Obviously, the Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind. Stanton Law intends to keep you updated on the breaking news that may affect your business. Expect a daily digest of news and quick takes on what it means for employers.
• The U.S. Senate will reconvene at some point this week with the goal of approving Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) – the economic relief bill that the House of Representatives passed late last week. Broadly speaking, it will expand the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to likely include some form of paid-leave, and will likely apply to even businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
o Before we could even get an update finalized on that new legislation, though, the House last night significantly amended the bill.
o President Trump has publicly supported this the FFCRA, so there is a good chance this bill becomes law as soon as the final version reaches his desk. We will continually update you as this evolves.
o In whatever its final form, the law will have a huge impact on your business. We will host a Webinar: “What Employers Need to Think About with CV-19” on Friday at 11:30. More details on that to come. The program will be provided at no charge.
• The CDC released guidance Sunday suggesting large events or gatherings of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed. This includes conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and weddings.
o If you are hosting or attending an event or conference coming up that has not been canceled, we suggest you try to switch to an online only platform or postpone the event.
• President Trump and his Coronavirus task force held a press conference Monday afternoon and outlined a plan to slow the spread of COVID-19 over the next 15 days.
o The guidelines are not materially different from earlier updates and include the following:
§ Listen to your state and local governments regarding COVID-19
§ If you feel sick, stay at home. Do not go to work. If your children are sick, keep them at home.
§ If someone in your house has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work or school.
§ If you are an older person or have an underlying compromising health condition, stay home and away from other people.
o The guidelines also suggest state and local governments to close schools where COVID-19 has been identified. So, plan accordingly for employees to request to stay at home to care for children.
o The guidelines also suggest state and local governments should close bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and any venue where groups of people congregate if there is evidence of community transmission. This may be unavoidable but if your business is any of the mentioned, let your employees know you are aware of the possibility of closing the doors but will do what you can to keep the business operating to keep money in their pockets.
• President Trump also denied implementing any sort of “curfew” nationwide.
o Rest easy, there will be no forced curfew on you or your employees at this time.
• Professionals keep stressing that everyone practice social distancing, meaning avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people, for the next two weeks. So, avoid restaurants and bars, work from home, avoid friends and family as much as possible, and avoid discretionary travel or shopping trips.
o If you have not implemented some form of work from home policy, now would be a good time to start, especially with the jobs that can easily be switched over to remote work. This will allow you to see any potential issues with working from home and be able to address those issues in case you have to close your office doors.
In the meantime, of you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and your business, please do not hesitate to call us at 404-531-2341 or set up an appointment on one of our attorney’s Calendly.