HR Policies, Procedures & Practices for Workspace Re-Entry

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This session discussed HR policies and procedures developed and implemented by nonprofit organizations that enabled the nonprofits to serve their communities while creating safe work environments. These policies and procedures include screening staff and understanding their privacy, supporting at-risk employees and exploring the new federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Session Overview

Essential Considerations for Returning to Work
  • When looking toward workplace re-entry, consider your state and local regulations.
  • Remember to consider suggestions from federal institutions like the CDC, OSHA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • Consider industry-specific safety requirements.
  • Have a written and specific plan that employees, customers and other contacts can reference.
Handling Refusals to Return to Work
  • What reasons does the employee give: fear, PPE, need for accommodation, monetary?
  • Have an open conversation with employees if they are afraid or have other reasons for refusing to return to work.
  • Assess case by case.
  • Consider extending the time period of teleworking (working from home): Can employees perform essential job duties from home?
  • See how teleworking has been successful for the organization overall. If it has been, it should be continued for the safety of employees and customers.
  • If employees need an accommodation, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and EEOC regulations.
  • The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act calls for:
    • 80 hours of paid sick leave at the regular rate due to: quarantine, experience of COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting diagnosis.
    • 80 hours of paid sick leave at 2/3 the regular rate due to: a bona fide need to care for an individual or child subject to quarantine.
    • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at 2/3 the regular rate for employees who have been employed 30 calendar days where a child-care provider is not available due to COVID-19 reasons.
Business Strategies during COVID-19
  • Have a common goal all employees can work towards.
  • Make employees, managers, executives and customers accountable for their actions.
  • Prioritize employee safety and well-being via:
    • Conversations with executives.
    • Access to technology.
    • An Employee Assistance Program and wellness programs.
  • Rely on data and expert guidance.
  • Remain flexible and adaptable.
  • Get feedback from employees on COVID-19 through surveys or interviews.

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  • Consider extending the time period of employees working from home. If employees can do essential job duties from home, telework is highly recommended.
  • Have an open conversation about employee needs and worries, especially about refusal to return to work. Are there underlying conditions, family trouble, employees making more from unemployment?
  • Organizations can still have a strategic business plan during COVID-19. Make sure all employees have common goals they can work toward.
  • Rely on data and guidance from experts, but be flexible and adaptable. Understand things are constantly changing as the pandemic progresses and more information is learned.
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