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May 2020

Greetings from the HRA Team! We would like to personally thank you for subscribing to our monthly newsletter and hope that it brings value to your business. 

Whether your needs are traditional or confounded by COVID-19, you can count on us to continue our tradition of timely and exceptional service on all things HR

We will provide communication on the most recent and relevant employer information on COVID-19 as circumstances evolve. If you find yourself in need of advisement, please utilize our HR hotline and allow one of our HR Advisors to assist you. 

877-894-0202 ext. 5
Stay Well,

The HRA Team
Lynette Weatherford   MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP | President |  Email  | 877.894.0202 ext.  4
Candida Arvizu SPHR, SHRM-CP | HR Advisor | Email | 877.894.0202 ext. 1
Karla Callaway   BS | HR Recruiter |  Email   | 877.894.0202 ext. 2
Camille Knowles   PHR, SHRM-CP | HR Advisor |  Email   | 877.894.0202 ext. 3
Elizabeth Hurst MBA | Business Development | Email | 877.894.0202 ext. 5
HR Hotline Email  | 877-894-0202 ext. 5

  Contact us at  info@hradvantageweb.net
or 877-894-0202 
May Contents

  • FFCRA Employee Leave Request Form (Free Download)
  • May 1st Deadline to Begin Using Latest I-9 Form
  • HR Hot Topic: Are Your Employees Resisting Return to Work?
  • COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation
  • Guidelines for Monitoring Employee Temperatures
  • Missouri, Local Municipalities to Begin Phase One Reopening
  • Remote Training: Don't let COVID-19 get in the way of your training needs!
**Stay informed: Follow Us on Social Media for Weekly HR Tips!
Are you in need of documentation 
specific to COVID-19? We have a form for that!

May 1st Deadline to Begin Using
Latest I-9 Form

The latest version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form dated October 21, 2019 becomes mandatory on May 1, 2020 where the previous version dated July 17, 2017 can no longer be used. All U.S. employers must properly complete the Form I-9 for each person they hire for employment  in the U.S., including both citizens and non-citizens. The new edition of the form lists additional countries in the Country of Issuance field in Section 1, among other minor changes visible only when completing the electronic version of the form.

 Source:  USCIS
HR Hot Topic: 
How should I respond to employees resisting return to work?
The first thing an employer should do when bringing employees back to work is send a written notice advising the date and time the employee is to return to work, then follow up with a phone call. 

If the employee expresses fear of returning, discuss the reasons why to rule out any qualifying reasons for leave under FMLA, FFCRA or to provide a reasonable accommodation (Read  EEOC's guidance on COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act) .  

Guidance rolled out on May 1st by the Missouri Department of Employment Security (DES) indicates Missourians who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose unemployment benefits, except for certain circumstances including:
  • Testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing symptoms
  • Employee recovered from COVID-19 but the disease caused medical complications rendering the employee unable to perform essential job duties
  • A member of the employee's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • The employee is providing care for a member of the employee's household who was diagnosed with COVID-19
  • The employee does not have childcare due to COVID-19 reasons
  • The employee does not have transportation to the place of work because of COVID-19.
When to Report:
If it becomes clear that the employee has only a general fear of contracting COVID-19 or is declining to return to work because he or she prefers to continue collecting unemployment benefits, the employer should provide documentation along with notification of refusal of work to state unemployment agencies as soon as possible.

How to Report:
The Missouri DES has developed a portal for employers to submit information about employees who refuse to return to work or quit their jobs. The portal is live on the UInteract.labor.mo.gov website.

Employers will need to login to UInteract, click on "Benefits" and then on "Work Offer Refusal Detail." Instructions can be found on a Help button on the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen. Employers may complete the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen or upload a completed Excel template provided on the site. 

Keeping a Pulse:
COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation

Is COVID-19 compensable under state workers' compensation acts? 

While workers' compensation laws provide compensation for "occupational diseases" that arise out of and in the course of employment, many state statutes exclude "ordinary diseases of life" (e.g., the common cold or flu). 

There are occupational groups that arguably would have a higher probability for exposure, such as healthcare workers.  However, even in those cases, there may be uncertainty as to whether the disease is compensable due to the difficulty of determining where and how the employee contracted the disease. 

As of now, some states have pending legislative initiatives to expand the coverage for certain workers, including Missouri's Emergency Rule for First Responders . Other state legislatures are currently meeting and discussing these issues and may introduce similar initiatives relative to workers' compensation.

Source:   NCCI
Guidelines for Monitoring
Employee Temperatures
The federal government has recognized that taking temperatures is a step companies can take to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus. CDC interim guidance for critical infrastructure workers  recommends  that employers "measure the employee's temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work." EEOC return-to-work  guidance  also recognizes that employee screening "may include continuing to take temperatures . . . of all those entering the workplace."

When planning to implement temperature taking in the workplace, consider the following questions:
  • How will we select someone to administer the infrared scan?
  • How will that employee be protected from the virus?
  • How will the privacy of employees subjected to the infrared scans be protected?
  • How will this action affect employee morale?
Read more helpful insights about the implementation of temperature checks in the workplace from SHRM.

 Sources:  Husch Blackwell, SHRM, CDC
Missouri, Local Municipalities 
Phase One Reopening begins May 4th   
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure and the Greene County Commission issued separate but similar  Road to Recovery  orders to provide businesses and other organizations with guidance to safely resume operations. The City's order goes into effect at midnight, Monday, May 4 and expires at 11:59 p.m., May 31, 2020.

Springfield-Greene County Road to Recovery  orders will still require businesses and organizations to adhere as much as possible to the social distancing and cleaning guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including, but not limited to when customers are standing in line (should be 6 feet apart) or when individuals, including employees, are using shared indoor or outdoor spaces.


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Meet Our Advisors

Candida Arvizu 
HR Advisor
877.894.0202 ext. 1

Karla Callaway, BS
HR Recruiter 
877.894.0202 ext. 2
Elizabeth Hurst,  MBA, BA
Business Development Manager
877.894.0202 ext. 5

Camille Knowles
HR Advisor
877.894.0202 ext. 3

Lynette Weatherford 
Click to send email
887.894.0202 ext. 4

HR Hotline
877-894-0202 ext. 5