States to help you understand what you need to do as an organization to ensure that you taking care of your employees during these uncertain times.
If your workforce can work remotely and you haven’t already sent them home, health experts recommend that you move to a work-from-home model as soon as possible. We have lots of resources available to help make this transition more comfortable, including communication guides, publishable Appspace content, and best practices for working from home and video conferencing that can help keep your workforce on track.
For those who are maintaining on-site operations, you may have to address one of your employees getting sick and coming to work. To help curb the spread of COVID-19, employees who experience symptoms must not come to work. If the symptoms appear during the workday, the employee should be distanced from others and sent home.
If an employee of your company develops COVID-19 symptoms, this employee should enter quarantine at the direction of a government agency or healthcare provider. If they live with others, those individuals should also self-quarantine. It is your job as an employer to notify employees of possible COVID-19 exposure in the workplace — especially those who’ve been in close contact with the person who tested positive. Employees who have close contact will need to self-monitor for symptoms. Remember, however, that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employee health information be kept confidential, so share the news of potential exposure with care.
Your company probably has several HR-based policies around sick time, medical benefits, and paid time off that automatically pertain to an employee who has contracted COVID-19. The Families First Coronavirus Act, signed on March 18th, 2020, expands medical leave permissions and employer health education requirements.
Effective April 1st, this legislation applies to certain public sector employers and private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to childcare needs.
All covered employers who fall under the criteria of the bill must adhere to the following:
There are other considerations that employers should consider due to the FFCRA. To learn about the legislation in its entirety and how it applies to you, visit the Department of Labor website.
Because your organization is likely to see increased absenteeism, it is essential to prepare for potential considerations in advance. Start by planning for the continuity of tasks and projects. Cross-train teams to continue work without interruption or to deliver surge services depending on your industry. Most importantly, communicate. Keep your employees informed and up to date on absences that might affect their jobs. Allow breaks for those who may be picking up some of the slack. This will be a rough time, but with the right preparation and management, you and your team can get through it.
Adapting to the changes in your workforce will be a challenge — this is why we’ve created this guide. For more information on the Families First Coronavirus act, click here, and for other workplace resources to get your organization through this pandemic, click here. Stay safe.