The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created massive change and concern for employers and employees across the world. Even as businesses reopen and employees return to their new normal, the risk of becoming exposed to and ill with COVID-19 is still present. When an employee reports they have COVID-19, employers are faced with the difficult task of determining whether the employee's illness is work-related. This HR Insights piece will provide an overview of how employers can determine when a COVID-19 case is work-related, OSHA requirements for reporting illness and best practices for responding to an employee's positive COVID-19 test.
Requirements for employers covered by the COVID-19 Prevention standard
•Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program that includes: o Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards. •Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions (such as safe physical distancing, modifying the workplace and staggering work schedules).
•Providing and ensuring workers wear face coverings to prevent exposure in the workplace. •Provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws.
California Extends Workers’ Comp Presumption for COVID-19 On Sept. 17, 2020, California amended its workers’ compensation (WC) law, under Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159), to provide a presumption that COVID-19 is a compensable, work-related condition under certain circumstances. The changes went into effect immediately.
In general, the changes mean that it would be an employer’s burden to prove that an employee did not contract COVID-19 on the job, rather than the employee’s burden of proving that he or she did contract it on the job.
CDC Director Warns That Small Gatherings May Be Causing New COVID-19 Cases
In a recent call with U.S. governors, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield warned that small gatherings are increasingly becoming a source for COVID-19 infections.
Redfield said that, importantly, there is a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions. However, the spread of infection specifically through small household gatherings is currently an “increasing threat,” as the CDC reports that many states are seeing increases in COVID-19 cases.
Routinely email employees CDC updates. What your employees do outside of work can potentially put your business, other employees, and clients at risk. The CDC has some great alternatives to our normal gatherings - link in article.
CDC Redefines “Close Contact” Under COVID-19 Guidance
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarified what “close contact” means as it relates to COVID-19- prevention guidance.
Previously, the CDC defined close contact as spending 15 straight minutes within 6 feet of another person. Now, the organization redefined the term to mean a total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period. That means short, repeated contacts throughout the day count toward that 15-minute threshold.
How do you open up and keep employees and customers safe? What do you do if you suspect an employee has COVID-19? How do you maintain proper social distancing while at the office? What if an employee doesn't feel comfortable coming back to work? How do I make sure that our return is OSHA Compliant?
Experts predict an increase in Cyber attacks with so many people working from home and not having the same IT tools at home that they had at work. If you do not already have Cyber insurance it would be good idea to look into it now. It is surprisingly affordable and can be quoted very quickly.
The last thing employees and employers want is lost jobs. It means financial uncertainty for everyone involved, which is why most employers do everything they can to prevent downsizing or prolonged closures.
However, reality sometimes forces the situation, as is the case with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many businesses without the ability to have employees work from home have been ordered to close by the government, compelling employers to make tough decisions— namely, whether to lay off staff or furlough them.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused employers to make significant changes to their business practices, including onboarding. Managers and new hires across the country are navigating the unchartered waters of remote onboarding. The onboarding process—which is designed to cultivate a long-term relationship between the employer and the employee while fostering a feeling of belonging and an affirmation of making the right choice—is one that is extremely important for both employers and employees. As such, employers should still prioritize onboarding new hires, even though their training will be conducted virtually instead of in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.