We've prepared a toolkit full of print material and tools you can use to help your employees manage working during the pandemic.Download Here
Can employees refuse a recall to work and still collect unemployment?
Generally not. An employee, who was furloughed or temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus, must accept if they are returning to the same or similar job arrangement they had prior to the furlough. If the job or schedule is significantly changed, the employee may still be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. A request that a furloughed employee return to his or her job very likely constitutes an offer of suitable employment that the employee must accept. Employers should be proactive in communicating the additional safety precautions the company is implementing. We recommend advance and consistent communication with employees prior to their anticipated return-to-work date. Ideally, employers should begin reaching out to employees fourteen (14) days in advance. We invite you to utilize our Return to Work Letter and our Return to Work Calendar, found within this toolkit.
Can companies still utilize the FFCRA tax credit if they've received PPP funds?
Yes, with a few clarifications. The Social Security tax exempt Emergency Paid Family Leave and Emergency Sick Leave earnings must be paid independent of PPP funding. Employees with a qualifying event should utilize normal payroll funds if wanting to take advantage of the SS-tax credit. The “Cares Paycheck Protection Program Report” in isolved will help employers identify which payroll funds were used and how the total amount was used, for the PPP loan. We recommend retaining this report with your payroll information, in case of an audit, in accordance with the IRS four (4) year retention guidelines.
Our People Services team has forms for employees requesting Emergency Paid Sick or Emergency Paid Family Leave also available for reference. You can find these resources in the toolkits below.
Can an employee testing positive for coronavirus be considered a Work Comp and/or OSHA recordable event?
It depends. We would recommend handling each situation on a case-by-case basis and working directly with your insurance provider, as it depends on state guidance. Workers compensation laws cover “occupational disease” that arise during the course of employment, but many states provisions exclude “ordinary disease of life” (i.e. a cold or the flu).
COVID-19 is an OSHA recordable illness if all three of the following criteria are met:
Our People Services team encourages employers to implement additional safeguards in the workplace to better ensure employees' ongoing safety.
Can we request employees sign a waiver of liability when they return to work?
No. We advise against the use of liability waivers. They would have no protection to an employer should an employee make a claim upon their return to work. Instead, employers should instead ensure to implement the correct policy and safety provisions to better mitigate the contraction or spread of the virus. Employers may require employees to sign for receipt of safety procedures/practices.
What if employees refuse to follow the new safety measures we put in place?
What steps should I take as I prepare to reopen?
Employers should consider 9 important factors as they prepare to reopen.
Check out People Service's in-depth and valuable Return to Work Guide (included in our toolkit) that covers these topics. We also invite you to hear our People Services experts discuss these topics in our upcoming 3-part webinar series (register here).
Can we allow some employees to continue to work from home but not others?
Probably. As part of your analysis when deciding to reopen, you should weigh your options for the continuation of telecommuting. While you can allow certain employees to work from home, you want to ensure there's a logical business reason free of discrimination and/or retaliation. Alternatively, you could implement a rotating schedule to give all staff the opportunity to take advantage of the remote option. While there may be a reduction in office overhead, employers must consider if their culture, staff productivity, and company policy compliance will be negatively impacted.
Join us June 4th for the second webinar in our series, “Managing from Afar – The Future of Remote Leadership”.
Review your current handbook policy and consider implementing a telecommuting policy (a template for such a policy is included in our Return-to-Work Tools.
Use this form to download our free Return-to-Work Toolkit, which includes the following resources to help get your employees back to work safely:
We have several tools in place to assist you with any upcoming adjustments. Should your company meet the guidelines for changes, please contact your isolved support team and we will guide you through the proper setup. We are equipped to track and limit the necessary caps and guidelines for both the temporary expansion of FMLA and Paid Sick Leave. In the event you need to do mass terminations or inactivation of your staff, we have import options available to speed up the process.
Please contact your isolved Support Team for assistance with setting up these configurations.
When reaching out, please be ready with which of the options below you will need to set up.
Rules for full-time employees, where they will be provided 80 hours of emergency paid "sick" leave to be used in any of the following circumstances:
Again, should you need to set any of this up please contact your isolved Support team – we are here to help you. We have a team in place to closely monitor all events related to COVID-19 and will continue to communicate updates as needed.
Rules for part-time employees who are entitled to "a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works on average, over a two-week period."
Fourty-four percent of HR leaders expect their organizations to mandate the vaccine in order to return to work according to isolved’s survey of 500 HR managers, directors, VPs and chief people/HR officers. Can companies do this? Can employees opt out? How can we protect against COVID-19 with or without the vaccine? What are the actual facts about the vaccines? The following resources will get your staff up to date on CDC guidance.
The isolved People Services team is constantly monitoring the ever-changing guidance around COVID‐19 and how it impacts our clients. Below is a list of FAQs our Peoples Services team recently compiled. Please note that the government response to the pandemic is fluid and ongoing guidance is expected.
President Trump signed bill HR 6201, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" on Wednesday, March 18. The bill goes into effect on April 1, 2020 and is set to end on December 31, 2020. This bill will, among other things, provide paid sick leave and expanded FMLA provisions to all employers with fewer than 500 employees. Certain provisions may not apply to certain employers with fewer than 50 employees. Special rules may apply for Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders.
Yes, there are two opportunities for paid leave for employees, either through the Paid Sick Leave Act or Emergency Family Leave Expansion Act.
Full‐time employees, who are unable to work (onsite or remotely), will receive 80 hours of sick leave at their regular rate of pay (up to a certain maximum) due to COVID‐19 related isolation, self‐ quarantine, and/or symptoms. Employees who are unable to work due to caring for a family member, for the previous mentioned reasons, or due to child or school care closures, are eligible for 2/3 of their regular rate of pay (up to a certain maximum). Part‐time employees will receive a pro‐ rated amount of leave equivalent to average hours worked in a two‐week period. All employees are eligible for this benefit regardless of length of service with a company.
The Family Medical Leave Act has been expanded to provide paid leave for up to 10 of the 12 weeks at 2/3 of the employee's regular rate of pay, of eligible leave, to care for children who are under 18 years of age, and whose school or place of care has closed due to the COVID‐19 public health emergency.
The maximum amount of paid leave available to an employee is 12 weeks and intermittent leave is allowed under the provision.
Employees are eligible for the sick leave immediately upon hire, regardless of length of service or employment category (part‐time, full‐time, exempt and/or non‐exempt). Employees are eligible for Emergency FMLA after 30 days of service, regardless of employment category.
The Emergency FMLA is specific to COVID‐19 related closures that impact employees' children under 18. Quarantine will not trigger the Emergency FMLA leave provisions, although there may be traditional, unpaid FMLA leave rights available, as well as unemployment insurance.
At this time, all employers, with less than 500 employees, are required to comply with the paid leave obligations. Certain provisions may not apply to certain employers with fewer than 50 employees. Further guidance is expected in the near future.
Yes. More guidance will be forthcoming by the secretary of labor, but employers can seek reimbursement for paid sick leave wages through tax credits applicable to the employer's portion of Social Security taxes.
Yes. These benefits will be provided in the form of a tax credit.
Employees who are laid off will be entitled to unemployment benefits. Employers should consider state nuances, as many states are now requiring any company‐provided paid time off benefits must be paid out for COVID‐related layoffs, prior to the employee receiving unemployment benefits. isolved can help you set up leave time tracking for COVID‐19 in isolved.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law last week. The bill includes expanded unemployment benefits for workers, including $600 additional in weekly benefits for up to four months. We recommend employers consider their other options under this bill prior to reducing employee hours, layoffs or furloughs.
We recognize the urgency and importance of this topic and the impact it will have on your business and employees. Our isolved HR professionals are committed to assisting you. Ongoing and customized support is available to clients who wish to partner with our People Services team for an additional fee. There are cost‐effective, 12‐month subscription packages available. Please reach out to your client services representative if you're interested in pricing.