COVID-19: Stay Informed & Be Prepared

Like the rest of the world, PeopleStrategy is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During unsettling situations such as the one we face today, employees rely on HR to provide guidance on how best to protect their health and that of their families. One of the best ways for HR professionals to assist employees is to be informed and prepared for the questions you will undoubtedly receive.
In addition to the COVID-19 Updates delivered via our Help Desk, we are sharing general resources we hope will be helpful in navigating the unexpected consequences of the pandemic.

Compliance Updates

Opening Up America Post COVID-19

President Trump Unveils Guidelines for Opening Up America Again: in mid-April, the White House issued a three-phased approach for “reopening” the country based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. Access the Guidelines here.

President Signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES): under the $2 trillion CARES Act Americans making $75,000 a year or less will receive $1,200, $600/week will be added to unemployment benefits for four months, there will be relief for the healthcare and airline industries and more. Check out the full provisions of the Act. 

DOL Issues Guidance on the FFCRA: Guidance for employees and employers on how each can take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the FFCRA when it takes effect on April 1, 2020

Families First Response Act: Questions and Answers

Fact Sheet for Employers

Fact Sheet for Employees

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: The legislation provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects public health workers, and provides important benefits to children and families. For additional details, review a summary of the Families First Act.

ICE Okays Remote I-9 Documentation: Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to the novel coronavirus need not review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence for Form I-9, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced March 20.

E-Verify Implements Temporary Policies: E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) amd to resolve Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TNCs in limited circumstances when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to public or private office closures.

Social Security Administration (SAA) Updates: The SSA has created a web page to keep individuals updated on what the SSA is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also register to received alerts when the page information is added or changed.

Templates & Resources

Returnng to work post covid-19

Return to Work Checklist for Employers & More Resources from ThinkHR: As employers start planning to bring employees back to work and into the office environment, there are many steps they must take. ThinkHR has developed a Return to Work Checklist to help guide businesses in this transition. For this and other helpful resources, visit the ThinkHR COVID-19 Free Response Center

Payfactors Free Comp Community: In these uncertain times, the need for community is stronger than ever. That’s why PeopleStrategy partner, Payfactors, is providing access to its Comp Community to all compensation and HR pros, free of cost. Hear how more than 25,000+ of your peers are navigating these challenges on the front lines. Click here to learn more about Payfactors’ Community and sign up.

COVID-19 Resources: FFCRA & CARES Acts: PeopleStrategy posted a blog sharing summaries of these key pieces of legislation that impact employees and employers. Below are several resources employers can find helpful in understanding specific provisions of these acts.

Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act created by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Small Business Administration infographic with guidelines for the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

FFCRA Emergency FMLA and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Guide

DOL Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster: The DOL issued a required poster under the FFCRA. In addition to the posters that you can download below, the DOL has issued questions and answers to help employers comply. 

FFCRA Poster for Employers

FFCRA Poster for Federal Employers

PeopleStrategy is proud to partner with ThinkHR, which offers a comprehensive people risk management solution and who has stepped up “big time” for all employers. In addition to the below templates you can download for your organization, ThinkHR is offering a free COVID-19 Resource Center where you can find updates on State & Federal Information, answers to FAQs and a Resource Center.

Webinars & Resources

HR Strategies for Helping Employees Navigate COVID-19: PeopleStrategy partner, TouchCare, a healthcare concierge service, has created a playbook to help HR professionals make sure employees have the tools, resources, and communication they need to get through these challenging times from a health perspective. Download the guide.

Answered: 10 Burning Questions about Return to Work Post-COVID: PeopleStrategy sponsored this webinar to help businesses as they begin to transition employees back to work. Listen to what our 3 expert presenters – HR analyst and experienced practitioner, Ben Eubanks; ThinkHR senior legal advisor, Kara Govro; and, Eric Meyer, employment attorney and partner with FisherBroyles – had to say on key #returntowork issues for HR professionals and employers. 

11+ Ideas to Engage and Support Your Remote Teams: In this podcast, HR analyst and author, Ben Eubanks shares 11+ ways HR leaders and line managers can support and engage their remote workers. He also talks about ways in which to continue supporting employees who want to continue working from home post-COVID-19.

COVID-19 HR Guidance & Best Practices Webinar: PeopleStrategy partner ThinkHR, hosted a webinar on March 31st during which Kara Govro, Senior Legal Editor, addressed the most common HR-related questions regarding COVID-19. Kara also shared resources and best practices on topics including work-from-home policies, FMLA and PTO. Access the recording.

FFCRA – What Employers Need to Know Podcast from We’re Only Human hosted by Ben Eubanks: In this episode, Ben talks with Eric Meyer, Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, about how employers should be responding to the current environment and what the law means for them. 

Johns Hopkins PodcastExperts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offer science and evidence-based insights on the public health news of the day. The current focus is on the coronavirus pandemic.

AI Meets Coronavirus on has developed an AI-charged Coronavirus FAQ chatbot providing up-to date tips, facts and help in dealing with COVID-19 and is offering webcasts to help businesses deal with the growing concerns. 

Coronavirus Tax Relief: The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. 

Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers: The Treasury Department & IRS announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to COVID-19 in Notice 2020-18. Get answers to deadline questions here.

Small Business Relief Tracker Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus: In an effort to help business owners find financial relief, Forbes has compiled a list of government agencies, private companies and nonprofits that are offering support.

Articles Worth Reading

Virtual Open Enrollment Tips

Great Tips for Businesses During These Difficult Times: While we all try to navigate these unsettling times and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be overwhelming, especially for HR professionals and business leaders trying to support employees. The 4 best practices identified in this article may be help. 

Don’t forget the WARN Act: The failure of an employer to provide a 60-day notice of layoffs as required by the WARN Act can open it up to a federal lawsuit by employees. Be sure you understand your obligations if undergoing layoffs or closures. 

What’s the Difference Between a Furlough & a Layoff? As companies are forced to cut back on expenses or temporarily close due to COVID_19, it is important to understand what qualifies as a furlough and a layoff as well as how to communicate each to employees.

3 Reminders About Coronavirus Scams: As hard as it is to imagine, scammers will take advantage of any situation, even the global Covid-19 pandemic. It’s important for employers, employees and individuals to be alert for scams

Employee Benefits & Compensation Considerations: This article takes a look at several issues relating to COVID-19 – such as paid leave, continuation of benefits, screening employees, retirement plan changes – and provides suggested strategies on how employers can prepare.

Supporting Employees During a Crisis: The impact of COVID-19 is not limited to the risk of infection. Employees will need physical, financial, emotional and developmental support. Ben Eubanks,HR professional, speaker, and blogger shares thoughts on how best to support employees in all areas. 

Parents Forced Into Triple Duty: As schools and daycare facilities close across the country, many parents fine themselves pulling triple duty: working, parenting and teaching. We can take solace in knowing we are not alone in the struggle and that we get to spend extra time with our kids 🙂