Things Employers Need To Consider About COVID-19
Many things tax the grit of a business owner during normal operations. However, the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting forced business changes by cities and states are like nothing we've experienced as a country in modern times. The rules are changing, and, in addition, you still have to abide by the existing laws that were enacted for employee benefits. All this while keeping your customer's trust and confidence in your ability to keep them safe from the virus so that they will buy your products or services in a completely new business model.
Laws and Mandates
Refamiliarize yourself with Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations during this time. While there are no new OSHA regulations for Coronavirus, there is a COVID-19 page on the OSHA website that you need to read. Remember, you must also document any employees who contract COVID-19 and report it to OSHA. Take care to follow privacy rules set forth by HIPPA, as well as OSHA, ADA and others.
Additionally, on March 18, 2020, there was a newly passed update to the Family Medical Leave Act called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Among other relief, it expands family and employee sick leave during a quarantine. City and state leaders are calling for closures and self-quarantines around the country, so you must stay aware of the changes in your area to stay compliant. If you must make the difficult decision to close your business, there are guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor that apply.
Prevention and Safety
It is up to everyone to be a good steward of public health, but even more so if you have a business. You now must have heightened awareness and practices in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus among your employees and your customers while being observant of employee benefits. To help, the Centers for Disease Control have issued interim guidance for employers during the times of COVID-19. Some good rule of thumb practices are:
Communication and Trust
As an employer in these trying times, you need to be aware that how you respond to this challenge can make all the difference in your ongoing operations. Communication is the key to trust. Make employees feel safe about their working conditions and be accommodating to navigate childcare issues, school closings and family obligations.
Use all available options such as email, social media and advertising to communicate your ongoing but altered business operations as you conform to changing requirements. Include all the safety measures you are taking to protect both your employees and customers. Consumer confidence will ensure that they will keep buying from your business during trying times.
Now more than ever, you want to know that you have a health insurance broker you can depend on. Sackett and Associates Insurance Services is your trusted provider of individual and group insurance. Get an online quote, or give them a call at 707-823-3689 for more information today.