It’s a difficult time for employers and HR professionals. While the pandemic continues, businesses are doing their best to reopen safely and to deal with all the employment issues, both old and new, that arise.
The situation is changing rapidly. Here are some of the recent developments.
PPP Gets an Extension
According to CNBC, new legislation has extended the deadline for applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The old deadline was June 30, and the new deadline is August 8. Of the $660 billion approved for the program, approximately $130 billion remains.
Coronavirus Testing Raises Issues for Employers
Employers that want to test employees with coronavirus will have to follow federal regulations. According to the National Law Review, the EEOC has stated that using antibody testing to make return-to-work decisions violates the ADA. Employers can test employees for active coronavirus infection. However, according to Insurance Journal, cost, privacy and other issues are causing many employers to avoid such testing in favor of temperature checks and symptom screening.
Employers Must Investigate Coronavirus Cases
If an employee comes down with COVID-19, the employer may need to investigate the illness to comply with OSHA requirements. According to HR Morning, new OSHA guidelines state employers must record cases using Form 300, and that filling out this form can require the employer to make reasonable efforts to determine whether exposure occurred at work.
FFCRA Covers Summer Camp Closures
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) gives covered employees the right to paid leave for certain reasons related to the coronavirus. According to HR Dive, the DOL recently announced that this includes summer camp closures. Parents may qualify for paid leave if they have to care for a child who was supposed to go to summer camp.
The Threat of Retaliation Looms
Amid all the chaos that comes with reopening, it’s important not to lose sight of evergreen concerns, such as the risk of harassment or discrimination charges. According to EHS Today, after a sexual harassment complaint is made, additional claims of retaliation become the biggest risk for employers. In 2019, 54 percent of EEOC claims were over retaliation.
Employers Can Use Updated COBRA Model Notices
The DOL has issued updated model notices for COBRA. According to National Law Review, the updated model notices provide information on COBRA and Medicare.