New year, new President; a recent executive ruling from President Biden changes how workers can legally respond to unsafe work environments during COVID. How does this new order affect your business, and what should you do to make employees feel safer on the job?
How to Make Your Employees Feel Safer from COVID
Biden’s ruling requires the federal Department of Labor to clarify that “workers have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health and if they do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance.” Employees drawing on unemployment already must take on roles that are considered “suitable” under the law. That generally means it’s a job that has a similar pay scale and task list as the employee’s old job.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic created new health and safety risks for unemployed and employed workers. This new ruling blurs the lines a little for employers with a workspace that perhaps is less than desirable from a social distancing perspective. According to CNBC, the country appears to be moving toward a national standard on what is “safe,” according to CNBC. However, there are a few things you can do right now to create a better and safer work environment for your current and prospective employees.
The US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a few guidelines for employers to create a better working environment during COVID. Some of their tips include:
- Ensure that your building’s ventilation systems are working well.
- Increase outdoor air circulation whenever possible by opening doors and windows and using fans.
- Set and enforce rules for social distancing of six feet between workers and require mask-wearing.
- Use plexiglass partitions between employees required to work in close proximity.
- Set up hand sanitizing stations around the workspaces.
- Communicate proper sanitation and create awareness around COVID symptoms.
- Encourage workers who have been exposed to the virus to stay home.
- Use visual cues, such as floor tape, to remind workers to socially distance.
- Perform cleaning and disinfection regularly.
- Post signs that mask-wearing and social distancing are mandatory.
- Use no-touch trash cans or other tools to help slow the spread of disease.
- If your workers use public transportation, allow commuting workers to shift their hours so they can travel during non-peak times.
- When possible, allow for flexible work arrangements that let employees work-from-home.
Employers can train their recruiting team to share these steps with potential job candidates to help keep them safe. Education is key to this process. Retool your orientation for new employees to set standards about following these COVID guidelines. Train managers and supervisors to enforce these rules. Employers can even help by setting these standards and communicating them just like they would any other workplace rule. This will help employers continue to show their future and current employees that they are worried and care about the health of their workforce.
Our Team is Here to Help
Lingo Staffing works with employers to help them create a workplace destination. Talk with our team about the kind of talent we can send in your direction. Call on us today.