Last updated -- August, 2020
Things are changing fast and you may have heard about one of more of these in passing.
The goal here is to put critical information in a central location and provide updates as they happen.
This is to help you be informed as you plan your strategy and next steps. This information will be curated and updated as needed.
Suggestions for content and additions to resources are welcome in the comments below or here.
Has your employer told you to keep quiet about COVID? Are you worried they will?
This article is worth reading so you...
#KnowYourRights and know how and where you can report and get more information.
from the article...
"Workers at#Amazondot com,#Cargill,#McDonald’s, and#Targetsay they were told to keep Covid cases quiet. The same sort of gagging has been alleged in#OSHAcomplaints against#SmithfieldFoods,#UrbanOutfitters, and#GeneralElectric."
And many others.
"In an email viewed by Bloomberg Businessweek,#DeltaAir Lines told its 25,000 flight attendants to 'please refrain from notifying other crew members on your own' about any Covid symptoms or diagnoses."
This article has more details.
Stay safe and#knowYourRights.
Your boss wants you back in the office — An employment law expert explains your rights
This article by a university law professor answers questions about going back to work, childcare and you rights as an employee during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From June 6 2020
Do you have a Federal student loan debt ?
from the article:
"If you’re looking to take out a new student loan for the 2020-2021 school year, you may be able to take advantage of some of the lowest federal student loan rates you’ll find, thanks to the Fed’s rate cuts earlier this year.
And while student loan debt can be overwhelming, favorable terms and historically low interest rates make paying them off less of a priority than saving for retirement, McBride says."
They discuss Federal variable rate loans as well.
About a 4-minute read and worth your time if you have a loan.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have launched a website for Americans who didn’t file their taxes for 2018 or 2019
to submit their bank account information so they can receive their coronavirus stimulus check.
List of employer's who are hiring now
Updated April 6 2020
Instacart says it’s looking to hire 300,000 contract workers over the next three months.
Walmart announced that it will hire 150,000 workers for its distribution and fulfillment centers.
Amazon says it’s looking to hire 100,000 new workers for its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
CVS Health is hiring 50,000 employees to serve in various capacities across its business.
Dollar General says it's looking to add 50,000 employees by the end of April.
Pizza Hut is hiring 30,000 permanent employees to serve as drivers, shift leaders, cooks and managers.
Ace Hardware is hiring 30,000 people to work in its stores nationwide.
Lowe’s is hiring 30,000 employees to meet the demand created by the coronavirus.
Dollar Tree, which is also the parent company of Family Dollar, is hiring 25,000 workers for its stores and distribution centers.
Walgreens is hiring 25,000 employees for permanent and temporary roles.
Papa John's is hiring 20,000 workers to meet demand.
7-Eleven is hiring up to 20,000 employees due to increased demand.
Kroger is looking to hire an additional 20,000 workers across the U.S.
See the full list by clicking here.
Site of the top Covid Reources
New: April 2, 2020
Temporary Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). ...there's more...
Get the complete details here https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/ffcra
New March 31, 2020:
This is COVID19 data not employment, benefits or job hunting information per se. I included it because it's graphic and does a great job of informing where we are.
This is employee focused data:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.
Summary: these are the details about how you get can get money and leave time if you are sick, caring for someone who is or can't work because your children are out of school etc.
It's a little government-speak but not too bad. I'll be adding more to the summary here as time allows.
You can read the news release here. (there's also information for employers and a FAQ.
To receive these updates via mail sign up here.
Why you should care:
The new law requires employers with over 50 fewer than 500 employees to provide limited paid-leave benefits to employees who are affected by the coronavirus emergency. Small employers are given new tax credits and federal payroll-tax relief to pay for the new mandatory benefits.
NEW - Mandatory employee paid leave
The Act requires emergency paid sick leave.
It is limited to $511 per day for up to 10 days - up to $5,110 - for an eligible employees in coronavirus quarantine awaiting possible pending a coronavirus diagnosis.
An employee can also receive emergency paid sick leave of up to $200 per day for up to 10 days (up to $2,000 in total) to care for a quarantined family member or a child whose school or child-care location has been closed due to the pandemic.
NEW - The Act also requires that small-business employees be given the right to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected family leave if the employee or a family member is in coronavirus quarantine or if the school or child-care location of the employee’s child is closed due to the coronavirus.
NEW - The employer must pay at least two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay, up to a maximum of $200 per day, subject to an overall per-employee maximum of $10,000 in total family-leave payments.
This is a summary that hits the highlights.
How to file for unemployment insurance
Find out more about Federal programs are there to assist you with pandemic related unemployment or loss of income.
Don't be so sure you don't qualify. Policy is changing as the pandemic spreads. Check with Federal and State Labor Department sites.
What steps should you take?
Get started. Helpful things to have with you when you file and where to go for your state can be found in COVID19 Career Update Unemployment Benefits.
NEW CRITICAL Employment Law Changes
The guidance comes from an EEOC statement updated March 19
Can your employer take your temperature?
Employers covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may measure employees' body temperature, even though it is a medical exam, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you're applying for a job int he US an employers can screen you for COVID-19 symptoms.
Here are the guidelines: they must do it for "all entering employees in the same type of job," regardless of whether the applicant has a disability.
Also important: employers are permitted to take applicant's temperatures "as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exams."
Employers may also delay your start date if you are have COVID-19 symptoms ad defined by the per CDC guidance,
Your employer can withdraw a job offer if it needs you to start immediately and you have the virus or symptoms.
FYI: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age ...go to EEOC.
Updated March 31
7. The Federal government has moved the fax filing from April 15 to July 15 without interest or penalties
That's 90 days.
You can file on schedule and get your refund if you’ve got one coming.
Already filed your taxes? You can cancel it by calling 888-353-4537
Many states are following suit. Check yours to find out if your state has postponed filing.
USA Today published a list of state tax declines on March 30th.
Check that here:
Federal student loan payments are suspended and interest is waived
The short story: All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.
Want more info...
Visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus for details. Information on all the efforts the Department is taking to address the COVID-19 national emergency is here >> ed.gov/coronavirus.
Family leave and medical leave
FMLA provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year and that their group health benefits be maintained during that leave.
This US law applies to all public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.
These are updated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If you are not covered by FMLA then you ma be by the new act.
Check this often. They are learning more about COVID19 and how to be safe. It is posted here.
CDC Guidance for US employers
There are resources you can download on this site.
Everyone keeps saying "the CDC says..." What is it and why should you listen to them?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the leading national public health institute of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
* CSC is The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is the authority on the US response to this pandemic.
OSHA is Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Yeah, you need to know about them too. You'll start seeing more of them.
Here's what they do in a nutshell.
"To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights."
They are all over this COVID19 and you want to know about them in non-pandemic times too.
What you'll find here: Lots of answers on this page how to be safe at work for employers nd for employees, unemployment and leave infomration as well. OSHA is part of the Federal Department of Labor. Start here with them.
Many larger companies do not offer sick leave. Here's a partial list of who's doing what
9. Now would be a good time to check your employer's work from home policy
...if they have one and while you're at it, look over your employment contract. This is a time when things you thought would never happen are happening. Chances are their lawyers thought of it and put it in the employment contract. It might impact you now. That's worth knowing.
Upgrade old and mission critical gear
Some things might be harder to replace in the immediate future as stores close and supply chains are impacted.
When you router starts smoking during the finale of Breaking Bad or TrueBlood (or during your Zoom-based conference call) you probably won't be able to pop out out the Best Buy to replace it.
Your computer? if it something stops working from the processor to the camera, or microphone? What will you do?
How old is your router?
Many service providers are upgrading bandwidth, consider upgrading yours even more depending on demand.
Home desk Chair feeling good? That dining room table chair might not go the distance.
Look around...what are you relying on more now and what's due for replacement?
11. Speaking of your home... mortgage, car payment and other items are being put on pause
Taking the pressure off...
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, is a public government-sponsored enterprise that has already instituted these changes, other mortgage companies are likely to follow suite and in a hurry, too.
Some the changes
Providing mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months
Waiving assessments of penalties and late fees
Halting all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers living in Freddie Mac-owned homes until at least May 17, 2020
Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of delinquency related to forbearance
Offering loan modification options that lower payments or keep payments the same after the forbearance period.
While you're at it... check what bills and subscriptions you have on auto-pay, to your bank account or your credit card. You might want to turn those off for a while or at least do an audit of what's going where.
You're welcome here and if you liked this...
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Have information, resources or lessons learned from your experience? Please share them in the comments below and feel free to message or tag me here or on LinkedIn