COVID-19 INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS - Labor/Unemployment
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Updates COVID-19 Guidance for Employers
The EEOC has updated its COVID-19 Guidance for employers. The updated information includes guidance for employers on the taking of temperature of employees as a part of their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Use this link to reach the EEOC COVID-19 page.
OSHA grants “good faith” relief from testing, inspections due to COVID-19 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that employers who are unable to fulfill annual testing, inspection, training and auditing due to the COVID-19 outbreak will be granted relief as long as the company makes good faith efforts to stay in compliance.
OSHA will evaluate “whether the employer made good faith efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards and, in situations where compliance was not possible, ensure that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained.” You can read the full OSHA enforcement memorandum here.
US Department of Labor publishes Federal Unemployment Benefits Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Labor has published an Unemployment Insurance Program Letter providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors are eligible for PUA benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020
US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Issues Guidance for Paid Leave
The US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division has released new guidance for implementing paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The document provides clarification for employers required to provide paid sick time and paid family leave under the new federal act. Follow this link to access the new rules.
NH Workshare May Work for Employers/Employees Hit Hard by COVID-19
NH Workshare is a program administered by New Hampshire’s Department of Employment Security. It was designed to help employers who are struggling to keep their trained workforce in place. Employers can temporarily reduce their workforce hours by 10% - 50% to avert a layoff allowing them to return to full time when business increases.
As employees are retained, morale, productivity and flexibility in the workplace are maintained. Affected employees have a softer landing as their hours are reduced rather than eliminated, and they keep their health insurance and can collect wages for hours worked plus unemployment compensation benefits for the reduced hours. Follow this link for more information for more information about the NH Workshare Program.
NH Employment Security Offers For-Profit/Non-Profit Employer Guidance
New Hampshire’s Department of Employment Security has produced two new documents to assist For-Profit Employers and Non-Profit Employers the information they need to navigate expanded unemployment benefits associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to deal with the number of first time filers for unemployment benefits, specific days and hours for filing will continue to be based on the first letter of the individual’s last name.
New US Department of Labor Guidance on implementing Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The US Department of Labor has issued new guidance for employers and employees providing information related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed and signed into law last week. New links include a “Fact Sheet for Employees” and a “Frequently Asked Questions” website.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers employer guidance for COVID-19
The EEOC is providing employers with relevant information on interacting with employees during the state of emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include how much information an employer can request for employees calling in sick; whether employers can require sick employees stay at home; whether employers who are hiring can screen potential new employees for symptoms related to COVID-19, and much more.
The following links are provided to employers seeking more information on best practices for responding to Coronavirus:
US Chamber Coronavirus Information Page
Center for Disease Control – Guidance for Business
US Department of Labor
NH Department of Health & Human Services