The pandemic has affected both employers and employees, and everyone is trying to figure out how to work under new situations and new rules. The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are all governing workplace rights and responsibilities, and the new DOL guidance will help everyone understand them.
Until recently, employers in only a handful of industries had to provide significant reporting on COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. But as of May 26, new Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines require a much wider range of employers to determine whether employees caught the coronavirus at work or while performing work-related activities. If so, managers must record the illness on OSHA Form 300.
No one knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will end or what its true results will be. What is clear, however, is that the nature of commercial business has changed. According to Amperity’s COVID-19 Retail Monitor, as of March 26, overall retail demand was down 86 percent and online revenue was down 64 percent.
Health consequences aside, pandemics can wreak havoc on businesses, upending supply chains and employment models around the world. To help curb the spread of disease, public health officials may recommend that employees work from home, be placed on furlough or work fewer hours. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor may provide guidance on how U.S. employers should handle wages during the pandemic.
The National Partnership for Women and Families says that "at some point, nearly everyone will need to take time away from work to deal with a serious personal or family health condition, or to bond with a new child." Yet only 19% of U.S. employees receive paid family leave through their employers.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of finances, including retirement savings. The CARES Act contains provisions affecting these plans that will remain in effect for 2020. They include the following:
The health care community is fighting the coronavirus — officially named COVID-19 — on the medical front. But there are business issues as well, especially relating to the way companies manage their offices and employees. Managers face practical, emotional and legal considerations.
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