COVID-19 Business Updates
Important Contact information:
Find your local HEALTH Department
Employers and Job Seekers:
State of Ohio https://jobsearch.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/jobsearch/home
Butler County - OhioMeans Jobs | Butler County ohiomeansjobs.com/butler
FEMA with questions/concerns: Femafirstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Justice’s new Civil Rights Reporting Portal civilrights.justice.gov/
Explore Hamilton Promotion
The Greater Hamilton Chamber is promoting all bars, restaurants, retail, gift & specialty shops, service industry businesses and Arts, parks & recreation at www.hamilton-ohio.com/explore-hamilton. If your business would like to be listed on that page, please complete the Business Promotion Form HERE!
Resources from Taylor Oswald
I’ve included several resources here, in the event you may find them helpful.
- A resource for individual health benefits should someone be in danger of losing employer provided benefits
- A Group Health Plan Advisory- Details on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- A Link to our blog with information surrounding Family Emergency Preparedness
- Executive Risk advisories surrounding D&O, Employers Liability, Crime & Cyber risks
- Taylor Oswald’s COVID-19 Resource Center Link- This link is consistently being updated with our communications surrounding the various topics in the risk management space as it relates to the coronavirus. https://www.tayloroswald.com/coronavirus-covid-19-navigating-your-risk-and-insurance-concerns/
Required Poster and Q&A from the Dept of Labor
The Department of Labor produced the model notice you are each required to provide to employees. I would post this for any employees still working at any of your locations and/or e-mail this out to all your remote workers.
This posting requirement is only required for the duration of the FFCRA. CLICK HERE for the poster.
I’ve also included a link of Q & A for your review: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-poster-questions
Pandy Pridemore,Principal Consultant
Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Ohio Employees
Many of you are asking about your health plans. Here’s the most recent information regarding:
- Delayed payments
- Changing eligibility due to reduction in hours
- Premium payments
- COBRA eligibility
Pandy Pridemore, Principal Consultant
How to Approach CV19- (Families First Emergency Response Act and FMLA Expansion)
Information for Businesses and Employers Screening Employees for COVID-19
To help protect the public against the spread of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommend that all employers screen employees each day before work by following these steps:
• All employees who are able to work from home should be working from home at this time.
• For those employees who have to come in- each employee should have their temperature taken each day, and if they have a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, that employee should be sent home.
- This employee can return to work:
1)They have had NO fever for at least three (3) days without the taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
2)There is improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath); AND
3) At least seven (7) days have passed since their symptoms began.
It is best to use touchless thermometers if possible (forehead/ temporal artery thermometers), but if you must use oral or other types of thermometers, make sure to clean the thermometer thoroughly between each employee, as to not spread infection.
▪ Follow the manufacturer’s directions to disinfect the thermometer.
▪ If no directions are available, rinse the tip of the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol or alcohol swabs, and then rinse it again.
- If you do not have thermometers on site, have your employees take their temperature at home. They should stay home if they have a fever and follow the same protocol.
- There is currently a shortage on thermometers. If you cannot find thermometers, and the employees does not have one at home to check their temperature you can screen each incoming employee with a basic questionnaire:
Do you have symptoms of respiratory infection? (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
▪ No – proceed to work
▪ Yes – Employee will be sent home. Employee is required to stay home for at least 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)
▪ Does not require a doctor’s release.
Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19?
▪ No – proceed to work
▪ Yes, and not experiencing symptoms– employee will be required to stay at home for 14-days from the time they were exposed to confirmed COVID-19
▪ Yes, and exhibiting symptoms– employee is required to stay home for at least 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)
- Please remember to continue to follow preventative measures no matter how many employees are in the office— physical distancing, stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene as often as possible. Clean all high-touch surfaces regularly.
Click HERE to download this document.
For additional information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available.
Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1.800.985.5990 (1.800.846.8517 TTY), connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line – text the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741, or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1.877.275.6364 to find resources in your community.
How to take your temperature from Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9959-thermometers-how-to-takeyour-temperature
Unemployment Benefits Information due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
All Ohio employers planning a mass layoff or shutdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should provide the following mass-layoff number – 2000180 – and the second link below to an instructional sheet to their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.
COVID-19-affected claimants with otherwise valid applications for unemployment will be awarded benefits. While claimants must still meet the weekly requirements that they be able and available for work, the requirement that they actively search for work while receiving benefits has been waived.
COVID-19-affected contributory employers will receive regular monthly charge statements, but these charges will be charged to the mutual account and not the employer’s account. Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.
For more information, please see the press release below:
Instructional Sheet: https://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
GUIDANCE EXPLAINING PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
Click here to view the document: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324
New Sick Leave Laws on the BooksFinally … we have some direction from Congress and the President about the rumored paid leave law to assist employees affected by COVID-19. The new law is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition to the many parts that address funding and the economic impact of COVID-19, it has two substantial provisions that impact employers and employees: (1) Amends the FMLA to apply to people affected by COVID-19; and (2) Provides emergency paid sick leave to people affected by COVID-19. The good news is that the law will be helpful to employees. The bad news is that employers will bear the brunt of the impact.We are still waiting on regulations from the Department of Labor. Those will provide more guidance. As with everything that has happened in the last week, this issue continues to evolve and we will provide updates as the impact becomes clearer. The law is 112 pages long! Click here if you want to read the law. Obviously, it is difficult to condense 112 pages into a single article. With that in mind, here is a VERY high level summary:(1) Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)What Changes:
What Doesn’t Change?
- Covers employers with fewer than 500 employees. (This means that small companies that were previously exempt from the FMLA are now obligated to follow these provisions for Coronavirus-related leave but not for other FMLA matters. There are provisions for small employers, healthcare providers and first responders to seek an exemption but it is not immediately clear how that process will work. More to come in the next few days, I’m sure.)
- It applies to individuals employed at least 30 days.
- New definitions of parent and family members.
- Up to 12 weeks of leave. (This is not a change.)
- Job restoration required for employers with 25 or more employees.
- Smaller employers may have flexibility if the position no longer exists.
- The first 10 days under the EFMLEA are unpaid. After that period, employers must pay 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate for normal hours/schedule. There is a limit of $200/day and $10,000 total per employee. There are calculation methods for part-time employees and employees with irregular hours.
When is the EFMLEA Effective?
- The EFMLEA provisions apply only to individuals affected by COVID-19. The “regular” provisions of the FMLA remain in place.
(2) Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)What’s Included?
- The EFMLEA amendments are effective 15 days after enactment and remain in effect until 12/31/2020.
When is the EPSLA Effective?
- 80 hours of paid sick leave for eligible employees who miss work for COVID-19 related reasons. The list of covered circumstances is broad and includes caring for non-family members. There are reductions in amount of pay an employee receives for certain circumstances.
- Applies to Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
- There is no length of employment requirement.
- Caps on Sick Leave Pay: limited to $511/day (up to $5110 total) per employee for their own use and $200/day (up to $2000 total) to care for others.
- This is in addition to any paid sick leave already provided by employers.
Please note that many state and local governments already have paid sick leave requirements in place and others are acting quickly to enact new laws. Employers generally need to comply with those laws in addition to the new laws. (Ideally, there is some overlap, but that is not always the case.)Like everything Coronavirus-related, this is moving very quickly. Congress is already working on a third stimulus package which may impact the laws passed last night. Nonetheless, employers with fewer than 500 employees need to jump on this immediately and begin reviewing the impact on current employees. There will also be notice and posting requirements.At the risk of appearing self-serving, it is critical for companies to work with an experienced employment attorney to navigate these law changes. The issues are very complex. Now is not the time to cross your fingers and hope for the best. We will continue to update you on these laws as new information becomes available.
- The paid sick leave program becomes effective 15 days after enactment and remains in effect until 12/31/2020.
Please contact the following Graydon attorneys with questions about these changes. We have been helping companies navigate the ever-changing world of Coronavirus and are here to help you, tooJulie Pugh (513-629-2792) | Nick Ziepfel (513-629-2798)
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