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Is Your Business COVID Compliant?

October 16th, 2020

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Most businesses in the US are too small to have a full-time HR professional, let alone a compliance officer. Yet, in these dramatically different times it can be a costly mistake to not keep up with rules and laws that are changing rapidly and for the first time being applied to at-home workers.

Writing for HR.com, Dan Marzullo says COVID-19 is making it “more important than ever for businesses of all sizes to make sure they’re abiding by HR compliance.”

Large corporations have HR compliance officers to monitor labor laws and requirements, and ensure the company – and employees -- are complying with the often complex rules. They train managers in the rules and help them work through difficult situations.

But large or small, all businesses are required to comply with the laws. As the well known adage goes, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

So what’s a small or even mid-sized business to do? Marzullo, who himself runs a small business in Colorado, offers a solution: “This is a role that can be outsourced.”

In fact, it is usual for HR professionals who serve on a consulting basis to wear both hats. While an HR compliance officer is a specialist and an HR professional fills multiple roles, the jobs are not exclusive and have duties that overlap. Unless your business has employees in several states working in different locations, an experienced outsourced HR professional will be able to keep the business on the right side of the rules.

Marzullo notes that one of the first tasks an outsourced HR professional typically faces with a new client is updating their employee handbook. Or creating one for the first time.

“It’s a critical document for any business because it serves as a communication tool to define your company’s procedures, policies, and how you conduct business,” he writes.

If you haven’t reviewed your handbook since before the COVID pandemic, read through it now. Does it mention remote work, flex time, remote work schedules? What does it say about who pays for work at home internet access or the equipment? Anything?

Probably not, yet these are now common issues that every business will confront sooner or later.

Noting that worker’s comp claims for carpal tunnel were on the rise before we all started working from home, Marzullo says an HR professional can help to head off these claims by training employees how to avoid injury.

Having an HR consultant on retainer is not the only way for a small business to ensure compliance with the rules. Hiring a part-timer or even a temp to put the workplace in order is an option Green Key Resources can help you with.

From anywhere in the US, give us a call at 212.683.1988 and we’ll show you what we can do for you.

Image by Daniela Carvalho Dani

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