No employer is immune from being struck by a disaster, whether natural or man-made. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, and workplace violence are just a few examples of disasters that happen all too frequently and often without sufficient warning. For HR, disasters pose different sets of responsibilities both before and after. Before a disaster, there is planning that goes into making sure that your employees will be safe and the business experiences the least amount of disruption as possible. This requires advanced planning ? having a good communications policy and system in place, reviewing your current policies to make sure they anticipate the post-disaster work environment the best they can, periodic disaster planning drills, and more.
In the wake of a disaster there are also “real time” decisions that HR will be required to make. Furthermore, maintaining employee safety and well being and bringing the business back to its pre-disaster level of operations as quickly and safely as possible are crucial considerations. Your ability to accomplish these objectives, however, will in part depend on the policies and procedures you put in place before the disaster hits as well as requirements that you may not be as familiar with that are contained within the regulations you are accustomed to working with every day. From unfamiliar wage-hour and FMLA requirements to privacy laws, workers’ comp, plant closing laws, and everything between, HR may now be in uncharted waters.
Please join C.R. Wright, attorney at law, as he reviews step-by-step what HR should do to prepare for a potential disaster as well as offers explanations of the regulatory issues you’ll likely be dealing with afterwards. Understanding what these rules are before a disaster happens should be helpful in establishing policies and procedures that will stand up to the challenges you may face after one has struck.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Just a sampling of the many practical tips you’ll take away:
- Review what policies you should have in place before a disaster takes place, including:
- Leave and attendance, vacation and paid time-off, telecommuting, etc.
- Understanding what to include in your disaster communications policy and system
- Discussing the value of disaster preparedness planning
- Review the regulatory questions that may come into play during a post- disaster recovery period, including requirements relating to:
- Wage-hour requirements
- Unemployment compensation
- Retirement plans
- COBRA issues
- NLRB considerations
- Workers’ comp
- Plant closing laws
- Consider the makeup of a disaster planning team, setting up communications procedures with public agencies, periodic reviews of your disaster response and recovery plan, etc.
- Review frequently asked questions relating to:
- Wage-hour issues, lost time records
- Overtime pay
- Volunteering to work
- Continuing to pay workers who are not working
- Vacation pay
- Travel time
- AND MUCH MORE!
YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
Your conference leader for “Disaster Preparedness: HR Responsibilities Both Before and After a Disaster Strikes, Step-by-Step Review” is C.R. Wright. C.R. is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. C.R.’s practice includes advising clients on general labor and employment issues, handling employment-related litigation, and presenting training seminars for managers and supervisors. He also handles OSHA inspections, affirmative action audits, charges of discrimination, and wage and hour investigations. C.R. served as editor-in-chief of the Georgia State Law Review while in law school, and prior to joining Fisher and Phillips LLP, he worked in human resources for Lockheed Corporation. He also was a police officer for seven years with the Cobb County Police Department, Cobb County, Georgia where is attained the rank of Sergeant. C.R. earned his J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, Georgia.