​HR professionals spent much of 2020 coming to terms with an issue that was on few people's radar in 2019: COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Deadly, dangerous and frightening, coronavirus made employers reassess how to keep their workplaces safe and comply with new laws emerging from the health crisis—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Coronavirus cases began rising again in November and December, making COVID-19 as relevant as ever by year's end.
Here are seven of the most-read SHRM Online articles in 2020 on the coronavirus, plus resources to help employers manage the effects in the workplace.

No. 1  A Guide to Employee
Temperature Checks

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gave employers the green light to take employees' temperatures in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Here are suggestions on how to make temperature-taking work at your organization.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: COVID-19 Ready-Resource Tools and Samples]

No. 2 Many Employers Must Offer Paid Leave Under Coronavirus Relief Law

The FFCRA, signed into law on March 18, provides paid emergency family leave in limited circumstances, as well as paid sick leave for people affected by COVID-19. The legislation applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

No. 3  DOL Releases
FFCRA Regulations

The Department of Labor (DOL)  issued temporary regulations for the FFCRA on April 1, then later issued revised regulations. The revisions followed a district court ruling that invalidated portions of the DOL's April 1 temporary rule.

[SHRM resource spotlight: Coronavirus and COVID-19]

No. 4 What to Do When Scared Workers Don’t Report to Work Due to COVID-19

Some essential workers refused to come to work out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. Their employers had to weigh the employees’ legal rights and understandable health concerns against the organizations’ business needs. It could be a tough balancing act.

[HR Magazine article: Profiles of the Pandemic]

No. 5 EEOC: Employers Can Screen for COVID-19

The EEOC updated its guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and coronavirus in April, explaining that employers may screen employees for COVID-19. Any mandatory medical test must be job-related and consistent with business necessity, the agency explained.

[SHRM All Things Work article: The COVID-19 Crucible]

No. 6 How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Shaped the Future of Work?

Uncertainty has become the norm in 2020, as employers and employees respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving needs in a time when safety is paramount. What long-term effects will the coronavirus crisis have on the workplace?

[SHRM All Things Work article: Small Businesses Get Creative to Survive During the Pandemic]

No. 7  Confused About the Coronavirus Paid-Leave Mandate? DOL Issued Some Guidance

The DOL’s first official guidance for employers and workers provided answers about the paid-leave provisions in the FFCRA. The department also provided a model workplace poster.

[Need help with legal questions? Check out the new SHRM LegalNetwork.]


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