I write with news from the front. I am still well, as of now. Although it seems no one can even agree on a name for this virus that is consuming every moment of cable news and social media, it appears that many our “journalists” – who call themselves modern day firefighters – are sure of one thing: we are all living on borrowed time.
I hope you and everyone are taking reasonable precautions at home, and that includes avoiding too much hype.
I have just now returned from a mission for supplies, in case we are engaged in the battle for our very survival, which is what these “facts first” beacons of responsibility apparently wish us to believe. Take heart that I find toilet paper, bottled water, and Rao’s Arrabbiata Sauce (trust me) in ample supply locally. However, unconfirmed reports are circulating that citizens will trade gold for aloe and grain alcohol. To that end, I have purchased enough toilet paper to trade at favorable premiums with silly people engaged in fist fights over mega packs at Costco. Perhaps one silver lining to all of this, those cartoon bear toilet paper commercials will meet their final reward.
Tell Mary and the babies I will write again with news of improved Purell supplies. if they make it through enemy lines. And please make room in your prayers for those of us still alive after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reversal of Net Neutrality, etc., that we may have the strength to fight on.
I grow weary, Mother. Not with the virus, heaven knows, but with this bit.
Before I depart, though, dear Mother, please tell the employers who rely on me for updated information about Covid-19,
I offer the following update to my previous letter (here):
Additional COVID-19 Resources for Employers:
Cal. Employment Development Department – Updated California EDD webpage:
San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement – Guidance on San Francisco Sick Leave and Coronavirus
Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement: FAQ’s on Coronavirus and Laws Enforced by the Labor Commissioner (Including Paid Sick Leave)
Here’s a good article on best practices from the National Law Journal.
As stated in our prior post, it’s important to be vigilant about developments. And it’s important for employers to develop a plan for how to handle:
- mandatory sick days (payroll, covering absences, compensation for non-exempt and exempts)
- quarantined employees
- reducing or eliminating travel and options
- social distancing (including reducing gatherings, allowing telework if feasible)
- increasing sanitation
- communications from management to share fact-based information, dispel rumors, and maintain calm
- issues that can give rise to liability including national origin, disability, and other types of discrimination
- managing needlessly divisive arguments at work about the virus, treatment, politics, etc.
That’s most of the main considerations. There may be others. Some of the above will require only good management and communication expertise. However, sound employment law advice is also important.
Let us continue to hope that this most recent virus outbreak does as little harm as possible. At the same time, let us take reasonable and practical measures to mitigate against its spread and address symptoms if they arise.