Workplace compliance is an area where employers must continually stay ahead of the curve. Even the savviest, most-experienced HR professionals can find themselves unprepared for legal issues they never saw coming. While some can rely on in-house attorneys, others, such as small-business owners, must contract with outside legal counsel, which can be costly and time-consuming.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a slew of new legal and compliance issues related to remote work, EEO/ADA obligations, the FLSA and paid time off, return-to-work safety concerns, and other matters. Assessing compliance risks and taking appropriate mitigation steps are critical.
In response to growing demand, SHRM created the SHRM LegalNetwork for HR professionals working for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Launched in June and backed by LegalShield, a longtime provider of affordable small-business legal plans, the SHRM LegalNetwork comes at a critical time when legal protection could mean the difference between staying in business or closing for good.
Across the COVID-19 landscape, smaller organizations are the most vulnerable business class, often receiving little-to-no guidance on managing complex employment laws and liability issues. SHRM research found that, of the 7 in 10 small businesses seeking outside advice since the start of COVID-19, 86 percent sought legal help.
What are your biggest legal and compliance issues amid COVID-19? What can HR and all employers do to proactively avoid problems that can lead to litigation?
Please join @SHRM on Twitter at 3 p.m. ET on October 14 for #Nextchat with special guests SHRM HR Knowledge Center Director Amber Clayton (@SHRMAClayton) and Janell M. Stanton, Esq., from Wagner, Falconer & Judd Ltd. (@JanellStanton16). We’ll chat about how employers can avoid legal and compliance problems in the workplace—especially those issues associated with COVID-19.
Q1. HR and employers: What are your biggest COVID-19-related compliance problems and concerns?
Q2. What COVID-19-related legal/compliance issue has caused the most confusion for you and/or your employees?
Q3. What can employers do to proactively avoid legal and compliance problems that may result from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its associated laws, the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
Q4. What are your biggest ADA compliance challenges related to COVID-19, considering that EEO laws may differ from CDC or state/local public health authorities, and how can HR address these challenges?
Q5. How can employers ensure the enforcement of OSHA’s requirements with respect to coronavirus to avoid compliance and legal issues?
Q6. What COVID-19-related FLSA issues are you dealing with, and what advice can you share for how HR can stay in compliance?
Q7. What questions should companies be asking to help “crisis-proof” all compliance-related programs for COVID-19?