Last Updated: 3.5.2021 @ 11:20 am
DISCLAIMER: The following information is a guide, not intended to be used as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship is established by any communication through this website. Because every situation and every workplace is different we ask that you contact us with specific questions.
Employers Should Consider Revising Employment Policies
Employers may want to consider making the following policy updates on a temporary basis:
Remote Work Policies:
- If you do not currently have a remote work policy, consider implementing one that allows employees to continue working remotely
- Consider alternate work schedules that minimize the number of employees at work at the same time
- Give thought to your attendance policy so it is not punitive to accommodate your employees through the transition back to work
- Employers operating under a general PTO system, with no distinction between time off for illness, vacations, or personal time may consider temporarily changing this system. Under the traditional PTO system, employees are more likely to come to work sick to save time for vacations. Designating a certain amount of days exclusively for illness encourages employees to stay home when they are not feeling well
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note to validate illness or return to work as medical facilities are extremely busy and may not be able to provide documentation in a timely manner
Sick Leave Policies:
- Ensure your sick leave policies are flexible and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home
- Make sure it is clear in your policy that employees with any kind of illness, including cold symptoms and fever should stay at home during the pandemic
- Consider drafting temporary leave policies to address EFMLEA and EPSLA updates
- In addition to your current safety policies, consider updating your policy to include safe practices during the pandemic
- Encourage employees to wash hands, use hand sanitizer, clean work spaces, cover mouth for cough and sneezing
- Encourage employees to wear masks
- Remind employees to do self health evaluations and their take temperatures
- Place posters throughout workspaces as reminders
- Create safety policies for common work areas such as lunch rooms, break rooms, coffee stations, bathrooms and copy machine/postage areas
- Review safety policies with employees and provide additional training if needed
- Consider creating a travel policy if you do not already have one
- If travel is required for the employee to perform essential job duties, revise the policy to determine what is essential v. non-essential travel
- Make sure your policy covers any federal and state requirements regarding travel and quarantine
- While you are looking at your policies, look for any other outdated policies and update them as well. For help, see our Employment Handbook Webinar Series.
Many employers view the COVID-19 vaccines as the key to safely bringing employees back to the workplace and ending the pandemic. Employers are wondering if they can implement mandatory vaccination policies prior to permitting employees to return to the workplace and what potential issues may arise from such a policy.
If you have questions about crafting temporary workplace policies, please contact a member of our Labor & Employment Department.