Transitioning to the New NormalMay 21, 2020
Christmas in JuneJune 5, 2020
“Document! Document! Document!” is the mantra of Human Resources professionals in the best of times and even more important now in the time of dealing with COVID-19 legislation. Written documents are an employer’s best protection to prove that certain actions have been taken and how situations were handled.
- Document “rehire” offers to employees who were furloughed or laid-off during the “stay-at-home” mandate. Employers who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds will be required to provide documentation explaining any reduction in the number of employees (full-time equivalent or FTE) to qualify for loan forgiveness. If an employee rejects the written offer to return to work, then the employer may qualify for an FTE Safe Harbor on the PPP Forgiveness Application. The Safe Harbor applies to employees who did not return to work during the 8-week period covered by PPP funds who:
- were fired for cause,
- voluntarily resigned, or
- voluntarily requested and received a reduction in their work hours
- but ONLY if the position was not filled by a new employee.
- Document enhanced safety measures (social distancing, face masks, gloves, increased cleaning measures) that are being taken to protect employees and customers. Put it in writing and have each employee sign a document to ensure their understanding and compliance.
- Document health screenings. Employees, customers and others visiting the workplace may be required to sign a statement that they have not been exposed to or experienced symptoms of coronavirus, or traveled to a COVID-19 hot spot in the past two weeks. Temperature scans (if required) must be conducted and documented privately for legal reasons. These health-related documents should be retained for three years and may be saved electronically.
- Document requests for sick leave. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides up to two weeks (80 hours) of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) for employees if they have COVID-19 symptoms, are caring for someone with coronavirus, or have underlying health conditions that make them high-risk for COVID-19. Employers should require employees requesting paid sick leave to provide written documentation from a medical provider in order to take leave and to return to work.
- Document requests for family leave. The Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) allows up to 12 weeks of paid leave (at 2/3 employee’s regular rate of pay) for an employee to provide childcare for the employee’s own minor child(ren) whose school/childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19. Employers should require employees requesting family leave to submit a written request along with documentation to support the closure.
An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs. From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.