We haven’t seen enough written, presented or recorded regarding the Coronavirus. I guess its my turn to write an article about questions and response considerations, as we see a domino impact across the world. At this point we should be reviewing business continuity and contingency plans. We should also be reviewing options for employees and addressing any issues and fears we have throughout the organization.
Questions to Consider When Responding:
1. Have we communicated a policy and procedure to the organization to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases? This should include volunteers, vendors, customers, the general public, etc.
2. Do we have the cleaning supplies and disinfectants available to ensure a clean workplace?
3. Do we have a policy or procedure in place regarding FMLA, Paid Family Leave, or DBL?
4. What about telecommuting and remote work? Exempt versus nonexempt? What positions can work remotely? Do we reimburse for expenses?
5. Workers compensation considerations related to remote work. Working in New York State but living in Pennsylvania. An area I would encourage any to review with the comp provider.
6. A restricted travel policy.
7. Layoff procedure.
8. Reduced workweek procedure.
9. Salary or hourly rate continuation.
10. Benefit continuation.
These are just a few questions to consider as leaders when addressing the current Coronavirus situation. We have an obligation to not only answer these questions but to continuously close the loop on communication both in and outside of our organizations. Not having an answer and having that conversation is better than just simply ignoring the questions. Treat people how you want to be treated. Assess and reassess areas of strength and recognize areas of improvement. This situation will test the fabric of society and many of our organizational response systems. I’m happy to work with any organization on communication, policy and other legal considerations.
Published by Mathew W. Burr, MJ-LEL, MBA, MHRIR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CPHR
Matthew Burr has over eleven years of experience working in the human resources field, starting his career as an Industrial Relations Intern at Kennedy Valve Manufacturing to most recently founding and managing a human resource consulting company; Burr Consulting, LLC. Prior to founding the consulting firm, the majority of his career was spent in manufacturing and healthcare. He specializes in labor and employment law, conflict resolution, performance management, labor and employment relations. Matthew has a generalist background in HR and provides strategic HR services to his clients, focusing on small and medium sized organizations. He is a retired Assistant Professor of Business Management from Elmira College, an Adjunct Professor at Alfred State University and Collin College. Matthew is also the SHRM Certification Exam Instructor at the college, his students currently have an 80% pass rate on the SHRM-SCP and 92.3% pass rate on the SHRM-CP. Matthew works as a trainer Tompkins Cortland Community College, Corning Community College, Broome Community College and Penn State University. He also acts as an On-Call Mediator and Fact-Finder through the Public Employment Relations Board in New York State, working with public sector employers and labor unions.
Matthew has publications at the Cornell HR Review, Business Insider, New York State Bar Association, Expert 360 (in Australia). In early 2017, he published his first book, “$74,000 in 24 Months: How I killed my student loans (and you can too!).”
Matthew has an associate's degree in business administration from Tompkins Cortland Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Elmira College, a master's degree from the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations in Human Resources & Industrial Relations and a Master’s in Business Administration specializing in entrepreneurship from Syracuse University. He currently holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) and the Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications.
Matthew has been featured on CNN Money, Fast Company, Fits Small Business, Magnify Money, My Twin Tiers, Namely, Student Loan Hero, Smart Sheet and CEO Blog Nation.
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