By Rachel Sapoznik
Amid the pandemic, businesses and organizations face many challenges in the field of employment. Here are five tips on staying in compliance with labor and employment laws during the pandemic:
1) Pay employees who remain working in the office or at home in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and other State required minimum wage overtime laws
2) Keep a good record of hours worked, and hours taken under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Expanded Family Medical Leave Act
3) Do not furlough, lay off, or terminate employees based on potential discriminatory reasons, such as laying off all employees with children or those that cannot speak English well. Have an articulable business necessity reason for laying off employees and a non-discriminatory method to determine what employees are affected.
4) Do not deny paid sick leave to those employees who meet the eligibility criteria under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act:
a) The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
b) The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
c) The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph (a) or has been advised as described in subparagraph (b).
d) The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions
e) The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
5) If an employee is not able to work or telework because they have to take care of their son or daughter because their school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency, you must grant the expanded family and medical leave to employees to care for the employee’s child (under 18 years of age).
Rachel Sapoznik is founder, CEO and president of Sapoznik Insurance.