In this time of uncertainty, information overload, not to mention public and political debate over what is the right course of action (and who is to blame for the mistakes of said actions), is rampant. It is difficult to know exactly what is useful and accurate information, or even where to find it.
As fast as information is released, it is modified or changed altogether, making it extremely difficult for organizations to recognize which guidance to rely on. Now more than ever is the time for business leaders to truly partner with their HR Professionals and corporate Safety Officers to ensure that information and changes to public edicts is communicated and implemented in a timely fashion. Proactivity and readiness will ensure your workforce is well taken care of during this pandemic. How your organization handles this pandemic will no doubt affect the morale and productivity of your workforce, not to mention your ability to engage and retain your employees.
As mentioned, it is important to keep up with the latest information and choose a select few sources for reference. The best course of action is to rely on a limited number of resources from reputable sources. Sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) have comprehensive, workplace-targeted resources and guidelines.
In addition to the above resources, you will want to follow the relevant state and local resources, as they are often targeted to the specific outbreak statistics and corresponding response remedies for the local area. For example, if you are in employer conducting business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are required to provide employees with job-specific education and training on preventing the transmission of COVID-19. The specific training that must be provided depends on the risk level employees face at work, as defined by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health’s (VIOSH) Emergency Temporary Standards. This training is required to be completed by August 26, 2020.
It is important to keep in mind that agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and OSHA have specific guidance with regards to testing, quarantining, handling employee complaints, and the fine line between exposure, illness, and those employees who are medically deemed as high risk. In each of these situations, there is the potential for the integration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), necessitating an interactive discussion with the employee.
Whether it be a Google Alert, a subscription to your employment attorney’s newsletters (let us know if you need a referral, we know some great ones), or simply checking your sources on a very regular basis, there are many ways to stay current. The HR team at BOOST is also well versed in the latest COVID-related rules and regulations. If you are looking for advice on how to navigate returning to the office, employee exposures, other questions about business continuity during the COVID pandemic, let’s connect!