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MARCH 2020

 

In This Issue:

We’re Growing! Help Us Welcome Trudy, our Senior HR Consultant

Trudy HylemonCascade is pleased to introduce you to Trudy Hylemon, our Senior HR Consultant. Trudy brings over 25 years of human resources and leadership experience to her role on the Cascade team. Her previous experience ranges from working in employment and compensation at a manufacturing company to serving in an executive HR role for a family-owned, international business.

At Cascade, Trudy brings her strategic approach in assisting members with a variety of HR projects including onsite support, training and talent acquisition. Her passion is recruitment and selection, where she excels in matching great candidates with your organizations.

Trudy has filled a wide-range of vacancies during her career, from specialized, hard-to-fill positions to executive-level roles. Trudy is committed to helping members navigate their employee challenges. Her friendly, collaborative style makes it easy to engage quickly and get results. She believes in having fun at work and enjoys building lasting relationships.

We’re excited for you to connect with Trudy and know you’ll enjoy working with her just as much as we do.

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What Employers Need to Know About the Coronavirus

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

With the growing concern surrounding the Coronavirus, it is important for employers to become educated regarding the disease and help employees stay calm and understand the risk. Keep in mind that guidance regarding the Coronavirus is rapidly evolving and this article is current as of March 2, 2020.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the following information:

  • The Coronavirus, abbreviated “COVID-19,” is a respiratory disease outbreak that was first detected in China and it now has been detected in 60 locations internationally, including the United States,
  • Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe symptoms have included pneumonia in both lungs.
  • At this time, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. The Coronavirus is not currently spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low, risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

Here is some guidance for all employers provided by the CDC:

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member.

Oregon Laws and the Coronavirus

  • An employee diagnosed with a confirmed case of Coronavirus may qualify under FMLA and/or OFLA as a serious health condition for them or their family member. If so, follow the normal family medical leave process.
  • Also, as a reminder, Oregon employees are allowed up to 40 hours of protected sick leave each year. If you have an employee who calls in with flu-like symptoms, and they have available time under Oregon Sick Leave, be sure to track and protect that time accordingly.

Employer CDC-recommended measures:

  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

CDC Employee Travel Advisory:

  • As a first step to employee travel, employers should check the US Department of State’s Travel Advisory list. Currently China is listed as Do Not Travel due to the Coronavirus. Specific travel information regarding travelers going to and returning can be found on the CDC website.
  • Employers should advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
  • If employees are traveling outside of the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It is important that employers do not jump to conclusions with the Coronavirus. Early Coronavirus symptoms appear to mimic the common cold. Instead of creating blanket policies such as requiring all employees who have certain symptoms to stay home, employers should assess the risk on a case-by-case basis, and encourage employees displaying symptoms to seek and follow professional medical advice.

Additionally, if employees have returned from an area infected with the Coronavirus but do not appear to have any symptoms, you should assess whether the employee’s role is capable from working at home for the incubation period. If an employee cannot perform remote work but you are requiring them to stay home from work, consider additional paid leave until the incubation period passes.

If you have any other questions regarding the Coronavirus, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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USCIS Releases Updated Form I-9

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

On January 31, 2020, USCIS published an updated Form I-9. Prior to publishing the updated Form I-9, USCIS told employers to continue using the previous Form I-9 despite the fact that it had an 8/31/2019 expiration date.

With the release of the updated Form I-9, USCIS specified that “employers may continue using the prior version of the form until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.”

The updated Form I-9 contains minor changes including:

  • Clarification on who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • Clarifications on acceptable documents
  • Updated process for requesting paper I-9 Forms
  • Updated DHS Privacy notice
  • Updated USCIS website addresses

As a reminder, Form I-9 was created to determine who is legally authorized to work in the United States. Each newly hired employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than their first day of employment and employers must complete their sections of the I-9 form within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of employment.

It is extremely important that I-9 Forms are filled out promptly and accurately, as fines per violation per form can range from $230 to $2,292.

If you have any questions regarding the Form I-9 process, let us know!

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Hot Compliance Question

By Caitlin Egeck, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Question: Our employee fell for a scam and charged money on a company credit card. Can I deduct the money charged in the scam from that employee’s paycheck?

Answer: No. Employers are not allowed to make payroll deductions for losses on a company credit card, even if it was due to employee negligence.

To avoid employees falling victim to scams, make sure you train staff on cybersecurity, including how to watch out for and avoid some of the scams that often come in through emails. Establishing and educating employees on company credit card use policies is also important. While organizations cannot make payroll deductions for negligence, employees who violate policies may be disciplined, up to and including termination of employment.

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Making Pay Transparency Work

By Lindsay Hill, Director of Compensation Services
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

As laws tighten and awareness of pay equity continues, employers are faced more frequently with the pressure for pay transparency. Pay transparency is the degree to which employers are open about employee compensation in regards to what it is, how it is set and why.

A recent pay transparency study conducted by WorldatWork and Mercer states “67% of organizations view pay transparency at an increasing level of importance, while only 14% of organizations have approached pay transparency beyond a ‘moderate’ level highlighting individual pay rates, range and how pay is determined.

There are different levels of transparency within an organization and deciding what level is appropriate for your organization is an extremely important step. Some organizations opt for complete transparency and publish the wages of every single employee for everyone to see, while others only communicate the pay rate they are paying to each individual employee and no further detail. Most organizations could benefit from pay transparency somewhere in the middle.

Below is a transparency spectrum example, adapted from WorldatWork, of what pay transparency may look like at different organizations. This spectrum may look differently for employees vs. managers and may have additional steps.

Transparency Illustration

With increased access to salary data, a tight labor market, and employees discussing pay, we recommend at least having pay conversations with your employees and clearly aligning the work they perform to the compensation they receive. It is best to have a well-thought-out compensation philosophy and strategy that is widely communicated to employees so they understand how pay decisions are made and when.

Having a salary grade and range compensation structure is also very beneficial and at least being transparent with employees about what their pay range is and how they can move to the next level within their range. If you’ve gone through the work and analysis of evaluating jobs, creating a pay structure and documenting your compensation philosophy and strategy, communicate it to employees. Show them you value them and have done your due diligence.

Once you have decided which transparency level is appropriate for your organization, you typically don’t want to make a drastic change (unless it’s necessary for potential legal reasons) but rather incremental steps. Develop a well-thought-out plan and anticipate questions and concerns that will arise and forecast impact on employee morale. Train your managers how to talk to their staff about pay and the importance of it.

View pay transparency as an opportunity. It is a great chance for compensation education, providing a proactive stance on pay fairness, showing the value of pay for performance as well as career pathing and development. And, if executed appropriately, compensation education can increase employee engagement.

If you need help developing your compensation strategy and structure, let us know. We’re happy to help.

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Five Things You May Not Know About The Duck Store – Featured Member

Guest Article by Braydee Mahan
The Duck Store
[email protected]

Duck Store logoUniversity of Oregon students know The Duck Store as their source for textbooks and other college essentials and Duck fans know us as their source for game day shirts and accessories. With a long history serving the campus community and beyond, we are both those things and more.

Here are five things you may not know about The Duck Store:

  1. The Duck Store turns 100 this year. Amid increasing enrollment and limited options for affordable textbooks and supplies, in June of 1920, a group of students and faculty established the University of Oregon Co-operative Store modeled after a similar venture established at Harvard University. 100 years later, we continue to support students and also serve all customers from artists to fans.

  2. We are led by a board of directors made up of University of Oregon students, faculty and staff. Since our co-op days, our nonprofit has been headed by a group of both University students and staff who serve on our board of directors. It has grown from five students and two faculty board members to eight students and three faculty positions.

  3. The University of Oregon’s student bookstore (predecessor to The Duck Store) was sold to pay off a debt to the football coach. In 1916, the University of Oregon’s Associated Student Body owned and operated the student bookstore. However, the 1917 football season was a “financial disaster,” and the University was forced to sell the store to pay off a $3,500 debt to the football coach.

  4. The Duck Store contributed 1.4 million dollars to the University of Oregon last year. As a nonprofit, it is our mission to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University of Oregon. Last year we were able to support our community through donations, sponsorships and operating expenses paid to the University and affiliated organizations.

  5. Our student employees collectively earned over 1 million dollars last year. Not only is our board of directors made up of students, but we are also proud to employ over 300 throughout the year across our eleven locations in Oregon and UODuckStore.com.

Cascade is pleased to feature The Duck Store, striving to advance and foster the educational goals of the University of Oregon by creating an enduring sense of community among all Ducks—past, present and future.

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You Also Might Be Interested In These Recent Great Work! Posts and Alerts

By Cascade Staff
Cascade Employers Association
cascadeemployers.com

Confused with the New W-4? Let us walk you through it.

Body odor an issue? Read about handling uncomfortable and awkward conversations at work.

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