As we all continue to deal with our coronavirus related business challenges, staying up to date with the ongoing, fast changing regulatory and legislative changes is becoming increasingly difficult. Below is a summary of the most recent updates and current status of Federal and State Legislation, Acts and Orders related to the Coronavirus. Please specifically reference and review any (Key Updates) as these will contain updated information or links for your reference and use.
Coronavirus Employer Safety, Sanitation, Hygiene and Response Plans
Implementation of CDC Recommendations Employer Identification of preventative measures including “Social Distancing”, workplace sanitation and employee hygiene measures. Employer guidelines on handling employees diagnosed, symptomatic or having close contact with someone diagnosed with having the coronavirus.
- Click here for the most current updates regarding CDC Interim Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus
- Click here for the most current Employer Guidance on Handling Employee’s Diagnosed, Symptomatic or Exposed to the Coronavirus
Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) - Federal
This federal act requires employers of less than 500 employee’s (certain exceptions exist for employer with less than 50 employees or employers of health care providers and emergency responders) to provide Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave provides full-time employees 80 hours of paid sick leave for COVID-19 specific medical related reasons such as being diagnosed, symptomatic and seeking a medical diagnosed and/or quarantined for related reasons. Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours of paid sick time equal to the number of hours they work, on average, over a two-week period. The Act applies to employees regardless of how long they have been employed.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion provides employees job protection and at a rate not less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay while the employee is on leave. This part of the act covers employees who haves been working for his/her employer for at least 30 days and provides leave for a “qualifying need relating to a public health emergency” or to care for children forced to stay home due to COVID-19. The first 10 days of this expanded FMLA leave may be unpaid. However, employees are permitted to use accrued personal or sick leave (see Emergency Paid Leave above) during the first 10 days. (Pay is not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate).
- The effective date of the FFCRA has been changed from April 2nd to Wednesday, April 1st
- Click here to download the FFCRA poster that is required to be immediately displayed.
Unemployment Benefit Modifications - State (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana)
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Governors have all issued modifications and expansion of unemployment benefits to employee’s impacted by the coronavirus due to specific medical related or economic related conditions including the waiver of one week waiting periods, requirements of actively pursuing new employment and relief of unemployment benefit charges to an employer’s account.
- Ohio Employers, please distribute this form to employees laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic to expedite their claim process
- Ohio Employer click here for Unemployment Benefit Information Updates and Question and answers
“Stay at Home Orders” - State (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana)
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Governors have all issued “Stay at Home” orders instructing people to stay at home except to perform specific exempt duties to provide essentials for their home and/or care for themselves or families OR if they are performing work duties as defined for an “essential business”. Guidance to employers on how to establish if they would be deemed an “Essential Business or Operation” and requirements of providing a safe working environment for employers are provided in the respective Executive Orders; the links for these respective “Stay at Home” orders are below.
Ohio Instructions and Guidance to “Essential Employers” to Check Employee Temperatures
During Governor DeWine’s news conference on March 18th he instructed business who continue to remain open to begin taking the temperature of employees when they arrive at work in an effort to identify anyone who is becoming ill; he also conveyed that if this is not feasible, he asked that employers require their workers to take their own temperatures prior to arriving at work and provide them clear instructions that any employee with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should self-quarantine with members of their household. Note: Employee temperature checks by an employer would typically not be permissible per Federal Regulatory Guidelines, but are considered an acceptable safety pre-caution during the declared coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) - Federal
This vast coronavirus related relief act will provide significant economic relief to both individuals and employers impacted by the coronavirus. This relief act will provide a significant expansion of unemployment benefits and other direct financial distributions to the vast majority of all U. S. Citizens and families. In addition, it will provide coronavirus related financial relief to both small and large businesses. As of the posting time of this blog the U.S. House of Representatives had yet to pass this legislation and have it submitted to President Trump. Certain aspects of this final Act may supersede and/or provide even further expanded benefits already established by some of the Acts and Orders already implemented and covered above. Upon this Act’s official enactment, we will provide an extensive overview and guidance on its impact to both employees and employers.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this new information, please contact Steve Marklay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513 578-6508
Note: This Employer Coronavirus Compliance Summary Overview and Update is intended as an employer reference guide only and not intended to serve as either legal or medical advice. Any legal questions should be directed to legal counsel and medical questions should be directed to an appropriate medical provider.