covid19 Tag

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stigma associated with working remotely has disappeared. And, as the pandemic continues, working from home is likely to stick around.

If you haven’t already, it’s important to assess how you’re doing working from home and whether you need to make adjustments. Distractions are all around, regardless of whether you are in the workplace or in the comfort of your home. Both work settings have their own set of productivity killers, and a lot can hinge on an employee’s personal ability to avoid distractions.

Employers are responsible for educating their employees about the health coverage options they offer. Now, amid massive uncertainty caused by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming presidential election and the impending court case over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employees may be more stressed than ever about the status of their employee benefits.

That’s why it’s so critical to provide transparent and effective communication to employees about their benefits. Talking to Employees About Stressful Current Events Employees may be experiencing stress due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the election and the status of the ACA. While you may not have all the answers, you can explain what’s going on and, if possible, how your organization is or will be responding. Consider the following talking points.

An unintentional phenomenon is on the rise—pandemic fatigue. Many people are tired of staying at home and want to be the social creatures they inherently are. In short, a lot of people want their “normal” back.

Pandemic fatigue occurs when people show low motivation or energy to comply with safety guidelines. In turn, this makes some Americans—consciously or unconsciously—disregard pandemic guidance such as social distancing, mask wearing and hand-washing. Others may be reaching a mental health breaking point.

HR Insights Blog HeaderKeeping track of employee productivity has always been important, but it’s even more significant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the majority of employers allowing remote work, accurate time tracking isn’t always a guarantee.

However, despite the challenge, it’s critical that all employers strive for accuracy. In fact, not doing so can lead to confusion, lost productivity and other consequences. This article outlines an employer’s general time tracking responsibilities and offers some best practices to follow. Read More Button    

The arrival of the fall and winter months signals many things, including the beginning of flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity peaks between December and February. This means that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only public health concern as we approach the winter months.

This combination has public health experts fearing a potential “twindemic” in surges of COVID-19 cases and another deadly flu season. As such, the CDC is urging the public to take action to avoid another deadly flu season and prevent further spread of COVID-19 cases.

HR Compliance Bulletin header

On Sept. 17, 2020, California enacted a new law (AB 685) that authorizes the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the Division) to issue stop-work orders for facilities or operations that pose an imminent COVID-19 hazard to workers.

The new law also requires employers to:
  • Notify workers when they have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus in the workplace; and
  • Notify local public health agencies when a worksite has a COVID-19 outbreak.
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While children may not understand the full scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, they do know that the world is different. In many cases, they left school in March or April to continue learning virtually—and many finished their school years from home.

As schools welcome students back, children who are going back to school in- person may have concerns about why school looks different and whether it’s safe for them and their family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations and talking points that parents and other trusted adults can use to help children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate and minimizes anxiety or fear.

Legal Update HeaderBecause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing employers that are operating remotely to conduct a remote verification of approved Form I-9 documents.

On Sept. 15, 2020, DHS extended yet again this exemption for an additional 60 days. The new expiration date for the exemption is now Nov. 19, 2020.

Physical Inspection

Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. Employers are required to physically examine the documents the employee presents from the list of acceptable documents to prove his or her employment eligibility.

HR Compliance Bulletin headerOn Sept. 1, 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 bill is expected to be signed into law but will otherwise go into effect on Sept. 30, 2020.

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.