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The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is spreading rapidly across the globe and throughout the United States. Accordingly, employers should keep track of rapidly emerging developments and consider taking the 10 steps discussed in the training order to maintain a safe workplace and to reassure their employees that management is appropriately monitoring and responding to the situation. Having a carefully coordinated and well-thought-out approach to the coronavirus should help mitigate risks for employers while reducing many employee concerns.
Employers are responsible according to OSHA to provide a safe and healthy environment for employees to work. Employers are obligated to ensure proper communication during this critical time of health update, testing updates, resources and support.
The coronavirus is a terrible public health threat, but there is a hidden upside: It gives us a chance to rethink how work is organized and bring our policies into the 21st century.
To protect their workforce, firms are asking people to work at home. Research shows that more flexible work policies that give workers more control over when, where, and how they work don’t hurt business performance. Instead, such policies can lead to less stressed, more satisfied employees who are more likely to stay. When you include the current pandemic and the loss of jobs, remote work is an effective option which include flexibility for both the Employer and the Employee. However, having a remote/telecommuting policy is not enough to address the factors that need to be addressed to ensure employees feel confident about the next phase of the Coronavirus.
Employers should create a process that offers accurate information, updated communication, resources and information on what the company is doing to support employees during this complicated time.
With remote and telecommuting may be the new normal, Employers must also create a clear policy to ensure that employees understand what working remotely means and what the expectations are for all involved. Remote/Telecommuting can be a great option in some industries and may be a challenge in others but, it should be an option that allows employees to get paid while the Federal and State resources come into play.
Margie Faulk, PHR, SHRM-CP is a senior level human resources professional with over 14 years of HR management and compliance experience. A former Compliance Officer for a defense contracting technologies firm, Margie has worked as an HR and Compliance advisor for major corporations and small businesses in the small, large, private, public and Non-profit sectors. Margie is bilingual (Spanish) fluent and Bi-cultural. Margie’s focus is on multi-state, national, state and local workplace compliance. Additionally, Margie is working on International compliance initiatives like International Privacy Issues, Drafting & Implementing policies, Reviewing and Amending Global Employment Policies, Cross-Border Reductions in Force and Restructurings, Multi-jurisdictional employee investigations, Immigration, Global Diversity Programs, Expatriate Legal Issues and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Margie has created and presented seminars/webinars for many compliance institutes. These national training providers, offer compliance training to professionals, business owners and companies interested in having their company compliant with workplace and industry regulations. Margie holds professional human resources certification (PHR) from the HR Certification Institution (HRCI) and SHRM-CP certification from Society for Human Resources Management. Margie has completed the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional training and is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE).