Employers are scrambling to determine what they should be doing now to prepare for the very frightening and growing threat of the coronavirus.

And that massive challenge comes at the same time as this influenza season,
which is well on its way to being the worst in a decade.

The impact of these viral illnesses will ripple through every workplace, regardless of location or industry, cautions veteran labor and employment attorney Dr. Jim Castagnera, in a Premiere Learning Solutions webinar.

Employers are taking a serious look at how they can keep their businesses
operating and protect employees.

And, with state and federal government agencies telling most employees to stay at home, the number of people working remotely is exploding, raising policy issues and potentially creating very real employment law concerns.

Coronavirus and compliance issues

Potential compliance issues include:

  • Permitted employer actions under the ADA, FMLA,
    Title VII and other federal and state statutes and regulations
  • The important ADA concepts of
    “disability-related inquiries,” “medical examinations,” “direct threat,” “undue
    hardship, and other similar terms
  • Leave policies and FMLA requirements
  • Acceptable teleworking arrangements to protect

Taking effective action will require advanced planning and strategic management decisions, according to Castagnera.

And, while these are clearly extraordinary circumstances, many of the issues
raised or exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic will reverberate long after things
begin returning to normal, said Castagnera.

COVID-19 workplace questions

For example, employers need to understand what they can ask a worker who
calls in sick during this crisis.

Are you allowed to check temperature and send employees home if they show
symptoms of COVID-19 or other influenzas?

Similarly, it isn’t completely clear if you’ll be able to demand a doctor’s
certification for an employee before they can return to work after contracting

Meanwhile, OSHA is telling employers they must track any COVID-19 infections confirmed to have occurred in the workplace and employers may be on the hook for workers’ compensation related to the illness

And some experts are even pondering whether employers need to immediately update job descriptions to accommodate the new remote work reality.

For more compliance information

The Premiere Learning Solutions webinar, Coronavirus & Influenza: Obligations Under FMLA, ADA, Title VII & More, on Tuesday, March 31 at 1 PM, provides the answers you need to these urgent questions.

In addition to the issues discussed here, Dr. Castagnera explores:

  • Best practices employers should implement now to protect employees
  • What if an employee refuses to work near someone who appears to be ill?
  • How do you handle leave time – is it paid or unpaid?
  • Updates from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and state health authorities

Additional resources

Join Premier Learning Solutions for these additional workshops:

Coronavirus & Remote Work: Pivoting from Bricks to Clicks, on Monday, March 30 at 1 PM will give you internationally-recognized business consultant Michelle Coussens’ insight into:

  • Keys to creating robust business continuity plans
  • How to scale online collaboration and enhance results
  • Keeping Up Off-site Productivity & Morale
  • Tactics to take traditional business functions from the office to the web
  • Implications of the increasingly remote workplace
  • Maintaining in-person culture in a remote workplace
  • Workforce skills needed to succeed in the remote work future
  • How you can help your team counter social isolation

Coronavirus in the Workplace: Employers’ Duty to Protect Employees Available on demand

  • The coronavirus and other common diseases putting employees at risk today
  • OSHA requirements for guarding against infectious diseases in the workplace
  • What you need to know about diseases and how they’re transmitted
  • How employers can protect employees, reduce risks and stay compliant
  • Should employers put a stop to employee travel – especially internationally?

and much more

The post Coronavirus and compliance: Obligations Under FMLA, ADA and Title VII appeared first on HR Morning.

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