Coronavirus-HR and Employer Information

Coronavirus-HR and Employer Information

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HR/EMPLOYER INFORMATION 
March 22, 2020


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COPIC Contact Information:
HR Services: (720) 858-6057 

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)? Does it apply to my practice/facility?
FFCRA provides for paid sick time, protected paid family leave, and insurance coverage for private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and public sector employers of one or more employees. The law goes into effect 15 days after signing and stays in effect through December 31, 2020.

Paid Sick Leave is one of the major provisions. Employers will be required to provide to each employee paid sick time to the extent the employee is unable to work because of issues related to COVID-19, including diagnosis, self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, caring for an individual in this situation, and child care due to closed schools, etc.

Paid Sick Leave applies to all employees, regardless of how long the employee has been employed. Full-time employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick time. Part-time employees are entitled to a proportional number of hours equal to their average hours worked over a two-week period. An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave before the employee uses the paid sick time available. Paid sick time is capped at $511 per day or $5,110 in total. The cap for when the employee is needed to care for someone else is $200 per day or $2,000 in total. This leave provision is effective 15 days from the date the FFCRA is enacted and ends on December 31, 2020.

Paid Family Leave: The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides 12 weeks of protected leave to any employee who has been employed for at least 30 days and is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for a child under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such child is unavailable, due to a public health emergency. After the first 10 days of this leave, the employee is entitled to pay at two-thirds (2/3) the rate of their regular rate. This leave provision is effective 15 days from the date the FFCRA is enacted and ends on December 31, 2020.

Mandated Health Coverage: Group health plans and insurers offering group or individual health insurance must cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests without cost-sharing, pre-authorization, or other medical management requirements. The coverage must include related services furnished during urgent care, emergency room, in-person, or telehealth provider visits that result in an order for, or administration of, a covered diagnostic test.

Payroll tax credits will be available for businesses.

Employers with 50 or fewer employees can file for an exemption due to the potential hardship on the practice.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave  

I am not able to keep my employees employed full-time. What options are available to me?
There are several options available to you, including reduction of hours, the work-share program (Colorado), temporary layoffs, furloughs, etc.  

Please see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/layoffassistance for more information.  

What is the employer’s liability if an employee gets sick within the 2-week window? 
Full-time employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick time. Part-time employees are entitled to a proportional number of hours equal to their average hours worked over a two-week period. An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave before the employee uses the paid sick time available. See resources at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

What are considered “appropriate steps” to take at this point as an employer? Is it unreasonable to stay open? 
Health care operations are considered “critical” at this time, so continuation of operations is reasonable. It is recommended to follow all guidelines for employers as provided by the CDC.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

Can I ask an employee to stay home or leave work if they are exhibiting signs of being sick?
Yes, it is permissible to ask employees to stay home or leave work. While the employee may not have COVID-19, it is important to err on the side of caution to protect others in the workplace.   

We have an employee who tested positive for COVID-19. What is our obligation as an employer?
You should send home all employees who worked closely with that employee for a 14-day period to ensure the infection does not spread. Additionally, it is important to ask the employee to identify all employees who recently worked in proximity and to send those employees home as well for the 14-day period. It is important to not identify the person to others as there is potential risk of violating confidentiality laws. Furthermore, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfectant protocols. 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html 

Am I required to pay my exempt staff for a full week, even if they did not work the full week? How do I need to pay my non-exempt employees?
Yes, you are required by the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) to pay your exempt employee for a full week if they worked any portion of that week. If an exempt employee did not work any part of a full week, no pay is required. Non-exempt employees must be paid for all hours worked.  

For additional assistance on COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), go to:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/pandemic 

I would like to provide my employees with information regarding unemployment. Where do I find this information?
Below is an informative guide by the Colorado Department of Labor explaining unemployment benefits.  
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/atoms/files/YourGuidetoUnemploymentBenefits.pdf