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Compliance

How to create a COVID-19 exposure control plan

For as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, businesses—both essential and nonessential—won’t be allowed to re-open and remain open unless they implement a plan to control workplace infection risks. The challenges posed by COVID-19 are unprecedented and unique and you probably won’t find any great templates in your current policy folders and binders. As a result, you’ll need to build your plan from the ground up. Here’s a step-by-step strategy and Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan containing the necessary elements that you can use to accomplish that objective. The Exposure Control Plan & Why You Need It An exposure control plan is a set of measures to protect workers, clients, contractors, visitors and other people at your workplace against exposure to COVID-19 infection and ensure compliance with your obligations under… . . . read more

Tool: Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan

Regulators have made it clear that workplaces must implement written plans to control COVID-19 exposure risks at the site. Here’s a Model Plan template your office can adapt that provides for the necessary protections.

YOUR CAREER

Job searching during a pandemic

By Lynne Curry bio The career worst has happened. You lost your job during a pandemic. You suffer through the “sorry to tell you” call from your supervisor. When he says “take care of yourself,” you respond, “You take care too.” Then you sit frozen. When every employer is furloughing or laying or workers, how the heck are you supposed to get a new job? You spend the hours it takes to sign up for unemployment, and circle the date on your calendar when you need to have a new job. You spend a day cleaning up your resume and the next three days sending it out to every job you find posted in Indeed.com. No employer calls you. You call a few of your still-employed friends. They check with… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Is COVID-19 ringing the death knell for on-premises servers?

By Doug Striker bio Back in the bucolic day of early January 2020, Aderant published an article predicting that more law firms would begin moving out of their on-premises servers to the cloud. Man, I wish we knew how many firms did that in March and April 2020 alone! When COVID-19 hit and we were all forced, en masse, to exit the building and head home, many firms left their precious servers behind. The IT wizards (aka “server nannies”) who manage those “server nurseries” were forced to continue working in the office, risking their health and the health of the people they returned home to. Not only that, but the IT wizards (they ARE actually wizards, not nannies, and they shouldn’t have to babysit servers) also had to move long-resistant firms… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Handle these 3 HR challenges in COVID-19 era

 By Lynne Curry  bio  1 Anticipate reluctance to come back to the office Question: I’ve been working from home since late March. At first I thought I’d hate working remotely; instead I love it. My work day is relaxed because I don’t have to put up with my micro-managing supervisor and can walk my dog during the day rather than waiting until after five. Working at home gives me something I haven’t had for a long time, work/life balance. Fast forward to May 1. My supervisor sends all of us an email saying we need to return to work May 4. My heart sank. Do COVID-19 risks give me the chance to say I need to work from home due to health concerns? Answer: The short answer—probably not. The long… . . . read more

So, your employee wants to stay on unemployment

By Paul Edwards bio It’s been a couple of months of COVID chaos and business owners across America are thinking about what it’s going to take to reopen their businesses—and the economy, in general. Of course, the first piece of that equation involves recalling your employees who have been temporarily furloughed or laid off. And, since one portion of the CARES Act included an additional $600 per week to anyone collecting unemployment benefits, one common question we’re hearing is, “What if my employees refuse to come back to work because they want to keep collecting unemployment?” Usually, this question seems to be based on a misunderstanding of how unemployment benefits work. Generally speaking, if your employees refuse work in favor of collecting unemployment benefits, they will likely not be eligible for those… . . . 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

COMPLIANCE GUIDANCE

How to create a legally sound COVID-19 medical screening policy

Like so many other law offices during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be considering medically screening your employees each day before letting them into the workplace. While screening is highly problematic in normal times, regulators have grudgingly acknowledged that it may be a justified health and safety measure during the pandemic. The operative phrase is “may be,” which means that limits still apply. You need to recognize and ensure keep your facility in compliance with those limits. Here’s how. Three Ways COVID-19 Screening Can Get Your Firm into Legal Hot Water Medically screening  personnel can expose you to three kinds of liability. Privacy Violations Body temperature and information about an individual’s symptoms (or lack thereof) collected during the screening process is personal health information (PHI) protected by HIPAA and other… . . . 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

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


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