Opening Back Up
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
On March 13th, we sent all of our employees and their computers home and said don’t come back – at least until it is safe. While we were deemed an essential business, the health of our team was essential to us. We decided to keep everyone at home.
Since then we have hired a new employee and are about to hire more, and we are going to need to get us all back into the office safely. Many of us are in the same boat. How do we do it, when it’s not just as easy as unlocking the front door?
Here’s what I recommend:
1. Choose one person to own it.
Make this person your CORONA-GURU. Whether this person is your safety person, your HR person, or YOU! You need someone to lead, to research, and to keep up on the ever-changing data. Does that mean they do it in a vacuum? No! It means they lead the charge, educate the team, and work with decision makers to take action.
This is the person employees should go to with questions or concerns. One voice. One message.
2. Use validated resources.
If someone says, “I read on Facebook…” STOP THEM before they go on any further and unless they can verify the source of the information, then don’t let it enter into the conversation. It’s confusing, sometimes inflammatory, and many times just plain wrong!
The Center for Disease Control, the Department of Labor, The state Health Department, and Employment Practices experts. That’s where you should be getting your information.
To make it easy, here are some resources for you as you make these decisions. If you want to bounce it off of someone, give us a call, we are happy to help.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a variety of guidance documents, downloadable posters, and other printable resources:
- COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings
- Workplace Decision Tree
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease
- All CDC Guidance Documents
- What you need to know poster (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- What to do if you are sick poster (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- Stop the spread of germs poster (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- Symptoms of coronavirus poster (English, Spanish)
- President’s Coronavirus Guidance: 30 Days to Slow the Spread poster (Spanish)
- Workplace, School and Home Guidance poster
- Phone Numbers for State and Local Health Departments
- See all CDC print resources
Keep up to date on CDC guidance for specific industries, latest updates, and resources on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) main page.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created a resource page for workers and employers. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has posted these posters and guidance:
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
- Required poster: Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Spanish)
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice – Frequently Asked Questions
- COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet #70: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Furloughs and Other Reductions in Pay and Hours Worked Issues
- COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies and the Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and Answers
- COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers
- Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has created a landing page entitled What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19, which provides links to resources and guidance.
In response to COVID-19, the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin regarding HIPAA Privacy and COVID-19.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a COVID-19 website for workers and employers that addresses the disease and provides guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to and infection with the virus.
OSHA has also issued the publication Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.