We've been actively reading information as it comes out from the CDC and WHO about Coronavirus / COVID-19. Last week we had an excellent discussion with CXR Members about the plans and actions they've already taken with their employees and candidates. As we all adapt to a continuously changing situation, we thought the following checklists might be helpful for you as you continue to fine tune your own business (and personal) responses to this virus.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home and ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that your employees are aware of these policies. Additional things to consider:
- Restrict international travel and limit domestic travel to essential trips only. Be sensitive.
- Set up EA line for employees to call in with concerns, questions, etc.
- Encourage frequent use of hand sanitizers and good hygiene practice.
- Set up communication site to keep employees and job candidates informed
- Monitor county and state health departments to determine state of preparation, readiness and stability in towns and cities where the bulk of employees reside. Do the same for international employees and ex-pats.
- Employees who go overseas on their own should be advised that there may be potential difficulties returning or quarantine restrictions upon return.
- Review disability benefits especially provided by contract, review limits, and needs for assistance to administer the program. Americans with Disabilities regulations are in effect. An employee may develop a disability from COVID-19 or aggravate a pre-existing disability. Employee may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, provided it does not cause an undue hardship or direct threat to health and safety. Possible accommodations include working from home, paid or unpaid leave, reduced schedule upon return to work and/or no travel.
- Review family medical leave regulations (may be needed for Elder Care and school closings): 12 weeks unpaid leave in 12 month period for qualifying reasons (exempt employees working part time may be paid). A serious health condition of employee or covered family member is a qualifying reason under the FMLA. State law may provide additional leave and time off benefits and rights and should also be reviewed.
- Worker’s Compensation regulations are also in effect if “arising out of and in course of employment.” Requires reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary total disability benefits, permanent disability, if any. Engage competent medical professional (infectious disease) to advise.
- Return to work considerations may need to include medical release, fitness for duty, duty to protect visitors to premises from hazards which are not open and obvious.
- OSHA/NIOSH Recommends: Conduct “hazard assessment” for potential exposures (e.g., occupational activities involving potential exposure e.g., travel, healthcare transportation) • Develop an action plan: – hazard identification – hazard prevention procedures – employee training – medical monitoring surveillance – recordkeeping (OSHA 300 Log, etc.)
Job candidate considerations
As a recruiter or talent acquisition professional you have additional considerations to consider for your candidates:
- Audit the candidate journey for any non-digital workflow by ANY stakeholder and convert all to digital, remote/home/telecommuting.
- Review all onboarding activities and temporarily convert to digital or consider extending start dates, etc.
Things that all of us need to keep in mind during any virus season:
- Rethink the handshake
- Practice good hygiene (cover coughs, avoid close contact with those who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, wash hands with soap and water)
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces with household cleaning spray or wipe
- A note about face masks: The CDC does not recommend people who are well wear a face mask. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus. Face masks are crucial for health workers and people taking care of someone in close settings (home / health care facility).