Here are some recommended key policies that you may need to draft or redraft due to COVID-19:
Under a new federal law passed in response to COVID-19, many employers are now required to provide paid sick leave for employees who have the virus, have been told to self-quarantine because they may have it, or need to care for an infected individual or for children whose school or daycare is closed.
This policy needs to be consistent with the law, as well as with state paid sick leave laws. If your policy doesn’t allow for paid sick leave, you will need to include a coronavirus exemption.
You will also want to consider other employee leave policies, including vacation policies or personal time.
Under normal circumstances, summer vacations, trips to the beach, and Fourth of July festivities would be right around the corner. Even with the uncertainty about what the coming weeks and months will bring, you might consider at least having policies requiring employees to notify you if they are traveling internationally (or even domestically to certain areas). You may also consider notifying employees they may be asked to self-quarantine if they choose to travel.
Teleworking – If you don’t already have a telework policy, you will want to create one now if at least some employees have the ability to work from home.
Disaster/Contingency Plans – This type of plan addresses such issues as how the employer will respond if local, state, or federal officials declare another state of emergency or if an outbreak occurs in the employer’s place of business.
Anything else that may help minimize risk of transmission – You may want to include policies that may help reduce the risk of a workplace outbreak:
- Employee travel
- Office visitors
- Access to certain areas that are or now should be designated for employees (or essential employees) only
- Employees coming and going from the premises during the day (such as at lunch and on breaks)
- Employees visiting other areas of the workplace
- Employees receiving personal mail or packages at work
Note: Government guidance suggests closing common areas if possible and minimizing travel, among other changes to the pre-COVID-19 workplace.
If you have questions on this or any other HR related issue, please don’t hesitate to contact HR Services for assistance. Call or email us at (800) 358-2163 and HRServices@501c.com.