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COVID-19 Office Staff and HR FAQ’s

  1. NEW: What to Do if An Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19: CEDR HR Offers Guidance
  2. Interim Orthodontic PPE Summary Based on Current CDC and OSHA Guidelines
  3. How to Reopen Your Business Following Coronavirus
  4. Re-Hire Checklist 
  5. Declining Work for Unemployment Benefits Letter
  6. Practical Guidance for Employers Provided by CEDR HR Solutions
  7. Resurrecting Your Practice after the Shutdown (webinar)
  8. SBA Payroll Protection Program Loan Calculator
  9. Staff & HR Resources in Your State
  10. If Your Employees Are Still Working
  11. Keep Your Team Engaged, Build Excitement for When Offices Reopen
  12. SHRM CARES Act Analysis
  13. Guidance from SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management)
  14. Connecting With Staff Virtually

What to Do if An Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19: CEDR HR Offers Guidance

CEDR HR Solutions has produced a video about employees testing positive for COVID-19, featuring company founder Paul Edwards.

The video reviews current CDC guidance and offers risk assessment recommendations.  To support the risk assessment process, CEDR HR encourages employers to bookmark the following websites:

In addition, CEDR HR compiled step-by-step recommendations on what to do if there is a potential exposure in your office:
Handling Ongoing Concerns About Employees Contracting the Coronavirus.

 

Interim Orthodontic PPE Summary Based on Current CDC and OSHA Guidelines

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the AAO has formed an AAO COVID-19 Task Force. The COVID-19 Task Force, comprised of a diverse and experienced group of individuals, includes orthodontists, orthodontic educators, members of the AAO Legal Department, and experts in the areas of infection control, infectious diseases, and office design. The Task Force is reviewing all pertinent literature in regards to a variety of topics, including aerosolization in practice and PPE recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, and ADA. While final recommendations from the Task Force are forthcoming, some interim suggestions are indicated as orthodontic offices start to reopen.

AAO is not a legislative body and does not produce regulations that require adherence. These can only come from the regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada. However, the AAO does have a duty to inform, educate and protect members of the public, clinicians and staff during the delivery of orthodontic care.

View Interim Summary

These suggestions are based on current CDC and OSHA guidelines and may be helpful as practices start to reopen. The professional judgment of the orthodontist should be used to determine how to best apply these in practice.

HR Guide to Reopen Your Office

As you prepare to reopen your office as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the HR processes involved will likely be very different from typical workplace employment routines. CEDR HR Solutions offers detailed recommendations for AAO members to work through the process and find solutions to challenges that may arise.

CEDR HR addresses how to determine when to resume operations, the process of bringing back employees who were furloughed – or otherwise separated from your workplace, communication about reopening plans and the return to work, reinstating benefits, changes to hours or pay, reviewing sick leave policies and more.

View the CEDR HR Guide, “How to Reopen Your Business Following Coronavirus”

Practical Guidance for Employers Provided by CEDR HR Solutions

We know there is a lot of information – and misinformation – about the Coronavirus and how to handle the HR challenges that it is causing in the workplace. Our goal is to provide you with guidance on how to handle this as an employer — practical solutions for the impact the Coronavirus may have on your business. We will continue to update this guidance as news changes, and in response to questions we receive from our members.

Guidance from SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management)

Does Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave apply for employees or immediate family members who may contract coronavirus?

Yes, assuming that the FMLA applies to the practice, coronavirus would qualify as a “serious health condition” under FMLA, allowing an employee to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member contracts the disease. The employee would be entitled to job reinstatement as well. State law may provide additional leave benefits.

Would I need to pay workers’ compensation for employees who contract coronavirus?

Perhaps, if the employees contracted the disease in the course of their employment. Does the employees’ work require them to be exposed to persons who are infected? Typically, health care workers fall into this category. If an employee incidentally contracts the disease from a co-worker, there likely will be no workers’ compensation liability. If there is workers’ compensation liability, employers are responsible for covering the costs of reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary total disability benefits, and permanent disability (if any). Employers should engage a competent medical professional on infectious diseases for advice to determine whether the disease is work-related.

Would I need to pay my employees disability benefits if they contract the coronavirus?

Yes, if such payments are provided in a practices’ benefit plan. Practices should review the limits of coverage in the benefit plan to ensure they have competent medical resources to administer the program.

Would I need to pay employees who go on leave during a quarantine period or because they have contracted coronavirus?

Perhaps. In the absence of a contract, hourly employees work at-will and are not guaranteed wages or hours. In other words, these employees do not need to be paid. Exempt employees do not have to be paid if they are sent home for an entire workweek. However, if exempt workers work for part of the workweek, they would have to be paid for the entire week.

Is there an obligation to accommodate employees who do not want to work in public-facing positions due to risk of infection?

There may be an obligation to accommodate such employees if there is some objective evidence that they could potentially be exposed to individuals who may have returned from China—for example, airport employees who deal with travelers from China. Employees should not be disciplined for refusing to work if they believe that there is a risk of infection because making such a complaint may be a protected activity. If the employer can establish that there is no basis for any exposure to the disease, the employee does not have to be paid during the time period the employee refuses to work.

 

Connecting With Your Staff Virtually

Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you can’t keep the workflow of your team going strong. Connect with your team and patients using these 5 video conference call service platforms, all of which have free package options:

  • Zoom – This easy, reliable cloud platform can be used for video and audio conferencing, chat and webinars. Host up to 100 participants, have unlimited 1-to-1 meetings and more.
  • GoToMeeting – The GoToMeeting Free plan is a great way to get started with quick and easy online meetings. The free plan allows you and your coworkers or friends to collaborate with high-quality screen sharing, webcams, VoIP audio and chat messaging in one session – no download needed.
  • UberConference – Chat with up to 10 participants on this rich interface that makes it easy to do things like mute a noisy caller, dial-in and share your screen, use voice intelligence to transcribe your meetings and employ custom hold music. 
  • Skype – Access easy video meetings with no sign ups or downloads. Generate your free unique link with one click, share it with participants and enjoy effortless meetings with Skype. Have a full set of features at your disposal. Free conference calls, no sign ups, no downloads required.
  • Google Hangouts – Connect with your team from anywhere. With easy-to-join video calls, you can meet face-to-face without having to be in the office.