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Geronda Wollack | 11/19/2021
HOW TO STAY HR COMPLIANT DURING COVID

I was on the couch with my wife during our daily “be present and reset” routine which includes reminiscing about our day, watching our favorite shows, and just being present with one another. Out of nowhere, she asked me a question that I wasn’t expecting- “Oh wait, what happened with the paid leave that employees were getting for COVID? Didn’t it end on the 30th of September?”

 

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so easy. Some states have paid sick leave that has now become an extended leave program for COVID-related issues while others don’t and time away is unpaid.

This answer led to another question about whether employees can apply for unemployment since the time is unpaid (I swear she could be in HR). I told her that some employees seem to be taking this step, but whether or not they are accepted depends on a variety of certain factors.

 

With the current state of the world, these and many other answers to COVID-related compliance questions can fall under the blanket statement “it depends,” but figuring out the details behind these words is far from easy.

 

COVID HR Compliance Help

Many practices are wondering about the “it depends” answers and where to go from here. Fortunately, there are several tools and resources available to help practice owners navigate these changing compliance policies during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

For IDOC members, IDOC HR Now, our HR services for optometrists can help alleviate the “it depends,” and give you the answers you’re looking for when it comes to human resources compliance during the pandemic while providing you with value savings. How? By leveraging the various offerings that come with this new service to help you stay compliant with COVID laws and regulations. The best part is it comes as part of your membership.

 

HR Hotline

One such part of these services is access to the HR Hotline that could save you thousands of dollars by helping you with COVID compliance-related inquiries or issues.

 

Along with COVID-19 compliance help, the hotline also provides support on the following areas:

  • FLMA
  • Unemployment
  • Investigations
  • Wages
  • Workers Comp
  • Handbook
  • Legal and state specific requirements

 

The top HR and COVID-related compliance questions asked to the hotline advisors are:

  1. I want to implement a vaccine mandate at my practice, can you help me with that?
  2. Can I ask a candidate if they are vaccinated?
  3. Do I still need to pay my employee FFCRA leave for being out with COVID or COVID-related symptoms?

 

Because these types of questions have State and local implications, the hotline can come in handy to ensure compliance when addressing these questions as well as clearing up confusion.

 

For example, the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) is leave payment that practice owners can comply with to pay staff for paid leave for COVID-related issues like illness, diagnosis, and caring for a child due to school closure to name a few. FFCRA leave expired on September 30, 2021, and there hasn’t been an extension on this leave, but some states have other programs in place to make up for this loss.

 

Colorado, for example, has The Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act that requires employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. It was enacted on July 14, 2020, and it extends to 2022. This specific information from the hotline helped a member remain compliant with COVID leave requirements for the State.

 

Other HR Compliance Services During COVID

How else can you save while leveraging your new HR Service? Great question! The other offerings we have are your own customizable handbook through a handbook builder and HR compliance library with tons of forms, documents, and information on specific state laws.

 

  • Handbook Builder – your own personalized handbook builder that provides you with a federal and state compliant handbook for your practice. This saves you money from working with a lawyer to ensure your handbook is compliant.
  • Compliance Library – a repository of downloadable guides, tools, policies, and resources available to you in real time. This also saves you money by providing state-specific resources that have been reviewed and vetted.

 

The more offerings you take advantage of the more savings you get as a practice. Our optometric alliance includes practices that have saved over $5,000 just by leveraging these services. So, why not get the same value savings and feel confident knowing that you have COVID compliance support right at your fingertips.

 

The future is uncertain, so let IDOC save you time and money when it comes to compliance during the pandemic. If you are a member already, these services come as part of your membership and login information is waiting for you in your inbox. If you are having trouble logging in, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Practice Development Manager for more information Email or Call at Info@idoc.net or 203-853-3333.

Geronda Wollack
HR Services Advisor
Geronda Wollack has a background in HR project/program management in the IT and Education space. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Johnson & Wales University and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational from the University of New Haven. Upon graduating, she started her Human Resources career at Gartner, where she spent approximately 3 years managing HR projects and programs from inception to delivery.

During her time at Success Academy Charter Schools, Geronda developed, facilitated and analyzed trainings for 50+ staff on leadership effectiveness and diversity. Geronda is experienced in areas of performance management practices, training and facilitation, process improvement, diversity and inclusion, and onboarding, to name a few.

A fun fact about Geronda is that she worked as a Cake Decorator for 2 years where she once baked a 7-tier cake that included edible diamonds. She was also the only female to play football on an all-boys team from 7th grade to 12th grade. Lastly, outside of work, Geronda loves to go camping (and be in nature in general), attend jazz shows and sporting events, attend festivals, cook, and play her trumpet.
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