COVID-19 Employer Resource Guide
Like many of you, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus and its potential impact on our region. Now is the time to prepare, not panic.
While this is a quickly evolving situation, we will work to provide up-to-date information, actionable intelligence and help employers adopt a prepared mindset to focus on the health of their business.
National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SCDHEC are also helpful resources with the latest information.
Small Business & Non-Profit Loans
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
Support Small Businesses
Tax Payment Postponement
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Tuesday, March 17th that taxpayers can delay paying their income taxes on as much as $1 million in taxes owed for up to 90 days. Corporate filers would get the same length of time to pay amounts due on up to $10 million in taxes owed. Read more here.
Emergency Remote Work
Harvard Business Review outlines 5 recommendations in the article, “What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?”:
- Acknowledge the possibility that all or part of your workforce may need to work remotely.
- Map out jobs and tasks that could be affected.
- Audit available IT hardware and software, and close any gaps in access and adoption.
- Set up a communications protocol in advance.
- Identify ways to measure performance that could inform broader change.
Other helpful resources:
- Work-from-home best practices
- Free remote working tools
- How Businesses With A Remote Workforce Can Stay #cybersecure Webinar
Preparing Your Organization
Businesses, no matter their size, can significantly influence our community’s readiness, awareness, resources, and engagement against the spread of the coronavirus. This begins with organizational preparedness, including risk management teams and contingency plans.
Employers should prepare and socialize an Outbreak Response Plan and:
- Ensure the plan is flexible and involves employees in development and review.
- Conduct a focused discussion or exercise using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected.
- Share the plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available.
- Share best practices with other businesses in the community.
Corporate Policy Recommendations
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the CDC, recommends that companies:
- Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Speak with vendors that provide contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
According to OSHA, the Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Learn more here.
For more information, view the U.S. Chamber’s “Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19)” PDF.
Ogletree Deakins also answered top FAQs on federal labor and employment laws.
Greenville Chamber Plans & Policies
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep Investors and the business community updated. We are assessing all upcoming programs and events and determining whether to postpone, cancel or reformat to a virtual experience. Registered attendees will be notified via email and we will work to share updates on the events calendar and on this page. The Chamber's standard refund policy is that any refund requests placed within 7 days of the event will not be issued.
Local Health & Community Updates
Update from Prisma Health
Prisma Health has received calls from a number of employers interested in screening employees for COVID-19. The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) has published some helpful advice for those seeking testing in the FAQs located on its website.
If you are concerned that you, your family, or one of your employees might have COVID-19, you’re encouraged to call your primary care physician or participate in a free (with payment code COVID19) Prisma Health Virtual Visit. Both can help determine next steps for individuals who display symptoms of COVID-19.
If your provider or Virtual Visit determines that COVID-19 testing is appropriate for you, Prisma Health has established drive-through testing options at Greenville Memorial Hospital in the Upstate and Richland Hospital in the Midlands. Patients must have an electronic order for the COVID-19 test from a Prisma Health provider or from a Prisma Health Virtual Visit provider.
For more information about COVID-19 and Prisma Health’s continued response, visit PrismaHealth.org/Coronavirus.
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