HR

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons.

These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion requirements passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In general, employee leave permitted under new state COVID-19 rules and guidance varies with respect to factors like the employers and employees covered by the leave, the length and purpose of the leave, whether the leave is compensated and at what rate, and whether the leave is provided under a new law or rule, or covered under an existing provision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every facet of the workplace. With everything upended, employers are understandably focused on maintaining their service and product quality. But working hard isn’t the only key to successfully enduring the pandemic—in fact, the opposite may be just as critical.

Paid time off (PTO) is something many employees take for granted. Hundreds of millions of vacation days go unused each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Due to a variety of factors, some employees opt not to use time off, and they—and the entire organization—end up suffering for it in the long run. This article explains why encouraging employees to take PTO can be just as important, if not more so, than encouraging the “hustle” culture.

“Survivor’s guilt” is often associated with car crashes or natural disasters, but it can occur after any traumatic event.

The emotion typically comes when individuals feel remorseful for making it through a tragedy when others did not. In a professional setting, employees may experience survivor’s guilt— and the anxiety that comes with it—after organizational layoffs, furloughs or other shake-ups. Employers should do everything they can to address these complex emotions among employees following major workplace changes. Failing to do so can result in serious long-term consequences for employees and the organization as a whole. This article provides a brief overview of how survivor’s guilt can affect a workforce and outlines mitigation steps for employers to take.

On Aug. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 to remind employers of their obligation to accurately account for the number of hours their employees work away from the employer’s facilities.

While the bulletin was issued in response to the high number of employees working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOL is also reminding employers that the underlying principles apply to other telework or remote work arrangements.

When planning how to address challenges and create an environment for successful remote teams, leaders will focus on best practices that support organization and team dynamics—but also, each individual employee. This toolkit provides considerations for having employees and teams succeed in a remote environment, and how...

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued questions and answers (Q&As) on when federal contractors must include Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis- Bacon Act (DBA) or Executive Order (EO) 13706 fringe benefits—or their monetary equivalent—for workers taking leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

According to the Q&As, federal contractors whose work is covered by the SCA, the DBA or EO 13706 generally do not have to pay the health and welfare fringe benefit rate that those laws and the executive order would normally require when employees take FFCRA paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave.

Everyone knows that name-calling, teasing and other bullying behavior is unwelcome in the workplace.

But what if the comments are veiled in humor? Jokes about “old farts” or “screen-obsessed millennials” might seem like acceptable office banter to some, but these comments may amount to ageism and could seriously impact an organization—and should be quickly snuffed out when noticed.
This article explains some of the ways offhand comments can affect a workplace and outlines steps employers can take to combat their spread.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, one guideline that is likely to last beyond this year is social distancing.

Employers have a responsibility to keep employees healthy and safe, and that duty is informing their return-to-work strategies. For instance, some organizations are keeping employees at home to work remotely for the foreseeable future. Other organizations are reconfiguring office layouts to lower capacity and considering safety measures like temperature checks and staggered shifts. No matter what an organization decides, its initiatives should be true to the company’s mission and values. As employers deliberate on new policies or procedures in response to the pandemic, it’s important to consider how those efforts might impact company culture and vice versa.