Critical HR Info for Small Business

March 18, 2020

So much is being written about the virus.  I’ve gotten emails from my car manufacturer (they’re open!), retail stores, my wine shop and more.

But none of them are providing any useful information for small business owners who have staff.  Well, here it is!

We’ve leaned into one of our most valuable partners with HR background. Please read on as she shares precision information about resources and news affecting small business owners.

 


From Nicole Anderson, CEO/Human Resources Business Partner, Mend LLC.

We realize there is a much uncertainty around what to expect and happen as a result of the COVID-19 virus. We are also sure you are tired of hearing information on the subject. Yet, we feel it is important we share some resources with you to help you communicate effectively and efficiently with your staff as well as provide you information you will need to make decisions.

Communicating with your staff:
https://hbr.org/2020/03/how-to-reassure-your-team-when-the-news-is-scary

Crisis Communication Plan:
https://www.ready.gov/business/implementation/crisis

Legal Resources:
https://www.jacksonlewis.com/practice/coronaviruscovid-19

State Legislation Changes:
https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-and-samples/exreq/Pages/State-Law-Developments.aspx

Pending Legislation waiting Senate approval: (this will impact small to mid-sized the most, and is likely to pass within the next 72 hours)
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/pending-coronavirus-legislation-may-87622/

About this pending legislation:

  • The new law would take effect no later than 15 days after enactment. The Bill contains a sunset provision of December 31, 2020.
  • The new law would not apply to employers with 500 or more employees.
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
    • Job Protections for the following:
      • Employers with employees with the company for at least 30 days or more are eligible
      • Employers with under 50 employees may file for an exemption if you can show following: these new restriction with harm your business
        • To comply with a recommendation or order by a health care provider or a public official having jurisdiction because the employee has been exposed to or is exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus and because the employee is unable to perform his or her job functions while complying with the order.
        • To care for a family member who has been exposed to or is exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.
        • To care for a child under the age of 18 if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child’s compensated child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency.
      • Required to pay 80 hours of sick leave
        • To self-isolate because the employee is diagnosed with coronavirus;
        • To obtain a medical diagnosis or care if the employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus;
        • To comply with a recommendation or order by a public official with jurisdiction or a health care provider because the employee has been exposed to or is exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus;
        • To care for or assist a family member of an employee who meets any of the above descriptions; and
        • To care for the child of the employee if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the compensated child care provider of the child is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.
        • If the sick time is taken to care for the employee’s own diagnosis, care, or isolation, the employee is entitled to paid sick time at their regular rate of pay (but not less than the applicable federal, state, or local minimum wage). If the time is taken to care for a family member or child, the employee is entitled to two-thirds of their regular rate. Regular rate is determined using the FLSA definition.
        • Paid sick time is available for immediate use regardless of how long the employee has been employed.
        • The employee may use paid sick time under the Act before using any other accrued paid time off.
        • Emergency paid sick time is in addition to any paid time entitlement under the employer’s existing paid time off policy. The employer may not change its paid leave policies on or after the date of the Act’s enactment to avoid providing the additional two weeks of emergency paid sick time.
      • To help employers cover the costs of the new Paid Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Time requirements, the House passed certain tax credit provisions equal to 100% of the qualifying wages paid under the two programs, subject to certain caps and limitations. The credit is taken against payroll taxes owed.

Once the new law has been enacted we will schedule a webinar to go through all the information and answer any questions you may have.

Stay well,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams