As we all continue to navigate the uncertainty brought on by the novel coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new website to make resources readily available for employers and workers amid the the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has resources to help employers and workers prepare for and respond to coronavirus in the workplace.
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 – Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help employers respond in the event of coronavirus in the workplace.
- Temporary OSHA Guidance on Respiratory Protection Standard – This guidance provides suggestions and options to help increase the availability of N95 filtering facepiece respirators for healthcare providers.
- COVID-19 Webpage – Provides infection prevention information specifically for employers and workers.
Wages, Hours and Leave
The Wage and Hour Division is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities
NOTE: Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program regarding the rules in your state.
The Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:
- An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
Support for Dislocated Workers and States
The Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of up to $100 million in National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grants to help states, territories, and tribal governments respond to the workforce-related impacts of COVID-19.
Along with these resources the website also offers links to the latest news articles regarding labor issues caused by COVID-19.
We here at CountertopResource.com feel deeply for those who have been directly impacted by this outbreak and will endeavor to keep you informed, share ideas and provide resources to help you along the way. We wish you all well during this difficult time.