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EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Top 10 questions an employer should ask before returning employees to work

By Mike O’Brien bio As various states and municipalities across the country lift shutdowns and begin easing COVID restrictions, employers are faced with complex questions about safely bringing their employees back to the workplace. We’ve compiled the top 10 questions every employer should consider before returning employees to work.    How do we implement proper infection prevention measures? First, and perhaps foremost, employers should design, implement, communicate, and begin to monitor basic infection prevention measures as they return employees to onsite work. Although a complex task, OSHA and CDC have both published step-by-step instructions for employers on how to implement appropriate infection prevention measures. OSHA has published an employer Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, which outlines the specific steps it believes all employers should take to reduce workers’ risk of exposure… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Managing virtual teams in a COVID-19 era

By Lynne Curry bio If you’re a manager struggling your way up the steep virtual workplace learning curve, you may discover the COVID-19 pandemic makes you a better leader. Here’s how to navigate your way through this trial by fire. Focus on results Effective remote supervision requires managers to switch gears from supervising activities to managing results. Train yourself to keep your focus, and that of your team, on results and overall productivity. Say goodbye to micro-management.  Not only doesn’t it work, but you’ll drive your employees and yourself crazy if you keep them under a microscope from a distance.  Things come up for employees working from home that don’t when they’re at a regular work site. Let your employees know what you hold them accountable for and allow them… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Coronavirus pushing rapid changes in employer law

By Mike O’Brien bio Employer  law is rapidly changing amid the coronavirus pandemic. For one thing, Congress has passed another coronavirus related law. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has provided some helpful guidance and answered a number of questions about the recent expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and about the new paid sick leave law, see: DOL FFCRA Q&A. Here are updates:  PAID LEAVE UNDER THE EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT (EPSLA): Employees of covered employers (private employers below 500 employees and certain public employers) are eligible for up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave for certain COVID-19 related reasons. If leave is because he/she is quarantined (by government order or a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical… . . . read more

RETAINING YOUR EMPLOYEES

Avoid these mistakes when creating staff development plans

By Cheryl Toth bio For nine consecutive years, “lack of career development” has led the reasons why employees quit. To reduce the costly turnover that results from these resignations, many practice managers are looking for ways to develop and enhance the skills of their team. A straightforward way to approach this is to create a professional development plan for each employee. These plans support staff career development by identifying training needs, providing resources, and laying out timelines to achieve professional growth goals. Here are 7 common pitfalls to avoid as you create development plans for your team.  Setting too many goals. Enthusiastic staff and high performers often set too many goals, creating a plan that’s unfocused and difficult to achieve. A high performing nurse administrator I coached listed 14 goals… . . . read more

CORONAVIRUS

What employees and managers can do to protect each other

By Lynne Curry bio I’m scared. I don’t feel like my boss or coworkers are taking COVID-19 seriously. The medical professionals say we should be wiping down high-touch places. In our office, I’m the one who does it. So does that make me on the front line? Does my doing all this cleaning let everyone else feel safer so they don’t think they need to do anything? It would be fair if we rotated the cleaning but I can’t count on anyone else doing a good job so I “suck it up, Buttercup.” My mom works for a large company. When her coworker picked up his son from the airport, the coworker and his family remained at home for fourteen days due to hosting someone who recently traveled, despite the… . . . read more

COVID 19

Employers need a plan for the pandemic

By Lynne Curry bio your employees ask, “What are we going to do when COVID-19 gets worse in our community?” you can’t say “I don’t know.”  If you’re an employer, you need a plan. You need to address what you’ll do to keep your employees as healthy as possible and what your employees can expect from you as their employer. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Most American workers are not at significant risk of infection,” but some workers may have elevated risk because of interaction with potentially infected individuals1. The Center for Disease Control recommends that employers clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and faucets with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants; encourage employees to regularly wash their hands; place alcohol-based hand sanitizer around… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Employment law changing on the fly in response to COVID-19

By Mike O’Brien bio COVID-19 has ushered in a variety of new, and fast-evolving employment law changes, from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT:  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes a tax credit for employers that retain employees during the COVID-19 crisis.  The credit generally provides relief to employers of all sizes in the form of a refundable payroll tax credit of 50% of all “qualified wages” paid (up to $10,000 per employee) during the COVID-19 crisis if (i) operations were fully or partially suspended or subject to a shut-down order; or (ii) gross receipts declined more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year.  Note that for… . . . read more

CORONAVIRUS

4 strategies for your law office to use now to protect your employees from coronavirus

With the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), your law office needs a plan to protect employees from exposure. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends these strategies: Actively encourage sick employees to stay home: Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies. Talk with companies that… . . . read more

BLOG

Don’t cast out a truth teller

By Lynne Curry bio “Morgan” was the one person who took issue with the CEO’s presentation of his new initiative. Before she voiced her concerns, the 12 other managers around the conference table had nodded appreciatively when the CEO made each of his points. Several other managers secretly shared Morgan’s doubts, but no one came to her aid when the CEO looked irritated. Six weeks later, it surprised none of the other managers to receive an email notifying them that Morgan had left the company. It did worry these managers when the CEO’s initiative failed. Nevertheless, the remaining managers knew better than to voice their apprehensions when the CEO and his hand-picked CFO put a good face on the situation. In organizations such as the above, the corporate immune system… . . . read more

ASK THE EXPERT

Must employee notify our office of DUI?

QUESTION If one of our employees gets a DUI, do they have to notify us? ANSWER It depends. EXPLANATION There are at least four factors affecting whether the employee would have to come forward and tell you about the DUI? Your HR policies: What, if anything, do your current policies say about whether employees must notify you of their DUIs? Conviction or arrest? If the employee was arrested but not convicted, he/she may be able to prove innocence (or may have already done so if the charges were dropped or the employee was acquitted). A conviction, on the other hand, would more likely affect job performance and thus require disclosure. Impact on job performance: Notification is required if the DUI has an actual or potential impact on job performance, such… . . . read more


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