A Message from WorkForce Software
As we navigate this confusing and ever-evolving challenge together, WorkForce Software’s top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our community. This resource center is a part of our concerted effort to support our customers, employees, and organizations alike with vital information to help cope during these unprecedented times, especially as it relates to changing working environments, absenteeism, stress, and feelings of fear and uncertainty. We will continue to monitor the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on a daily basis and update our resources with credible information accordingly. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever that we use this opportunity to come together—please take care of yourselves, your families, and those around you.
We are monitoring and compiling resources for employers to stay on top of emerging regulations, tips for compliance, and more related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers must implement policies to avoid employee exposure and minimize absenteeism while maintaining operations. If a crisis affects one or more of your employees, it is likely that you will experience absenteeism in the workplace.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, a spike in absenteeism is expected for a variety of reasons—fear and uncertainty, lack of childcare, personal illness, and caring for an affected family member. For every jurisdiction where you have operations, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure everyone in your organization understands and protects employees’ legal rights.
Existing and Emerging Laws
We are providing the content below to assist employers in keeping up-to-date with the rapidly changing regulatory landscape related to COVID-19. The content below is not legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel regarding company policies and the impacts of current and pending legislation.
Canada | Federal | In Effect
Bill C-4 received Royal Assent on October 2, 2020. The bill amended the length and eligibility requirements of the leave related to COVID-19 in Part III of the Canada Labour Code in two major ways. First, federal employees are now entitled to up to two weeks’ leave (or another amount established by regulation) if they are unable to work because: (a) they have or might have contracted COVID-19; (b) they have underlying conditions making them more susceptible to COVID-19 in the opinion of a medical practitioner or other authorities; (c) they are isolated on the advice of their employer, a medical practitioner, or certain other authorities. Second, federal employees are now entitled to up to 26 weeks’ leave (or another amount established by regulation) if they are unable to work because: (a) they must care for a child under age 12 because the child is unable to attend school or childcare facility due to a closure or other limitation; has contracted or might have contracted COVID-19; is in isolation; or is at risk of serious health complications if they contract COVID-19; (b) they must care for a family member requiring supervised care but is unable to access that care for reasons similar to those applying in a case of a child under age 12. Bill C-4 also extended the period when an employee may take leave until September 25, 2021.
Under the Canada Labour Code, if a medical leave of absence is three days or longer, the employer may require that the employee provide a certificate issued by a health care practitioner certifying that the employee was incapable of working for the period of time they were absent from work. Regulation SOR/2020-226, however, temporarily suspends an employer’s ability to request medical certificates to justify employee absences of three or more days under medical leave. The regulation will be automatically repealed on September 25, 2021.
Alberta | In Effect
Alberta implemented a temporary change to the Employment Standards Code, extending unpaid job-protected leave to employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19. The requirement that employees be employed for 90 days before using this leave is waived and the duration of the leave is flexible and may extend beyond 14 days.
An employee is entitled to unpaid leave for 14 consecutive days if the employee is under quarantine due to COVID-19. “Quarantine” includes any self-isolation and self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19, as may be recommended or directed by the Chief Medical Officer. The Minister may extend the leave if the Chief Medical officer deems it necessary to suppress COVID-19, protect others, or break the chain of transmission. The requirement that employees be employed for 90 days before using this leave is waived.
On about July 15, 2020, Alberta enacted temporary regulation 95/2020 which takes effect August 15, 2020 and is repealed on August 14, 2021. Under this regulation, Unpaid Leave for Personal and Family Responsibilities was amended to entitle employees to unpaid leave for the time period necessary to meet the employee’s family responsibilities in relation to (a) a family member who is under quarantine as a result of COVID-19, or (b) a child who is unable to attend school or child care services as a result of any recommendations or directions of the Chief Medical Officer with respect to COVID-19. An employee is not required to provide a medical certificate as verification of an employee’s entitlement to leave.
British Columbia | In Effect
An employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19 if they’re unable to work for any of the following reasons:(1) They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are following the instructions of a medical health officer or the advice of a doctor or nurse; (2) They are in quarantine or self-isolation and are acting in accordance with an an order of the provincial health officer; (3) Their employer has directed them not to work due to concern about their exposure to others; (4) They need to provide care to their minor child or a dependent adult who is their child or former foster child for a reason related to COVID-19, including a school, daycare or similar facility closure; and (5) They are outside of BC and unable to return to work due to border restrictions, The COVID-19 leave is retroactive to January 27, 2020.
Manitoba | In Effect
Manitoba has a new temporary, public health emergency leave for employees unable to work because of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances include: (1) the employee is under medical investigation, supervision, or treatment; (2) the employee is required to quarantine, self-isolate, or take other measures resulting in an inability to work; (3) the employer has directed the employee not to work due to the employer’s concern about the employee’s exposure to others; (4) the employee is providing care to a family member resulting from a closure of school or child care premises; (5) the employee is directly affected by travel restrictions; or (6) the employee is subject to an order under the Public Health Act or the Emergency Measures Act. The employee is entitled to leave during the period one of these circumstances exists and ends when none of the circumstances apply. Employers are not permitted to request a physician’s certificate or medical certificate to verify an employee’s eligibility to take Public Health Emergency Leave.
Before Bill 44, as set forth above, employees unable to work due to circumstances relating to COVID-19 were entitled to a temporary leave of absence. Effective October 28, 2020, Bill 44 amendments allow an employee to take a leave if the employee is more susceptible to COVID-19 because of an underlying medical condition, ongoing medical treatment, or other illness. Additional circumstances for taking leave relating to COVID-19 may be set by regulation.
New Brunswick | In Effect
On April 17, 2020, New Brunswick enacted an Emergency Leave. Under this new leave, employers must grant leave to the following employees: (a) an employee under medical investigation, supervision, or treatment related to COVID-19; (b) an employee acting according to an order under section 33, 36, or 41 of the Public Health Act related to COVID-19; (c) an employee quarantined or isolated or subject to a control measure, including self-isolation, and the quarantine, isolation, or control measure was implemented as a result of information or directions related to COVID-19 issued or provided to the public, wholly or partly, or to one or more individuals, through any appropriate means of communication by a medical officer, a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a nurse, Tele-Care, the Governments of New Brunswick or Canada or a department or agency of the Governments of New Brunswick or Canada or a council of local government; (d) an employee under a direction given by their employer in response to a concern of the employer that the employee may expose others in the workplace to COVID-19; (e) an employee providing care or support to an individual with whom the employee shares a close family relationship because of a matter related to COVID-19 concerning the individual, including school or early learning and childcare facility closures; and (f) an employee directly affected by travel restrictions related to COVID-19 and, under the circumstances, cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to New Brunswick. The leave must end on whichever occurs first: (a) the date the employee and employer agree; (b) when the purpose of the leave no longer exists; (c) the date this regulation is repealed.
Newfoundland | In Effect
Employees are entitled to leave without pay where they are not performing their job duties because of one or more reasons related to a designated communicable disease, such as COVID-19: (a) the employee is under medical investigation, supervision, or treatment; (b) the employee is acting according to an order under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act; (c) the employee is in isolation or quarantine or is subject to a control measure including self isolation, and the quarantine, isolation, or control measure was implemented as a result of information or directions issued to the public, wholly or partly, or to one or more individuals, by the Chief Medical Officer of Health or the provincial Government; (d) the employee is under direction from their employer or in response to the employer’s concern that the employee may expose others in the workplace; (e) the employee is providing care or support to a covered family member, including a school or child care closing; (f) the employee is directly affected by travel restrictions; and (g) other reasons prescribed by regulations.
Ontario | In Effect
The Ontario Employment Standards Act was amended to provide leave without pay if an employee will not be performing the duties of their position because of various reasons related to a designated infectious disease, including that: (1) the employee is under medical investigation, supervision, or treatment; (2) the employee is acting in accordance with an order under section 22 or 35 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act relating to the designated infectious disease; (3) the employee is in quarantine or isolation or is subject to a control measure, and the quarantine, isolation, or control measure was implemented as a result of information or directions related to the designated infectious disease issued to the public, in whole or in part, or to one or more individuals, by a public health official, a qualified health practitioner, Telehealth Ontario, the Ontario Government, the Government of Canada, a municipal council or board of health; (4) the employee is under a direction given by their employer in response to a concern of the employer that the employee may expose other individuals in the workplace to the designated infectious disease. (5) the employee is providing care or support to another individual; or (6) the employee is affected by travel restrictions. The following diseases are designated as infectious diseases: diseases caused by a novel coronavirus, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and COVID-19.
As of March 1, 2020, an employee whose hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated for reasons related to the designated infectious disease are deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. Nevertheless, Bill 195 came into force on July 24, 2020 and ended the declared State of Emergency in Ontario.Consequently, certain relief provisions introduced by Regulation 228/20 will expire six (6) weeks after July 24, 2020, on September 4, 2020.
Prince Edward Island | In Effect
A new “Emergency Leave” in Prince Edward Island is available to employees retroactively to March 16, 2020, the day a Public Health Emergency was declared in Prince Edward Island relating to COVID-19. This leave is for employees who cannot work because of a government declared emergency (not a personal emergency) or because of an order of the Chief Public Health Officer, regarding themselves or a family member. The covered emergencies are: (1) A state of emergency under the Emergency Measures Act; (2) A public health emergency under the Public Health Act; (3) A direction or order of a public health official or the Chief Public Health Officer preventing the employee from attending work; (4) An emergency or quarantine under the federal Emergencies Act or Quarantine Act; and (5) Additional emergency situations defined through regulations under the Employment Standards Act.
As for using Emergency Leave for family reasons, if employees are unable to return to work because of restrictions placed on schools or childcare centers by the Chief Public Health Office they may be able to use this leave. Employees required to provide care to an adult family members may also qualify for leave. To qualify for the leave for emergencies affecting family members all of the following conditions must be met: (1) A declaration, direction, order, or other circumstance directly applies to the employee’s family member; (2) The employee’s family member requires care or assistance; (3) The employee is the only person reasonably available to provide the care or assistance to the family member; and (4) Providing the care or assistance prevents the employee from performing their work-duties.
Emergency Leave ends when the employee is no longer unable to work because of the emergency, no longer needs to care for a family member affected by the emergency, or the emergency ends.
Saskatchewan | In Effect
The Saskatchewan Employment Act was amended to ensure employees job protected leave during a public health emergency. The amendments removed the requirement of 13 consecutive weeks of employment with the employer before accessing sick leave and removed the provision requiring a doctor’s note or certificate. The amendment also introduced new unpaid public health emergency leave that can be taken: (1) when the World Health Organization determines there is a public health emergency and the province’s chief medical health officer has also issued an order that measures be taken to reduce the spread of a disease; or (2) the province’s chief medical officer has independently issued an order that measures be taken provincially to reduce the spread of a disease where it is believed there is sufficient risk of harm to the citizens of the province. The orders would also be made public to ensure everyone is aware of the direction.
Through new regulation SR 62/2020—The Employment Standards (Public Emergencies) Amendment Regulations, 2020 (No. 2)—public health emergency leave is deemed to apply to an employee required to provide care and support to the employee’s adult family member affected by a direction or order of the Government of Saskatchewan or an order of the chief medical officer. The opinion of a duly qualified medical practitioner, the Government of Saskatchewan, or the chief medical officer prevails if there is a conflict of opinion between: (i) the employer of the employee; and (ii) the duly qualified medical practitioner as expressed in an opinion, the Government of Saskatchewan as expressed in an order, or direction of the chief medical health officer as expressed in an order.
Also, as set forth in regulation SR 62/2020, public health emergency leave leave does not apply to employees informed in writing by their employer that they are necessary to provide critical public health and safety services.
Yukon | In Effect
Employees are entitled to leave without pay for up to 14 days if leave is required (a) because the employee is subject to a health protection measure or (b) to care for the employee’s child or an eligible person while the child or eligible person is subject to a health protection measure. An employee is entitled to only one leave of absence and it must be taken in one continuous period. This regulation is repealed 14 days after the end of the state of emergency.
We have highlighted some of the most impactful changes to the United Kingdom’s empoyement law, some of which are already in effect and others in effect April 1.
Read UK Employers, These Are the Employment Law Changes You Need to Know About
US Federal | In Effect
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (Act) which takes effect April 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020. The Act covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees (as well as public agencies with at least one employee), and full-time and part-time employees who have been on the employer’s payroll for 30 days. Nevertheless, employers can exclude employees who are health care providers or emergency responders from this emergency entitlement.
Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of Expanded FMLA leave for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency. This qualifying need, however, is limited to situations where employees are unable to work (or telework) to care for a child if the child’s school or childcare facility has been physically closed or unavailable because of a public health emergency. The first 10 days of leave are unpaid, but employees may substitute accrued paid leave: and the final 10 weeks are unpaid at 2/3 the employee’s regular pay rate for the number of hours the employee would have been scheduled to work to a maximum of $200 per day and $10,000 in total.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
The effective date of this new law is April 1, 2020 and it expires on December 31, 2020. The law covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees; public agencies such as federal and state governments, political subdivisions, and schools; and other entities that are not private entities. Employees are immediately eligible for paid sick leave, but employers of health care providers or emergency responders may elect not to provide this leave to those employees.
Covered employers must provide paid sick leave to employees unable to work (or telework) for the following reasons: (1) the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) the employee was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19; (3) the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis; (4) the employee is caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order; (5) the employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 precautions; or (6) the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of leave at their regular rate of pay. When caring for a family member (reasons 4, 5, and 6), however, emergency sick leave is paid at 2/3 the employee’s regular rate. Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours of leave the employee works on average over a two-week period. And the Act requires employers to allow employees to first use emergency paid sick leave, then decide to use any remaining accrued paid leave under a workplace policy. Employers may not force employees to first use accrued leave under a policy.
Paid leave is limited to $511 per day and $5,110 in total when leave is used for reasons (1), (2), and (3) above; and $200 per day and $2,000 in total where leave is used for reasons (4), (5), and (6).
In late December 2020, the President signed into law a new stimulus package which, among things, extended the tax credit eligibility through March 31, 2021 for covered private employers who voluntarily choose to extend FFCRA leave to eligible employees. Employers who choose to permit employees to use FFCRA leave between January 1 and March 31, 2021 cannot grant additional Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family Medical Leave and receive the tax credits. The tax credit extension eligibility only serves to encourage employers to permit employees to use any remaining FFCRA balances between January 1 and March 31, 2021. Private sector employers, and public sector employers,
are not required to extend FFCRA leave entitlements beyond December 31, 2020, and the new law provides no incentive for public sector employers to extend as public employers are ineligible for the tax credit. Nevertheless, public employers may still choose to extend FFCRA leave entitlements through March 31, 2021.
California | In Effect
California State Disability Insurance/Paid Family Leave
California State Disability Insurance (SDI) and California Paid Family Leave (PFL) have been made available to workers who contract or were exposed to COVID–19, and who have proper medical documentation. The one-week unpaid waiting period also has been waived. PFL may be available when employees must take care of a family member with or who is quarantined by COVID-19, with proper medical documentation.
California’s Governor signed Executive Order N-51-20 granting two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to certain Food Sector Workers, provided the leave is used for specified qualified reasons. The Executive Order covers hiring entities defined as a private entity, including delivery network companies and transportation network companies, with 500 or more employees in the United States. Food Sector Workers performing work for or through a hiring entity are entitled to supplemental paid sick leave, if the Food Service Worker satisfies one of three conditions:(1) the worker is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) the worker is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns; or (3) the worker is prohibited from working due to health concerns related to the transmission of COVID-19. Full-time workers are entitle to 80 hours of leave and other workers are eligible for variable leave amounts based upon their hours worked (e.g. a non full-time worker with a normal weekly schedule is entitled to paid leave hours equal to the total number of hours the worker is scheduled to work over two weeks).
On September 9, 2020, California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill 1867, requiring private employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave to their California employees. Affected employers must begin providing this leave no later than September 19, 2020. Employees who must leave home to perform work are entitled to COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave if they are unable to work when they are: (1) subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order related to COVID-19; (2) advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; or (3) prohibited from working by the employer due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19. Employees who work full-time and were scheduled to work or did work on average 40 hours per week in the two weeks preceding the date of taking leave are entitled to 80 hours of leave (except for certain firefighters). Employees with a normal weekly schedule are entitled to an amount of leave equal to the total number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work over two weeks. Employees working a variable schedule are entitled to leave in the amount of 14 times the average numbers of hours the employee worked each day in the sixth months preceding the date the employee took supplemental paid sick leave. Employees who work a variable number of hours and have worked for the employer for fewer than 14 days are entitled to an amount of supplemental paid sick leave equal to the total number of hours the employee has worked for that employer. And finally, specific to food sector employees, the law mandates supplemental paid sick leave for food sector workers if they are unable to work due to any of the specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions are effective until the latter of December 31, 2020, or expiration of any federal extension of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
California (Northern California) | In Effect
Three governments in northern California passed emergency paid sick leave ordinances. The city of Sacramento enacted its ordinance on June 30, 2020, and the city of Santa Rosa and San Mateo County enacted their laws on July 7. Santa Rosa’s law took effect July 7, 2020; San Mateo County’s Ordinance became effective on July 8; and the Sacramento ordinance on July 15. All three laws generally remain in effect through December 31, 2020. These ordinances partly aim to fill gaps left by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act as they generally apply to employers with 500 or more employees nationally, and cover uses such as employees subject to quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 or caring for a family member quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19 or because an employee is caring for a child whose school or daycare closed due to COVID-19, etc. The three ordinances provide 80 hours of leave to full-time employees and a lesser pro-rata amount for part-time employees.
California (Sacramento County) | In Effect
Sacramento County passed the Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act of 2020, effective October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, but the Ordinance was extended to March 31, 2021. The ordinance applies only to businesses in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County that have 500 or more employees nationally and requires them, in part, to provide supplemental paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees may use supplemental paid sick leave for the following reasons: (1) the employee is subject to quarantine or isolation under a federal, state, or local order, or is caring for a family member quarantined or isolated, due to COVID-19; (2) the employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 or is caring for a family member so advised; (3) the employee chooses to take off work because the employee is over the age of 65 or is vulnerable due to a compromised immune system; (4) the employee is off work because the employer’s work location temporarily ceased operations due to a public health order or other public health official’s recommendation; (5) the employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or, (6 ) the employee is caring for a minor child because the child’s school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19.
California (Sonoma County) | In Effect
TOn August 18, 2020, Sonoma County passed an emergency paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance took effect immediately and stays in effect until December 31, 2020, unless the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the law on which it is patterned, is extended. If the FFCRA is extended, Sonoma County’s ordinance will extend for the same amount of time. Sonoma County’s law applies to employers with 500 or more employees in the United States (those not covered by FFCRA). It covers any employee who has worked for an employer for more than two hours in the county’s unincorporated areas,. Employees can use paid sick leave when they personally need to be absent from work or to care for an “individual,” (i.e., an employee’s immediate family member, a person regularly residing in the employee’s home, or a similar person with whom the employee has a relationship creating an expectation that the employee would care for the person if quarantined or self-quarantined, or if their school, childcare provider, or senior care provider is closed or is unavailable in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation). Full-time employees normally scheduled to work 40 or more hours per week are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time employees normally scheduled to work fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to an amount of paid sick leave no greater than the employee’s average number of work hours in a two-week period, calculated over the previous six months.
Chicago | In Effect
On May 20, 2020, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance protecting employees from workplace retaliation if they obey public health orders to stay home because of COVID-19. Covered employers include individuals and companies maintaining a business facility within Chicago or who are subject to at least one of the city’s licensing requirements. Covered employees generally include employees who, in any particular two-week period, perform at least two hours of work for a covered employer while physically present within the geographic boundaries of Chicago. In general, the ordinance protects from retaliation employees who: (1) stay home to obey public health orders; (2) comply with a healthcare provider’s order to stay home; or (3) stay home to care for individuals ordered to stay home. Therefore, under the new ordinance,employers are prohibited from taking any adverse action against employees obeying an order issued by the Mayor, the Governor of Illinois, or the Department of Health to: stay home to minimize the transmission of COVID-19; remain home while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or sick with COVID-19; obey a quarantine order issued to the employee; obey an isolation order issued to the employee; or obey an order issued by the Health Commissioner regarding the duties of hospitals and other congregate facilities. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits employers from taking adverse action against an employee if the employee is caring for an individual subject to an order requiring the individual to: stay home to minimize the transmission of COVID-19; remain home while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or sick with COVID-19; or (3) obey a quarantine order issued to the individual.
Colorado | In Effect
The new Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules (HELP Rules), effective March 11, 2020, require certain employers to provide up to two weeks–a maximum of 80 hours–of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms who are being tested for COVID-19 or are under instructions from a health care provider or authorized government official to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of having COVID-19. Employers in the following industries or fields must provide this leave: leisure and hospitality; food services; retail establishments; real estate sales and leasing; offices and office work; elective health services (including medical, dental, or other health services); personal care services (hair, beauty, spas, massage, tatoos, pet care, or substantially similar services); food and beverage manufacturing; child care; education at all levels (including related services including but not limited to cafeterias and transportation to, from, and on campuses); home health care (working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high risk people); nursing homes; and community living facilities. Employers are not required to offer additional days of paid sick leave if they already offer all employees an amount of paid leave sufficient to comply with the HELP Rules. The leave ends when the employee: (1) receives a negative COVID-19 test; (2) is free from fever for 72 hours; and (3) other symptoms have resolved. Nevertheless, the leave cannot end before an employee has been off for at least seven calendar days, or 10 calendar days for health care workers. The 80 hours of leave must be provided and paid at two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay. These Rules remain in effect for the longer of (A) 30 days after adoption, or (B) the duration of Disaster Emergency declared by the Governor, up to a maximum of 120 days after the adoption of these emergency rules.
Another new addition to Colorado law is the “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” which requires Colorado employers, through December 31, 2020, to provide their employees with paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19 in the amounts and for the reasons specified in the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (discussed at the top of this document). Reasons for which this paid sick leave may be taken are: (1) the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) the employee was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19; (3) the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis; (4) the employee is caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order; (5) the employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 precautions; or (6) the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
District of Columbia | In Effect
Employees in DC are eligible for paid and unpaid COVID-19 related leave under bills temporarily expanding the DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) and DC Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA). Under the ASSLA expansion, employers (except for health care providers) with between 50 and 499 employees are required to provide employees with up to two weeks (a maximum of 80 hours) of paid public health emergency leave for any reason paid leave is available under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Part-time employees must receive paid leave for the usual number of hours the employee works in a two-week period. To be eligible for this leave, the employee must have started working for the employer at least 15 days before the leave request. Moreover, employees may only use this new paid leave concurrently with or after exhausting any other paid leave the employee may be entitled to for reasons covered under federal or DC law or an employer’s policies.
Under the DCFMLA expansion, a new category of DCFMLA leave was created allowing employees in DC who have worked 30 days for an employer of any size to take up to 16 weeks of COVID-19 leave if the employee is unable to work due to; (a) a recommendation from a healthcare provider to quarantine or isolate, including because the employee or an employee’s household member is a high risk for serious illness from COVID-19; (b) a need to care for a family member or a member or individual with whom the employee shares a household who is under a government or health care provider’s order to quarantine or isolate; or (c) a need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or when childcare provider in unavailable to the employee. Employers are permitted to obtain reasonable certification of the need for COVID-19 leave as set forth in the law.
Long Beach | In Effect
On May 19, 2020, Long Beach, California passed an ordinance immediately requiring supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 reasons. The ordinance applies to employers with 500 or more employees nationally, excluding those wholly or partly required to provide paid sick leave under the federal Paid Sick Leave Act, and covers any employees performing any work in Long Beach. Employers must provide 80 hours of leave to full-time employees and, for part-time employees, an amount equal to the hours an employee works, on average, over a two-week period during the six-month period (or period of employment) preceding May 19. Nevertheless, employers may reduce the amount of leave they must provide by the number of paid leave hours, excluding previously accrued hours, provided to employees on or after March 4, 2020, that employees could use for COVID-19 reasons. Employees can use supplemental paid sick leave if: (1) they or someone they are caring for is subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state, or local order due to COVID-19; (2) they or someone they are caring for are advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19; (3) they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis; and (4) they are caring for a minor child because the child’s school, daycare, or childcare provider is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19 and they are unable to secure a reasonable alternative caregiver.The ordinance has no end date, but the city manager must report to the city council and mayor every 90 days, and the city council will determine whether and when the law no longer applies.
Los Angeles | In Effect
Los Angeles now requires employers with 500 or more employees in the City or 2000 or more employees nationally to provide supplemental paid sick leave up to two weeks (80 hours) for reasons related to COVID-19. All employees,subject to certain exceptions such as emergency and health services personnel, who have been with the same employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020 are entitled to supplemental paid sick leave.
Los Angeles County | In Effect
On April 28, 2020, Los Angeles County passed an interim urgency ordinance requiring employers with 500 or more employees nationally to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees in Los Angeles County for COVID-19 reasons. Eligible employees are entitled to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for full-time employees, calculated on an employee’s highest average two week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through the effective date of the ordinance. Part-time employees are entitled to receive supplemental paid sick leave in an amount no greater than the employee’s average two week pay from January 1, 2020 through the ordinance’s effective date. Paid leave benefits are capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate. The ordinance expires on December 31, 2020 unless action is taken to extend it.
Michigan | In Effect
On April 3, 2020, Michigan’s Governor signed Executive Order 2020-36 expanding the protections of Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act by prohibiting retaliation against workers particularly at risk of infecting others in the workplace with COVID-19. Under the Executive Order, employers must treat employees particularly at risk of infecting others with COVID-19 as if they were taking leave under the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act even if they do not have paid leave available to use. The expansion is in effect until the end of the declared state of emergency.
Minneapolis | In Effect
Minneapolis issued guidance regarding the application of the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance to absences related to COVID-19. The guidance clarified that employees may use accrued sick and safe time for absences related to: (1) Testing; (2) Care or quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms or testing; (3) Quarantine following close contact with a COVID-19 infected or symptomatic person; (4) Caring for family members whose school or place of care closes due to COVID-19; and (5) Workplace closures by order of a public official.
Nevada | In Effect
The Nevada Labor Commissioner’s Office issued formal guidance concerning employee rights and employer obligations regarding mandatory paid leave rights in consideration of COVID-19. The Commissioner advises that employers must not deduct hours from employees’ paid leave balance if they miss work due to mandatory government quarantine by a state, federal, or local agency for exposure to COVID-19.
New Jersey | In Effect
New Jersey amended its Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law, Family Leave Act, and the Temporary Disability Benefits Law to protect employees unable to work due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. The amendments took effect immediately and are retroactive to March 25, 2020..Moreover, the amendments are permanent and will cover any future pandemics or epidemics.
New York (State) | In Effect
For employees subject to precautionary or mandatory orders of quarantine or isolation, a new bill requires the following: (1) employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million must provide job protection for the duration of the order and Paid Family Leave and short-term disability benefits for salaries up to $150,000; (2) employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million must provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection and Paid Family Leave and short-term disability benefits up to $150,000; (3) employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers, at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. This took effect immediately (March 18, 2020).
On May 17, 2020, the New York Department of Health and New York Department of Labor issued joint Guidance that takes the position that, contrary to what is set forth in the law and regulations (discussed above), there are situations where health care employees may be eligible for paid sick leave in the absence of a precautionary or mandatory order of quarantine or isolation. The Guidance provides various scenarios where health care employees would be entitled to paid sick leave without presenting an order such as where the employee has: (1) been exposed to COVID-19; (2) exhibits symptoms of COVID-19; and/or (3) is diagnose with COVID-19. Under these scenarios an employee is deemed to be subject to a mandatory quarantine from the Department of Health. Another scenario where a COVID-19 order is not required per the Guidance is when a health care provider has tested positive for COVID-19 and/or is symptomatic of COVID-19 and the employee must not report to work. The Guidance, however, sets forth exceptions to the above scenarios.
New York’s Governor issued Executive Order 202.45, effective June 26, 2020 through July 26, 2020, clarifying that any employee who voluntarily travels to an impacted state would not be eligible for paid leave benefits under New York’s COVID-19 Paid Leave Law. An “impacted state” is a state having: (i) a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or (ii) 10% or higher test positivity rate, over a seven-day rolling average.
Oakland | In Effect
On May 12, 2020, the city of Oakland, California enacted a law requiring supplemental paid sick leave for several COVID-19 reasons including if the employee is quarantined/isolated, has experienced COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis, or is caring for a quarantined or isolated individual. The law covers most private employers, but exempts employers employing fewer than 50 employees between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020 (e.g. small employers). The requirement to provide this leave does not apply to employers that, after February 3, 2020, provide employees with the ability to accrue at least 160 hours of paid personal leave but for this exemption to apply each employee must have immediate access to at least 80 hours of leave after May 12 for uses required by the law. Otherwise, the law mandates that employers provide 80 hours of leave to employees who worked at least 40 hours per week in Oakland between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020 or at any time thereafter, or who the employer classifies as full-time. Employees who are not full-time receive leave equal to the average number of hours they worked in Oakland over 14 days during the period of February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020. The law requires, however, that the 14 days be the 14 days with the highest number of hours worked in Oakland, but covered employers may offset this leave obligation with sick leave hours provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This law took immediate effect and will remain in effect through December 31, 2020, unless Oakland extends the law’s end date.
On January 19, 2021, Oakland’s City Council enacted an emergency ordinance extending and modifying its EPSL ordinance. The extension is retroactively effective from December 31, 2020 through the end of the city’s COVID-19 Emergency declaration, unless the City Council further extends the law. The EPSL ordinance remains basically unchanged and does not require employers to provide a new leave bank. Instead, employees may take any unused portion of the up to 80 hours of EPSL they received in 2020. Nevertheless, the amendments clarify that employers may offset their Oakland EPSL requirements by the number of EPSL hours they provided their employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The extended ordinance also added a third accrual amount calculation for employees who performed work for remuneration for their employer for less than 14 days between January 1, 2021 and January 21, 2021: an amount equal to the number of hours the employee worked in Oakland during these 14 days.
Oregon | In Effect
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has temporarily expanded the Oregon Family Leave ACT (OFLA) to cover parents who must stay home from work to be with a child whose school or place of care has been closed in conjunction with a statewide public health emergency declared by a public health official. The effective date of the temporary order is 3/18/2020 through 9/13/2020. OFLA applies to employers with 25 or more employees.
Philadelphia | In Effect
Philadelphia expanded coverage under the city’s Paid Sick Time Ordinance to address issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including: (1) Seeking treatment for the employee’s illness due to COVID-19; (2) Self-quarantining because the employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; (3) Self-quarantining because the employee has come into contact with someone diagnosed with the virus; (4) Caring for a family member who is home due to closure of a school, childcare facility, or adult care facility; (5) Remaining home because of a workplace closure order issued by the Governor or Mayor; (6) Remaining home because the employee or a family member has a greater risk of harm if they contract the virus, including a compromised immune system.
On September 17, 2020, Philadelphia signed into law the Public Health Emergency Leave Bill which is intended to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to Philadelphia workers not covered under the paid leave requirements of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Covered individuals who work 40 hours or more per week are entitled to the greater of 80 hours of leave or the average hours worked over a 14-day period (up to a maximum of 112 hours). Covered individuals who work fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to an amount equal to the amount of wages or other compensation the covered employee receives on average in a 14-day period. Covered individuals are provided with two weeks of paid leave if they are: (1) subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order; (2) advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to the public health emergency; (3) experiencing symptoms related to the public health emergency and seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) caring for an individual subject to a quarantine order or who has been advised to quarantine by a health care provider; (5) caring for a child of the covered individual if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to precautions taken in accordance with the public health emergency response; and (6) experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the United States Secretary of the Treasury and the United States Secretary of Labor. The Ordinance went into effect on September 17, 2020 and remains in effect until December 31, 2020.
Pittsburgh | In Effect
The city of Pittsburgh passed a temporary COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (“Ordinance”) which provides covered employees with up to two weeks of paid time off for qualifying absences related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to telework. All Pittsburgh employers with 50 or more employees, including employers whose employees normally work in the City of Pittsburgh but who now telework from other locations as a result of the pandemic, are covered by the Ordinance. Covered employers must provide covered employees with the following amounts of emergency paid sick leave: (1) Eighty hours of paid sick leave for employees who work 40 or more hours per week; (2) Employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the greater of the amount of time they are scheduled to work or the amount of hours actually worked on average in a 14-day period; and (3) Employees whose weekly schedules varies are entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equivalent to the average number of hours worked over the past 90 work days, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type. Employees are entitled to emergency paid sick leave without any waiting period or accrual requirements. The Ordinance applies to all employees who: (a) are working for a covered employer within the City of Pittsburgh after the effective date of the Ordinance; (b) normally work for a covered employer within the City of Pittsburgh but are teleworking from any other location as a result of COVID-19; or (c) work for a covered employer from multiple locations or from remote locations, provided 51% or more of such employee’s time is spent within the City of Pittsburgh. Covered employees must also be employed by the covered employer for at least 90 days before they are entitled to emergency paid sick leave.
Puerto Rico | In Effect
On April 9, 2020, Act No. 37-2020 took effect which provides private sector, nonexempt employees with a special emergency paid leave of five working days during a public health emergency declared by the Governor of Puerto Rico or the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Health Department. Under the Act, any non-exempt employees who suffer or suspect that they suffer from the health condition leading to the state of emergency can use all other accrued and available leaves, after exhausting their accrued sick leave. Should employees still need additional leave, they are entitled to the special emergency paid leave of up to five working days.
Rhode Island | In Effect
For COVID-19 related claims, Rhode Island will waive the 7-day waiting period and waive the amount of time claimants must be out of work to qualify for TDI/TCI benefits. Also, for qualified individuals Rhode Island will waive the medical certification requirement and allow workers to self-attest to their condition. Nevertheless, claimants who self-attest to their COVID-19 diagnosis or quarantine are still required, within 14 days, to be examined by a healthcare provider and submit documentation from a healthcare provider that they are unable to work due to illness or quarantine, absent good cause for a waiver or extension of these requirements.
San Diego | In Effect
The San Diego City Council passed a supplemental paid sick leave ordinance related to COVID-19. With certain exceptions, such as employers of emergency responders and healthcare providers, the ordinance ensures that employees working for companies employing 500 or more employees receive similar benefits as those employees covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Covered employees include any employee as defined under the Labor Code who performed work for an employer within the geographical boundaries of the city of San Diego on or after June 1, 2020. Full-time employees, those working at least 40 hours per week or who are classified as full-time by the employer, are entitled to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. Part-time employees receive supplemental paid sick leave equal to the average number of hours worked over a two-week period. Like the FFCRA, the amount of leave paid to employees may not exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in aggregate. An employees may take this leave because: (1) they are quarantined; (2) have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine; (3) are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis; (4) is at least age 65 and has a health condition such as heart disease which places the employee at greater risk; (5) they must provide care to a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; (6) they must provide care to a family or household member who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolation or self-quarantine; (7) they must provide care to a family or household member whose senior care provider or whose school or child care provider is unavailable in response to a public health order or other public official’s recommendation related to COVID-19.
San Francisco | In Effect
On March 16, 2020, San Francisco announced a Workers and Families First program to provide additional paid sick leave benefits for employees affected by COVID-19. The plan provides $10 million in funding that will allow businesses to grant an additional five days of sick leave pay beyond their present policies. All businesses will be eligible to receive the optional funds. The program is available only if: (1) The employee has exhausted their current sick leave; (2) The employee has exhausted or is not eligible for federal or state supplemental sick leave; and (3) The employer agrees to extend sick leave beyond their current policy benefits.
Additionally, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement issued updated guidance regarding using San Francisco Paid Sick Leave during the local health emergency. Employers covered by the paid sick leave ordinance must allow employees to use paid sick leave when they take time off work in the following circumstances: (1) because public health officials or healthcare providers require or recommend an employee isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of disease; (2) the employees falls within the definition of a “vulnerable population” under city guidelines; (3) the employee’s business or workplace temporarily ceases operations in response to a public official’s recommendation; (4) the employee must care for a family member who is not sick but has been required or recommended to be quarantined or isolated by a public official or health care provider; (5) the employee needs to care for a family member whose school, child care provider, or senior care provider temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or public official’s recommendation.
Effective April 17, 2020, businesses with 500 or more employees worldwide must provide full-time employees (40 or more hours per week) working in the City or County of San Francisco with up to 80 hours of paid Public Health Emergency Leave (PHE Leave). Employees who were part-time as of February 25, 2020 must be provided with PHE Leave equal to the average number of hours over a two-week period the employee was scheduled to work over the previous six months ending on February 25, 2020. PHE Leave may be used when employees are unable to work or telework due to specified COVID-19 reasons such as if the employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, the employee has been advised to self-quarantine, if the employee is caring for for a quarantined or isolated family member, if the employee is caring for a family member whose school or place of care closes, or if the employee or family member is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis. The leave is no longer effective once the local emergency ends.
San Jose | In Effect
San Jose passed the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance which took effect on April 7, 2020 and sunsets on December 31, 2020. The Ordinance applies to employers not required, in whole or in part, to provide paid sick leave benefits under the Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Under the Ordinance, covered employers must provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave to full-time employees who leave their residences to perform essential work. Part-time employees are entitled to sick leave hours equal to the number of hours they worked on average over a two-week period. Employees can use this leave for one of the following purposes: (1) the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis; (2) the employee is subject to a COVID-19 related quarantine or isolation by a government order, or is caring for someone subject to the same; (3) the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19, or is caring for someone subject to the same; and (4) the employee is caring for a minor child because school or day care is closed due to COVID-19.
Seattle | In Effect
The Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced amendments to the city’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance that increases their access to PSST when their place of work or family member’s school or place of care is closed. Beginning March 18, 2020, in addition to former protected uses of PSST, employees may now also use their PSST: when their family member’s school or place of care has been closed; they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are following the instructions of a medical health officer or the advice of a doctor or nurse; and for a business with 250 or more full-time equivalent employees – when their place of business has reduced operations or been closed for any health or safety reason.
A newly passed emergency rule provides that an employer may not require a doctor’s note or health care provider verification for an employee’s use of PSST. Nevertheless, employers may seek other documentation, such as an employee’s own statement or service provider’s statement that the employee’s use of PSST is for a covered purpose. The emergency rule is in effect from April 8, 2020 through June 7, 2020.
The Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced the Gig Workers Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance that temporarily grants paid sick leave to certain gig workers during the COVID-19 emergency. This law takes effect July 13, 2020 and permits certain gig workers access to paid Sick and Safe Time Leave (PSST) such as transportation network companies (e.g. Uber, Lyft) and food delivery network companies that arrange grocery or prepared food deliveries using an app-based or on-line platform. The ordinance will allow these gig workers payment for PSST based on the worker’s average daily compensation since October 1, 2019 or since beginning work for the company, whichever is later. Average daily compensation will be recalculated monthly to reflect changes in earnings. PSST may be used by gig workers in the following situations: (1) to care for themselves or a family member for a physical or mental condition, including doctor appointments; (2) to care for themselves, a family member, or a household member for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual assault, or stalking; (3) when their family member’s school or place of care closes; (4) if the company reduces, suspends, or discontinues operations due to health of safety reasons.
St. Paul | In Effect
The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, issued guidance clarifying that employees may use Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) for absences related to: (1) providing care for children whose school or place of care closes due to an official order; (2) workplace closure by order of a public official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material or other public health emergency; or (3) the employee’s preventative care because they are at a greater risk of severe complications from contracting COVID-19. The guidance also stated that employers requesting a doctor’s note from employees who are sick due to upper respiratory illness may not be “reasonable” given OSHA’s guidance and efforts to relieve strain on the healthcare system.
Washington | In Effect
On March 25, 2020, House Bill 2614 went into effect amending Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave. The amendment added son-in-law and daughter-in-law to the list of family members for whom employees may take paid leave to provide care. This means employees may qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave to care for a son-in-law and daughter-in-law with a serious health condition. A “serious health condition” could include coronavirus.
Under the Washington COVID-19 Food Production Workers Paid Leave Program (Proclamation 20-67), food production employers in Washington may not operate from August 18, 2020, to November 13, 2020, unless they provide workers with paid leave for certain qualifying events such as being subject b to a quarantine or isolation order or being advised by a healthcare official or provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate. Full-time employees receive up to 80 hours, except employers must substitute this paid leave with any other paid sick leave provided if that leave is immediately and similarly available. Part-time workers receive paid leave equal to the hours they are normally scheduled to work during the preceding two-week period.
Using Workforce Management Solutions to Support Your COVID-19 Response
You may be able to modify the usage of your workforce management (WFM) solution to better support your business continuity plans and adapt to how your employees are now working. We’ve compiled a list of some examples of changes or capabilities that could be considered.
Managing Absences Due to COVID-19
Reporting or Requesting Time-off
Create codes or cost center fields to help track absences related to COVID-19 to indicate if an absence is a result of self or mandatory quarantine due to the virus. Options for usage:
- Direct entry on schedules and/or timesheets to indicate that the absence is a result of self or mandatory quarantine due to the virus.
- Part of request and approval workflows.
- Impacts to normally scheduled overtime.
- Is the time off pulled from an existing time-off balance, a new time-off balance, or is usage at the manager/administrator’s discretion?
- If a request process, do you need a different approval workflow?
- Do you need different behaviors for different employee groups?
- Does the time off exceed any government mandates?
Communicate these policies as soon as possible to help ensure employees understand the rules as they’re making critical decisions.
Make Temporary Changes to Rules
Modify rules for time off and absence balances—such as usage limits or restrictions on allowing balances to go negative—to allow employees to take additional time off if it’s needed.
- Should additional benefits be tracked separately?
- Do they run concurrently or sequentially with other mandated or company policies?
- What are the effective dates for these policies?
- Shows employees your commitment to their health and welfare as well as their families.
Maintaining Compliance with Changing Legislation
Stay Up-to-Date with Legislation Changes
If available from your vendor, subscribe to alerts of changes in workplace regulations—whether leave benefits, employee pay, working conditions, or health and safety.
- Do they provide legally vetted descriptions of the new legislation?
- Are descriptions written in laymen’s terms?
- How frequently are alerts issued?
- Keeps you informed of upcoming changes, enabling you to address changes and mitigate risks associated with noncompliance.
Remote Working and Scheduling Practices Changes
Enable Technology for Remote Working
Relax or remove application whitelisting to allow for system access outside of company network or VPN.
- Is the change permanent or temporary?
- Provides employees with to work remotely without having to introduce manual processes or workarounds to track their work hours and manage their schedules and time off.
Collaborative Scheduling Features
Enable availability and/or shift management capabilities, including shift bidding and shift swapping.
- Do you need to ensure that you have specific skills available for any given shift?
- Will you allow overtime if a swap or other shift change results in overtime?
- Helps ensure the needs of both the employee and business are met.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Relax restrictions to allow employees more flexibility to resolve urgent changes to availability.
- Do you need employees during core hours?
- Do you need core hours to vary across departments?
- Are there a range of hours that employees can work?
- Does it matter when an employee is working if assigned tasks are completed and on time?
- Helps ensures the needs of both the employee and business are met.
Change Approach to Labor Forecasting
Perform more frequent review and adjustment of forecasted labor demand, which is expected to differ considerably from previously generated forecasts and historical data due to changes in consumer, governmental, and business behaviors.
For example, match the actual daily or weekly totals for the previous week in the forecasts for the next week. This will ensure that, instead of historical values, labor demand will be calculated based upon the most recent data available. Schedules generated after these edits will likely be considerably more accurate than those automatically generated in this period
- Are you providing essential services such as food, healthcare, and shelter?
- Are you seeing more traffic or increased hours during morning hours?
- Are you having to introduce new services or increase staffing in some areas versus others to keep your business operating (selling home kits, curbside pickups, deliveries, etc.)?
- Are you experiencing a higher volume of customer service inquiries online and via calls or emails?
- How does the increase in cleaning and disinfecting practices increase your staffing levels?
- Are there individuals in other areas that are being underutilized that could bolster up busier areas?
- Minimizes the risks of over- and under-staffing.
- Enables agility to meet continually evolving staffing changes.
Attendance Policies and Tracking Employee Work Hours
Adjust Attendance Policies
Adjustment or suspension of company attendance policies, including alerts and/or attendance point/occurrence monitoring features tracking banks.
- For temporary policy changes, consider the end effective dates and revisit those end effective dates as new information is received.
- Provides more flexibility for employees who need to accommodate personal obligations as a result of COVID-19.
- Assures employees that they will not be negatively impacted by conditions out of their control
Online and Mobile Time Tracking Options
Enable or expand mobile and online time clock usage to allow for employees to use their personal devices or computers, rather than shared wall-mounted units or in-office devices. Don’t enable geolocations unless you have no other way to identify if an employee is in the right location.
- Are there employees that work alone at specific locations who need to perform safety checks?
- Does it matter where an employee is working if assigned tasks are completed and on time?
- Instills a sense of trust between the employer and employees.
Proactive Notifications for Potential Violations
Set-up notifications that proactively alert you to potential unplanned overtime or rules violations, such as required rest periods and breaks, if an employee might exceed work hour limits, or if a clock punch falls outside of scheduled hours.
- What laws related to employees performing activities outside of business hours need to be considered (e.g. responding to emails or taking a phone call)?
- Mitigates risks of noncompliance, time theft, wage theft, and unplanned overtime.
Onsite Workers and Biometric Verification
Temporarily disable the need for biometric verification on data collection terminals.
- Reduces cross-employee infection risk.
Cleaning of Time Clocks
If you don’t have guidelines, request terminal cleaning guidelines and follow them frequently. Configure an alert to employees after clocking in and out to follow recommended disinfecting protocols after handling equipment that is used by others.
- Reduces cross-employee infection risk.
Leave Management and the COVID-19 Pandemic
The global COVID-19 pandemic has driven a high volume of leave and caused unprecedented shutdowns. Your leave administration solution can help ease the burden of managing employees that contract COVID-19 or are in quarantine. Watch Tessa use her leave administration tool to better manage an employee that is absent due to COVID-19.
Using a Modern Scheduling Tool to Easily Adjust Schedules to Just the Essential Workers
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused organizations to rapidly adapt to a new normal. Mandated lockdowns have caused operational shutdowns for all but essential workers. Watch Tony easily replace his schedule with a new schedule for just the essential work. How will Tony respond if one of those essential workers is absent and needs to be replaced?
Applying and Monitoring COVID-19 Related Paid Time
The high volume of shutdowns caused by the global COVID19 pandemic has triggered organizations to consider salary continuance options to help employees through this difficult time and to retain their talent. Regardless of how your organization chooses to apply these rules, a modern time and attendance system will ease the burden of applying these codes and monitoring the associated costs. Watch Kris easily adjust employee timesheets as the system automates the rules for her.
Strategies for Keeping Employees Working and Maintaining Productivity
It is easy to become distracted from the long-term game—only focusing on the here and now—due to slowdown in business activity, shortages of critical materials and services, and absenteeism of essential employees. It is important to have a contingency plan to keep employees engaged and productive, so we have compiled a list of 7 strategies that can help you do that.
- Remove barriers to remote working
- Assign special projects
- Implement cross-training programs
- Establish flexible or reduced schedules
- Look for alternative methods for tracking employee work
- Incentivize productivity
- Investigate programs that help support business to keep employees working
We want to ensure that employees across the globe have the support they need as their personal and professional lives transition during this time of uncertainty.
Making the Transition to Working from Home
Many organizations are shifting to mandatory work from home policies during the COVID-19 emergency, and for some employees it is both a relief and welcomed change of pace. For others, however, it can lead to a loss in productivity as well as feelings of isolation and stress. That’s why we compiled these 10 tactics for working from home during a crisis:
- Confirm and request the technology you need, such as monitors, headsets, webcams, proper internet connection, software, etc.
- Arrange virtual coffee or meal breaks to maintain social relationships and connect on a personal level.
- Conduct daily huddles via video conferencing with team members to make sure your team is productive, collaborating, and aligned on what is expected of them.
- Set-up a dedicated workspace in your home to help set clear boundaries from your personal life and aid concentration.
- Leverage live online collaborative tools and chats to keep your employees organized on projects. Communication is key.
- Schedule regular cadence calls with key collaborators to stay on track with business goals.
- Maintain scheduled work hours to offer employees a sense of consistency and cultivate a healthy work/life balance.
- Dress for the day and stick to your routine as much as possible to determine a healthy mindset for your workday.
- Challenge co-workers to a healthy competition to boost morale and participation.
- Respect your employees’ boundaries. Just because employees are working from home doesn’t mean they are available 24/7. Allow yourself to sign off and refresh.
Balancing Working from Home with Childcare and Home Learning
- Be upfront with your employer and coworkers about your situation. Balancing kids and work may call for you to adjust your workday. Communicate your needs to your boss and keep your coworkers apprised as best as possible.
- Be upfront with your children. It’s just as important to communicate to your kids that you have work priorities so they understand that “play time” can’t be anytime.
- Find a routine that works best for everyone and stick to it. Have your kids prepare for the day just as they would if they were heading to school. Set daily expectations and learning goals if your child had academic work.
- Get creative with activities. Being confined to the home can breed boredom for many kids. Think outside of the box for fun activities they can do with minimal adult supervision.
- Try virtual babysitters/teachers. There are many online resources for kids to take virtual lessons like dance, music, or language lessons. You can even reach out to family, friends, and babysitters for virtual face time.
- If you have a partner, split the responsibility. Communicate with your other half about the best way for you two to manage your work schedules with your children. Know that there might have to be sacrifice on both ends. Teamwork makes the dream work!
- Take breaks with your children and listen to their needs. Just because your workday might be 9-5 doesn’t mean your kids can’t be a part of it. Take lunch or a snack break with your kids as an opportunity to bond.
- Set boundaries and expectations with your family. Set aside an hour or two at a time where your family is expected to let you work undisturbed. Try to keep a dedicated workspace that is off limits to the rest of the family.
- Remember you’re not alone. Many parents are juggling the stresses of balancing work from home and childcare. If you have a network of parents, try arranging a rotating schedule of virtual playdates.
How to Maintain Your Physical Health
Maintaining your physical health during a time when many people are expected to stay at home can be a challenge. Aside from the CDC’s recommendations to wash your hands, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and avoid close contact with others, here are some tips to help maintain your overall physical wellbeing while practicing social distancing:
Exercise outdoors, but give people their space. Consider taking a hike, riding your bike, or simply going for a walk around the neighborhood. Getting some sunshine everyday is beneficial, but make sure you are still keeping a safe distance from others.
Exercise at home. There are many non-equipment workouts you can do at home to stay active. Turn up your workout playlist and try exercises like squats, push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, planks, etc.
Try streaming workout videos for free. Many gyms, studios, and exercise apps are offering free trials of their workout classes, many without the need for at-home equipment. Here are a few to get you started:
- Strong by Zumba
- Planet Fitness available on YouTube and Facebook
- CorePower Yoga
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Fitness Blender
- YMCA 360
- 305 Fitness
- Peloton Digital App
Be mindful of your nutrition and diet and drink plenty of water. Make sure that you are nurturing yourself from the inside out by planning your grocery trips ahead of time so that your weekly diet is both balanced and well-suited for your lifestyle.
Consider meal delivery services. If you can’t find time to run to the grocery store or if you’re looking for some inspiration after reaching the end of your cookbook, meal delivery services are a great option with pre-sorted ingredients and step-by-step instructions—even for beginner-level cooks. Many services offer family-friendly and vegetarian-friendly options as well. Here are a few to get you started:
Get a good night’s rest. Getting enough sleep is crucial toward every aspect of your physical and mental health. If you are new to working from home, try to avoid the temptation of staying up late by signing off social media apps an hour before bedtime, meditating, or reading a book.
Tips for Relieving Stress and Caring for your Mental Health
At the best of times, many of us experience stress. For those with a history of mental illness, these times can be more trying than ever. Caring for your mental well-being is just as important as maintaining your physical health. Here’s a list of tips for relieving stress and maintaining a healthy mental state:
- Tap into how your body feels. Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. Make sure that you are adopting healthy eating habits, drinking plenty of water, getting some form of daily exercise, and getting plenty of rest. Open the windows and BREATHE.
- Take a break from the news and social media. The media’s response to emergency can often foster more panic than inform its viewers. Social media can also exacerbate feelings of negativity, stress, and hopelessness. Turn the T.V. off, put the phone down, and give your brain some time to exist without influence.
- Stay informed. Taking a break from the news and social media doesn’t mean you can’t stay updated on what’s happening in the world. Turn to reliable sources for information on the progress society is making as a whole.
- Stay connected with friends and family. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Connecting with coworkers, friends, family and loved ones even if through a simple phone call can help us all feel more united and less alone during this difficult time.
- Try virtual therapy sessions. Many therapists, psychologists, and counselors offer e-sessions via phone or video call. If you are accustomed to regular therapy sessions, this could be a great option for you.
- If you suffer from a mental illness, continue your treatment plan. Now more than ever, it’s important for those who experience mental health issues to follow their treatment plans and consult with their health provider about any questions or concerns.
Links to Trusted Resources for Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, WorkForce has a contingency plan in place to continue to provide the highest level of service to our customers, including the highest level of security, uptime, resiliency, and continued access to our global Customer Support organization. WorkForce does not foresee an impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our ability to continue to serve and support customers, partners, and organizations across the world. We will continue to provide full transparency of our detailed plans, and execution of those plans, while maintaining the health and safety of our employees. To learn more, visit our Customer Community to better understand:
- Our business continuity plan
- How to use the WorkForce Suite to respond to COVID-19
- Programs WorkForce is implementing to help customers cope in this unprecedented time
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