Even in virus-free times, the world of labor laws and employment regulations is at best confusing to an employer, and at worst, overwhelming. Adding the stress of emergency paid sick leave, ever-evolving unemployment qualifications, and shelter-in-place orders is enough to make any boss’s head spin.
Business owners want to keep their employees healthy and safe. They also want to operate in a way that at least garners enough income to keep the doors open. And, at the absolute core, employers don’t want to mess up.
So much of the internet today is focused on advice and interpretation of the new federal relief packages, tweaked state employment regulations and the tax relief opportunities.
Most of the interpretations of these new laws and regulations have not yet been tested by courts and administrators, and employers are stuck operating in an environment
of ambiguity and fear.
If you are operating a business that employs anyone, you have probably been bombarded with emails, texts, webinars, Zoom conferences and even faxes from people who say they can tell you the best way to navigate the shutdown.
The problem is that so many of the laws intended to address the crises created by the virus are changing on an almost daily basis.
Add to that the fact that most of the interpretations of these new laws and regulations have not yet been tested by courts and administrators, and you are stuck operating in an environment of ambiguity and fear — fear of messing up your employees’ lives and ultimately, your own livelihood.
In times of uncertainty, one of the best exercises you can undertake is to get back to basics. With many of us having to work from home, it is a perfect time to examine not only your workforce, but also the structure and operation of your business.
Are there things that the virus shutdown has exposed as weaknesses in your operations? More importantly, are there parts of your business that have emerged as strengths?
As an employer, you may have already had some intense and frank conversations with your employees as a result of these unique circumstances. What sort of factors should you keep in mind over the next few months so that you will not suffer the Fear of Messing Up?
Republished with permission. The full article for, "COVID-19 FOMU for Employers: Fear of Messing Up," was published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw on October 8, 2020 and can be found here.