Friday, April 24, 2020

Coronavirus update 4-24-2020: A coronavirus DOL settlement, and listen to me discuss empoyers’ preparations for reopening our economy

It did not take long for the Department of Labor to announce its first-ever settlement of a claimed violation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The DOL’s press release provides the details:

Bear Creek Electrical – an electrical company based in Tucson, Arizona – will pay one employee $1,600 for refusing to provide him sick leave under the newly passed Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act after health care providers ordered him to self-quarantine with potential coronavirus symptoms. 
WHD investigators found that Bear Creek Electrical failed to pay the employee for what qualified as paid sick leave covering the hours he spent at home after the company received documentation of his doctor’s instructions to self-quarantine. The employer will pay the employee’s full wages of $20 an hour for 80 hours of leave.… Bear Creek Electrical also agreed to future compliance with the FFCRA, which went into effect on April 1, 2020. 
“This case should serve as a signal to others that the U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employee rights during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour District Director Eric Murray in Phoenix, Arizona.

You’ve been warned. If you are not providing your employees the paid coronavirus leave to which they are entitled, the DOL is watching.

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Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of spending 15 or so minutes on-air on WCPN’s The Sound of Ideas. We discussed Ohio’s targeted May 1 “reopening” date, what that reopening might look like, and the steps employers must take (imho) before reopening.

You can listen here:

I will also be conducting another Zoominar, Tuesday, April 28, from 11 am to 12 pm, during which I will expand on the thoughts I shared on The Sound of Ideas and discuss in more detail the steps businesses absolutely must take before they even consider reopening or bringing remote employees back to the workplace.

Pre-registration is required, here:

When you register, you will also have the opportunity to send questions my way. I’ll field any and all coronavirus-related questions you might have.

And, if I ask nicely enough I might be able to coax another song out of Norah.

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Finally, a huge shout-out to one of my neighbors, who has absolutely nailed the social distancing thing.

Have a healthy and safe weekend.