It does not impact individuals entering in another status, such as B, E, TN, O, and P; individuals with valid visas as of June 22, 2020; lawful permanent residents and spouses or children of US citizens; or individuals whose entry is in the national interest as determined by the Departments of State or Homeland Security. UPDATED QUESTION & ANSWER (May 21, 2020)Several of our employees want to change their Section 125 cafeteria elections due to unexpected COVID-19 medical and childcare challenges. Yes, if it is not obvious or already known, you may ask questions or request medical documentation to determine whether the employee has a “disability” as defined by the ADA. Ensure that employees are provided and properly wearing all required PPE. A pay equity audit, performed in conjunction with inside or outside counsel, can be a very effective way to identify potentially unlawful pay disparities. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. The SBA has clarified that compliance with a state or local order that is directly or indirectly related to guidance issued by HHS, the CDC, or OSHA is sufficient. You should continue to monitor your workforces for indicative symptoms, and not allow symptomatic individuals to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider. As in Case 1, the new rule prescribes a less aggressive response to output deviations and a more aggressive response to inflation. 2007. Can we make changes to the program mid-year? Any current reduction of compensation in exchange for some other right to future compensation may trigger adverse tax consequences and should be reviewed carefully for U.S. and foreign local tax compliance to ensure that the arrangement does not violate applicable tax rules. This was different than the “economic uncertainty” certification as enumerated in the CARES Act. Additional considerations for soft, nonpermanent, spatial changes in the workplace prior to reopening including the following: Spatial requirements vary widely based upon the location at issue. Additionally, a questionnaire asks entrants to the premises questions about whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. Special attention should be given to preparing members of this team as they are on the front lines when responding to employees during this pandemic. Educational organizations may apply a 26-week standard instead of 13. You should maintain routine cleaning and disinfection procedures after reopening to reduce the potential for exposure. It is possible that a person known to be infected could return to work earlier than a person who is quarantined due to direct exposure if the infected worker meets the criteria for ending self-isolation. Thus, an employee known to be infected could leave isolation earlier than an employee who has been quarantined because of the possibility they are or may still become infected. UPDATED ANSWER (June 11, 2020)Do any OSHA requirements apply when employees wear face coverings? Because of COVID-19, the 100 interns in our corporate offices in Bartlesville and Houston have been working virtually while those at the refineries and terminals are actually onsite. UPDATED QUESTION & ANSWER (May 8, 2020)Can we ban employees with an underlying condition from coming to work due to their enhanced vulnerability to COVID-19? Only if the they reasonably believe they will be in imminent danger as provided under the OSH Act. For borrowers whose loan amounts are in excess of $2 million, the announcement makes clear that such borrowers that do not return PPP loan funds by May 18 may still have an adequate basis for making the required good-faith certification. Welcome to the Fisher Phillips website. UPDATED QUESTION AND ANSWER (June 18, 2020)If we collect and maintain information about employees’ temperature checks and/or COVID-19 diagnosis, will such collection or disclosure of this information trigger any HIPAA obligations? The CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus, given that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms. If employees are getting tested for general surveillance or as part of an employee “return to work” program, is that testing covered by the FFCRA and required to be provided without cost-sharing? UPDATED ANSWER (August 12, 2020)Does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) still apply to my rehired employees? Once you have re-hired the individual, you should require the incoming employees to execute all new hire paperwork, which may include a handbook acknowledgment, arbitration agreement, restrictive covenant agreements, to name a few. UPDATED QUESTION & ANSWER (April 21, 2020)What if the federal government says businesses should open, but our state or local government directs us to remain closed? 2. In this example, the adoption of the new monetary policy rule has opposite effects on household welfare in the two cases. You should be sure to consult your benefits attorney for further advice on this. Instead, inspection of documents can be conducted remotely (e.g., by video, fax, or email). If you otherwise have work for the employee to perform at the worksite, just being “scared” to come back to work would generally not be a qualifying reason under EPSL. . However, you should continue to apply their normal policies of non-discrimination to the hiring process. If the Break-In-Service rules apply to your plan, ensure the break is based on consecutive weeks. UPDATED ANSWER (May 19, 2020)What if we have an employee who hasn’t worked a full quarter? To do so, we need to specify that statistical relationship. Section 13(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) defines “imminent danger” to include “any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which can reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this Act.” OSHA describes imminent danger as where there is “threat of death or serious physical harm,” or “a reasonable expectation that toxic substances or other health hazards are present, and exposure to them will shorten life or cause substantial reduction in physical or mental efficiency.”. Third, implement, re-implement, or even re-tool the work plan. Many jurisdictions require employers to provide working notice or pay in lieu of notice based on an employee’s years of service, position, age, and other relevant factors. The model of the economy just described allows us to assess what might lead to a flattening of the Phillips curve as represented by a simple statistical relationship. Further, the particular standard does not provide a definition of the employer-employee relationship. Some jurisdictions prohibit all termination without cause and may order reinstatement in certain cases. Are there any special leave-based donation programs relating to COVID-19? You may also consider the possibility of erecting a barrier that provides separation between an at-risk employee and others or increasing the distance between an at-risk employee and others. Likewise, employees may have important business information at home that exists nowhere on company systems. Posting signage that customers must wear masks and the business will refuse entry to those who do not is vital. In addition, if you availed your organization of this option, you must provide written documentation of your remote onboarding and telework policy during this time. However, in general, a more restrictive state or local shutdown or “shelter-in-place” order will control. Technically, then, even if the participant was rehired within 30 days, the plan must automatically distribute a new SPD if they lost coverage under a plan between termination and rehire. Employee waivers are usually unenforceable. âCOVID doesnât rest at night. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Be prepared to demonstrate that you followed CDC and OSHA guidance to reduce any transmission of the virus. The path chosen for responding to those challenges may ultimately determine whether employers emerge with their union-free status intact – or as unionized casualties within a rapidly evolving labor relations landscape. Let’s study whether this adjustment to the conduct of monetary policy improves welfare in the two cases described above, namely the case where the flattening is due to less price stickiness (Case 1) and the one where it is due to a more aggressive response of monetary policy to economic activity (Case 2). They â¦ What steps can we take to avoid such lawsuits? Finally, review your existing remote policy to determine whether it needs updating – or implement a remote work policy if you started the practice without one. You can show care and concern, as well as sympathy, in new ways that do not involve physical contact. The parameters φπ and φy control how aggressively the central bank raises the interest rate in response to, respectively, inflation and economic activity. The foreign national may remain in the U.S. for up to a 60-day period following the termination or for the remainder of the existing visa petition and status validity period, whichever is shorter. Note, however, if a rehire previously exercised a conversion right – for example, converted a life or AD&D policy during their separation period – the insurance carrier and plan documents will need to be consulted for specific guidance on reinstituting coverage through the employer. Having devoted the past several weeks to driving increased scrutiny over the impact of COVID-19 on their dues paying members, unions are now expected to turn their attention to unorganized workers in an effort to stem the decline and replenish their ranks. Even if the individualized assessment concludes that the employee’s disability poses a direct threat to their own health, you must also consider reasonable accommodations before excluding the employee from the workplace. A health plan, however, may impose an exclusion or waiting period for coverage of service-connected disabilities as determined by the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Alternatively, you may pay back any unused funds. If not, confirm that the work you are performing is actually necessary to the performance of an ultimate federal contract. Possibly. The EEOC reminded employers that your employees are prohibited by law from harassing other employees through emails, calls, video platforms, or chat communications. More specifically, let’s consider the effect of adopting a new monetary policy rule where the interest rate stops responding to output deviations (φy=0) and responds slightly more aggressively to inflation (φπ=1.6). This process may also include criminal background and credit checks, drug test, and post-offer/pre-employment physical exams. When employees trust that you are being honest and transparent in your communications, and that you are taking every step possible to ensure their safety, they will be more likely to return to work and perform their jobs as required. Educate your employees and engage with them. In these situations, employers may consider encouraging the service member to telework before returning to the workplace, if feasible. Within the FFCRA, for example, EPSL is in addition to paid sick leave requirements enacted at the state or local level. Further, if an employee returns to work, they will then be potentially eligible for these benefits until December 31, 2020 if subsequently covered by a qualifying reason that makes them unable to work or telework. Are my required posters (including FFCRA) correctly placed in my workplace? If that is not reasonably possible, you may advise the individual that they may not enter at that time but they may in the future if wearing a full clear face shield. The Fisher Phillips COVID-19 litigation tracker has been following closely the number of lawsuits filed with COVID-19-related claims. If you do not spend the entirety of the loan amount during the covered period, and elect to retain the remaining amount, the remaining amount may still only be used for the expressly allowed purposes. When we call employees back from furlough, should we ask them to sign an arbitration agreement? This includes social distancing, frequent handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting work areas, adjusting the workplace to separate employees (including split-shifts, staggered breaks, and altering work stations), and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). After shelter-in-home orders are lifted, can I take an employee’s temperature at work to determine whether they might be infected? Likewise, that former employee might be more likely to pursue customers covered by a non-solicitation covenant based on the rationale that desperate times require desperate measures. During a crisis like this, people generally want to know how it affects them and their jobs, what they need to do at home and at work, and how the organization is impacted by and handling the crisis. The new statement on goals and strategy seeks to align monetary policy with key longer-run changes in the economy. Are you in a community no longer requiring significant mitigation? UPDATED ANSWER (July 7, 2020)What do we need to know about international travel, visa appointments and Canadian border entries? Just as with workers in the U.S., you should adopt a phased approach that include safety protocols to limit contact, promote social distance, screen for symptoms, and test for COVID-19. For eligible non-payroll costs such as rent, these must be paid during the eight-week Covered Period beginning on the date the loan is disbursed, or incurred during the Covered Period and paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the billing date is after the Covered Period. The simple cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC can be made at home from common household materials. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of having a business continuity plan in place. The eight-week/24-week clock would begin on the first date of the first pay period following the day the loan was disbursed. Although no case law currently exists, we believe that OSHA may ultimately determine that a failure to notify employees of a confirmed COVID-19 case is a violation of OSHA’s. For your hourly non-exempt employees, you are free to change their rate of pay back to the original level. To what position is the service member entitled upon reemployment? However, while operations were closed, an employee requested pay for FFCRA leave. This should include an application, I-9 form (depending on the length of time the employee has been terminated) and the normal hiring paperwork. This is an evolving and largely untested area of law. Employers who have been served NOIs should use this opportunity to carefully review your I-9s and documentation in anticipation of a return of ICE in the near future. The agency recommends that you should ensure your managers understand how to recognize harassment and know how to quickly identify and resolve potential problems. If the break is not based on consecutive weeks, additional analysis must be performed for persons with intermittent separations. UPDATED QUESTION & ANSWER (June 15, 2020)One of our employees has requested a reasonable accommodation because they live with a family member who is in a vulnerable population and are afraid of transmitting the virus to them. In either case, you should develop an appropriate standardized remote work plan that addresses your business needs for when the crisis is over. UPDATED ANSWER (July 7, 2020)If a foreign national employee was abroad at the time that the U.S. closed its borders due to COVID-19, but has a valid work visa stamp, can the employee now enter the U.S.? You may wish to consider the incidence of false-positives or false-negatives associated with a particular test. The expectations were based on a rule that has shaped decades of monetary policy decisions: the Phillips curve, or the concept that inflation tends to rise when the unemployment rate falls, and vice versa. You may need to temporarily modify the work schedules of at-risk employees to decrease their contact with others. The model focuses on fluctuations of log-output, inflation, and the interest rate around their steady-state values. If the funds are not used for the enumerated purposes, you will be directed to repay the misused amounts, with those amounts not being forgiven. COVID-19 has caused significant slowdown in our international businesses. 29 C.F.R. If the employee worked for two different employers during the four quarters at issue, then the state will notify both former employers about the claim and will look to both employers for unemployment benefits coverage. Of course, thorough communication to your employees during this process will help them recognize your efforts to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
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