As per Ladders, the following industries will grow and have promising futures:

  1. Data science
  2. Software development
  3. Healthcare
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Mental health
  6. Sales
  7. Digital designers
  8. Marketing
  9. Finance
  10. Education

If you’re currently job hunting I highly recommend gearing your search towards any of these thriving industries to ensure job stability for years to come based on recent research.

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS AND COVID-19 by Ron Rolleri, Esq.

As 2020 enters its final months (thankfully, some might say), this is a good time for employers to think about how their employee handbooks should be modified for 2021. This year has seen unprecedented changes to the workplace environment, along with a plethora of new laws relating to employee leave requirements. As many of these changes could not be foreseen, it is almost certain that your current handbook does not adequately address them.

You might ask, “do I need to revise my whole handbook? After all, who knows how long this will last?” It’s true – while we all hope that we will revert back to “normal” at some point, there’s no inkling as to when this might be. Thus, consider preparing a COVID addendum to your handbook, containing your firm’s policies specifically as they relate to the COVID environment. Here are some things to consider:

Telecommuting Policy

With many more people working from home, it’s a good idea to be clear on what the expectations are of employees. For example:

Work Schedule – when are employees expected to be working?

  1. Access and Availability – how and when may employees be contacted?
  2. Designated Workspace – it may be worthwhile to designate where in the home the employee will be working. Remember – Workers Comp, covering injuries incurred during the course of employment, still applies. And, depending on your business, there may be confidentiality considerations as well.

Wage/Hour Issues

  1. Non-exempt employees (those subject to overtime pay) MUST be paid for hours worked, even if the work was performed during unscheduled work hours, if the employer “knew or should have known” that work was performed. Thus, your policy should be clear that work should only take place during scheduled work hours, unless the “extra” work is approved in advance.
  2. Employers should establish a clear process for employees to report hours worked from home (scheduled and unscheduled). Remember to include applicable meal/rest breaks.
  3. Be aware of “spread of hours” pay. This provision, which is unique to New York, generally requires that a non-exempt employee be paid for one extra hour if the length of time between the beginning and end of a work day is greater than 10 hours. For example, Melissa works from 7:00am to 10:00am, and then 7:00pm to 10:00pm on the same work day. She’s worked for six hours over a 15 hour period, and therefore may be entitled to an additional hour’s pay. Note that spread of hours pay requirements vary based on industry and other factors.

Employee Leave Policies

Your handbook addendum should remind employees of existing leave benefits that might apply, and describe the new ones that have come into play this year. Here is a summary of the new federal and state provisions:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) (Federal)

  1. Provides 80 hours of paid sick time to full-time employees (pro-rated for part-time).
  2. Leave is available under certain specified COVID-related scenarios.
  3. Pay is subject to a cap.
  4. Small employer exemption is available.
  5. Currently effective through 12/31/2020.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) (Federal)

  1. Provides 12 weeks of leave, 10 of which are paid.
  2. Leave is available where the employee is unable to work (or telework) to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or otherwise unavailable.
  3. Pay is subject to a cap.
  4. Small employer exemption is available.
  5. Currently effective through 12/31/2020.

New York Paid Sick Leave – COVID (State)

  1. Applies to all NY employers.
  2. Available ONLY for employee who is subject to a quarantine/isolation order, or to care for a child subject to such an order.
  3. Depending on the size of the employer, leave may be unpaid, or paid for 5 – 14 days.

New York Paid Sick Leave – General (State)

  1. Applies to all NY employers.
  2. Leave may be paid or unpaid, depending on the size and net income of the employer.
  3. Employees must begin accruing one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year (56 hours for larger employers), beginning on September 30, 2020.
  4. Recordkeeping, carryover and other requirements apply.

Of course, these leave provisions are in addition to existing provisions under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), New York Paid Family Leave (PFL), Short-Term Disability, and applicable local laws, as well as your firm’s own leave policies. As you may have gathered, navigating these different provisions, and how they interact with each other, can be challenging, to say the least.

In sum, your Employee Handbook is the best way to clearly communicate your firm’s policies and procedures, and to set expectations for your employees. Keeping it current and complete is crucial to the running of your business.

For more information, feel free to contact Ron Rolleri at ron@rollerilaw.com.

The above has been provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice.

Please consult with an attorney on how federal, state and local laws might impact your individual circumstances.

Attorney Advertising.

Rolleri Law

General Counsel for Your Business
68 S. Service Road, Suite #100
Melville, NY 11747
(p) 516-382-0082
(f) 631-673-7251
www.rollerilaw.com

As a Master Mindset Mentor, Law of Attraction Practitioner and a Business & Marketing Strategist, I have helped hundreds of people soar to their success and find their purpose. To read this full blog post, click on Join in the main website.

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS, BACKGROUND AND QUALIFICATIONS

Start with an assessment about your background, skills and education. You can follow the sections on this website under prospective employees.

  • Focus on what you like and dislike.
  • Know what your skills are.
  • Always be open to change and growth.
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  • Be a good networker. You never know what leads may be created.
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  • Bottom line–it’s your life. Make decisions that are right for you, with the understanding that they may affect others with whom you are close.
  • Don’t try to please everyone. Please yourself first.

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