Handling Employment Law in a World of COVID-19
The Coronavirus pandemic went global in early 2020 and the virus COVID-19 is still making waves. Many states in the U.S. may have reopened, ending a stay-at-home order, but just because a stay-at-home order is no longer effective does not mean the virus is no longer around. It’s still out there, and with states reopening establishments for entertainment, food and drink, retail, or just simple social recreation, there’s one more area to be aware of the virus – the workplace. Fuel Web Marketing can help you keep lawyers up to date on the new changes coming to employment law.
Employees Want to Know their Rights
Now more than ever, people are educating themselves on their rights in the workplace while living in a world where COVID-19 is still rampant. Learning about employment law and how lawyers protect employees may be at the forefront of most workers minds. “What is Employment Law?” may even be a frequent sentence amongst search engines, with the average person just starting their research.
Having content, and enough of it, to inform the reader and a potential client is a goal for any business on the web, but the basic general information of what employment law is can no longer be enough in an ever-changing world. Unlike print and radio, online webpages can be updated at a moment’s notice with the latest information but keeping in tune with the public is the real goal. How does one do this?
Blog posts and articles help every business thrive, because where there’s content there’s the ability to share that content and connect with one’s audience. Aside from research employment law and how lawyers may protect employees, many people returning to work during a pandemic may have many questions pertaining to whether or not they are required to return to the workplace, and if so, what can they can do about it.
By law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are required to return to a physical office or work environment, and with COVID-19 still going around the world, employees have every right to require an increase of amenities or supplies for keeping oneself and work supplies clean and sanitized. The employee shouldn’t need to provide this, and an employment lawyer may find clients facing similar issues in their workplace.
In the worst-case-scenario, someone has to lawyer up to make sure they are protected while staying employed, especially if that means they’re required to operate in an official place of work. Employees fearful of becoming infected will already be on their toes about going to work, so going to another stranger’s office is not high on the to-do list. Another common search by potential clients would be “lawyer near me” if not looking to travel too far, and some may request a virtual meeting. Having your information readily available without having to visit a website will always attract a reader – just think of your latest Google search.
Employers Need a Plan
People employed won’t be the only ones looking up employment law with states reopening. Employers want to keep protected just as much as they want to stay in business. With the economy in a state of woe, every business that can stay in operation must, and a business can’t operate without its employees. With many employees fearful of returning to the workplace, some maybe even adamant about staying at home, employers need to stay up-to-date with the latest on employment law for employers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recently published a document, “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19”, all employers should study when bringing workers back into the workplace. OSHA requires that all employers provide their employees with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and how they can stay protective while in the workplace. Although OSHA cannot enforce legal regulation, the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires all employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, many states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine (Retail), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, already require all employers to provide COVID-19 training to employees upon returning to the workplace.
This bring us back to blog articles with constantly new information to reflect what’s happening in the world, but how else could a law firm tackle the influx of cases they may get from employees and employers alike? Building a team, a task force of sorts, designed to specialize in employment law for the employer or employment law for the employee and the Coronavirus. Such a team can then focus on supporting employers by providing accurate information on best practices and precautions for employers that need to protect themselves and employees from COVID-19.
A legal team could help employers put together an employer plan for those who are reopening their place of work. Reopening the workplace and creating a safe work environment for employees to return to is a number one priority. Providing cleaning and sanitary supplies as mentioned are a great start but employing daily sanitization services will not only help keep the workplace clean but keep employees confident about returning to a clean office.
Keeping employees updated on how business will operate should the office need to close, or stays open, during another wave of the Coronavirus is the responsibility of the employer. This will undoubtedly come with providing employers with some legal advice should they wish to enforce certain rules or regulations, such as requiring a worker to be present at their workplace during operations to stay employed. What are the legal implications of making someone choose between unemployment and potential exposure to the virus? That’s a legal question employers want an answer to.
For employers who may allow workers to work from home or remotely during the pandemic, employment law about salaries versus wage, hourly workers, and micromanaging will quickly come up. Employers seeking legal advice on how to keep a business operating when its workers are remote was a hot topic not too long ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s old news. Those workers will eventually return to the workplace, and we’re right back where we started when it comes to what employers need to know about employment law in the world today.
Fuel Web Marketing helps law firms keep their content up to date and their business thriving. Contact us today to sign up for a content plan online. You can also call us at 888-375-3835.