Coronavirus Update
Christian and Greene Counties 
Issue Shelter in Place Orders

March 24 and 25, 2020, Greene and Christian Counties announced a shelter in place order that will take effect Thursday, March 26, 2020 and last for 30 days, ( expiring at midnight on Friday, April 24, 2020) unless renewed or withdrawn.

Citizens are to stay at home as much as possible and leave home only for essential activities and essential business. A non-all-inclusive list of Essential Business is: food (includes groceries and picking up carry-out from a restaurant), banking, medications, healthcare, and education. Citizens are welcome and encouraged to go outside to exercise and get fresh air.

Q&A on the Greene County order

If you have questions on the order, the City of Springfield has setup a hotline and an email address to aid in finding answers: (417) 799-1570 or 

If your business is not included on the essential business list and you feel it should be, you may submit an essential business determination request to the City.

The City of Branson has also issued a shelter in place order, which can be read here.

Stay safe and healthy and, as always, we are here as a resource if you have questions.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Required Poster
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster to be displayed in businesses alongside other employment law posters and additionally send electronically to all employees working remotely.   Model Notice Poster

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has relaxed the rules for in-person review of identification documentation for Form I-9 during the COVID-19 outbreak. This applies only to fully remote workforces. If you have any employee working in the office, they are to perform the in-person review of the documentation as usual.

All organizations are still required to complete the form within three business days of the new hire's first day of employment. 

If your entire workforce is working remotely, here are the guidelines for completing Section 2:

  • Review the documentation for Section 2 via videoconferencing, email, or fax. 
  • If your organization retains copies of the identification, you are still required to retain a copy of the identification you are reviewing via the avenues above.
  • In the Additional Information box in Section 2, you will need to enter "COVID-19". 
  • Once your organization is back to working in the office, you will then have three business days to perform an in-person review of the documentation. 
  • At that time, you will add to your above entry, "physically examined documents" and enter the date.  

DHS has also stated that during this time, anyone can be the employer representative and perform the in-person review of documentation. This includes a family member or member of the household of the new hire. However, keep in mind that the employer is still responsible for the form being completed correctly and could be fined if the form contains errors (even if completed during this time and by a non-employee representative). The employer has the sole responsibility to ensure that the person completing the verification knows the rules and is completing the form correctly.

The three day rule still applies to completing E-Verify. However, an extension has been granted for taking action to resolve tentative nonconfirmations.  

Unemployment Information

How Do I File for Unemployment Insurance?
The U.S. Department of Labor's unemployment insurance programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements.

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.

Am I eligible?
Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:

  • Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state's requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a "base period." (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)
  • Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own state's program.

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits
for Coronavirus Paid Leave

Small and midsize employers may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 20, 2020.  

This relief is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), which was enacted on March 18, 2020. The Act provides funds for employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave, either for their employees' own health needs or to care for their family members. The Act aims to help employers keep workers on their payrolls while ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Read more.. .

Department of Labor FAQs

***The Families First Coronavirus Response Act officially becomes effective April 1, 2020 and IS NOT retroactive.***

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has released the following FAQs as guidance for implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

1. What is the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act?

The FFCRA's paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

2. As an employer, how do I know if my business is under the 500-employee threshold and therefore must provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

You have fewer than 500 employees if, at the time your employee's leave is to be taken, you employ fewer than 500 full-time and part-time employees within the United States, which includes any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any Territory or possession of the United States. In making this determination, you should include employees on leave; temporary employees who are jointly employed by you and another employer (regardless of whether the jointly-employed employees are maintained on only your or another employer's payroll); and day laborers supplied by a temporary agency (regardless of whether you are the temporary agency or the client firm if there is a continuing employment relationship). Workers who are independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), rather than employees, are not considered employees for purposes of the 500-employee threshold.

Congress Agrees to $2 Trillion
Coronavirus Relief Bill

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - after days of debate - Congress agreed to a $2 trillion economic rescue package designed to provide financial assistance to Americans and their families, and billions of dollars in loans for businesses. Voting is expected midday. The package is the largest fiscal stimulus in modern U.S. history and is the government's most recent response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Contact Us

HR Hotline

Karen Shannon
Vice President Business Consulting/CHRO
417-881-8333, ext. 133

Carolyn O'Kelley
Human Resources Consultant
417-881-8333, ext. 126

Stacye Perriman
HR Specialist
417-881-8333, ext. 124