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.