Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
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COVID-19 Resources

During this critical time, GLI wants to be your resource for the most up-to-date information on what your business needs to know about COVID-19 and its impact on our community. Below are some helpful resources that your business and employees can use to help you through this crisis. You can also follow along on our social channels for the latest news.


Greater Louisville News & Resources

Sarah’s COVID-19 News Briefs

Job Board GLI, in partnership with KentuckianaWorks, WorkOne Southern Indiana, and Louisville Metro have launched an initiative to support displaced workers and provide employers with assistance as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. This two-pronged approach supports both workers and employers with a new job board highlighting current opportunities in the region, and an effort to connect HR professionals laying off workers with other HR professionals who are hiring, considering translatable skill sets, competencies and hiring requirements as we connect employers. Contact Jessie Schook if you are an employer looking for assistance.

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Your Questions Answered

Is it true that because of the Family First Act I will have to provide two weeks of paid sick time at 2/3 of the salary (capped at $2K) in addition to the sick leave benefits I already offer if I have an employee with children that cannot be sent to daycare or school due to the coronavirus? This is correct. The law made it clear that this paid time is in addition to any existing paid time off policies. Remember, this paid sick time has a waiting period of 10 working days and begins on the 11th day the employee is off work. Jennifer Wheatley, President, HR Affiliates

If employers do not lay off employees, are the employers expected to cover 12 weeks of a quarantined employee, or an employee caring for someone ill, and pay the normal PTO? Can this person also receive short-term disability and/or unemployment? The Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes effect on April 2, 2020. Covered employers must comply not only with the Act’s requirements, but any…
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applicable state laws and their own paid time off and leave policies. Generally, employees who are on paid or unpaid family and medical-type leave will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Those employees may be eligible for short-term disability benefits for their own illness depending on coverage provided in the short-term disability benefit plan. Rebecca Weis, Member, Stites & Harbison

Do I have the ability to require specific individuals to take vacation or unpaid leave one or two days per week until operations normalize? I am referring to individuals who have work that does not lend itself to remote operations. My first question would be what does your employee handbook mandate? Do you already require them to take PTO or other paid time when they are off…
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work? If not, then I would not require it now. If your handbook does state this or you don’t have a handbook, I would recommend let the employees know they can but are not required to take the time. Jennifer Wheatley, President, HR Affiliates

If I lay people off before the Family First Act takes effect on April 2nd, do I still have to provide unpaid leave? If by “layoff” you mean that the employees will lose their jobs, then the Act will not apply if the layoff occurs prior to April 1. Only individuals who are employed are entitled to leave under the Act. However, if an individual remains in an employed…
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status but is currently on some form of unpaid leave or is furloughed, the employer may need to provide the paid leave if all other prerequisites are met (e.g. the employer has 500 or fewer employees; the employee has a qualifying reason, etc.) Before moving forward with a layoff, employers should also consider whether they qualify for any potential exceptions, as well as the availability of immediate payroll tax offsets. Rebecca Weis, Member, Stites & Harbison

Can you please explain the best way to file for unemployment related to COVID-19? Last week, the Kentucky Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development announced new procedures for filing for unemployment claims, in an effort to…
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accommodate any influx of new claims. Kentuckians filing for UI benefits should follow a schedule that pertains to the first initial in their last name as to what day they can file their claim. Although Kentucky Career Centers (KCC) across the state have been closed to the public to prevent the spread of COVID-19, KCC workers are still providing services by telephone and videoconference. More information on scheduling and how to reach KCC can be found here. Charles Aull, Director of Public Policy Development, GLI

Will state and city tax filing and payment deadlines be extended like the federal deadline? Louisville Metro has moved its filing and payment deadline for occupational licensing taxes to July 15, mirroring changes at the federal level. The Kentucky General Assembly is considering legislation to move the state filing deadlineDaniel Frockt, Chief Financial Officer, Louisville Metro

What benefits do employers have to cover if they furlough employees versus lay them off? This is a complicated question. Traditional employee furlough is a mandatory suspension from work without pay. However, while some employees may not maintain benefit eligibility during a furlough, some do, depending on how eligibility is…
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addressed in their underlying plan documents. The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) also requires employers to pay employees for any work done during a furlough period (payment requirements vary based on exempt/non-exempt status.) On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expanded family and medical leave and guaranteed paid sick leave for certain U.S. workers. This act applies to employers that employ fewer than 500 workers and has two requirements: first, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was amended to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, where the first 20 days may consist of unpaid leave, but on day 11 employees must be paid for each day of leave during the 12-week period, up to a maximum of $200 per day and $10,000 total; and, second, covered employers must provide sick time to their employees. Layoffs are more straightforward because they can be treated like most other employment terminations from a benefits perspective. There is a COBRA triggering event for health benefits (medical, dental, vision, health FSA, etc.) upon termination for those covered under the employer’s benefit plans. Employers can choose but are not required to subsidize COBRA for terminated employees. Additionally, laid off employees may be entitled to unemployment benefits, potentially increasing the employer’s unemployment tax rate. Shannon Antle Hamilton & Rebecca A. Weis, Stites & Harbison, PLLC

Are you aware of any sample policies around managing the crisis internally, like establishing protocol, reporting confirmed cases, how to deal with exposed employees, when they should isolate, and notifying employees and customers possibly infected/exposed, etc.? The employer does not have an obligation to report confirmed cases with the CDC. Local health officials are mandatory reporters and will be following their prescribed protocol. We recommend communicating the following information to your employees:…
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We as a company are elevating our safety precautions. If you or anyone in your home is not feeling well, you MUST work from home or take the necessary time off if you are ill. In addition, we expect you to stay home for a minimum of two weeks after all symptoms have dissipated.

If you have reason to believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19, you will be required to self-report this to your manager. There will be no retaliation or employment decisions based upon your self-disclosure. However, we wish to be able to notify any colleagues, vendors, or clients with whom you have been in contact that they could have possibly been exposed. We will ask you to identify all individuals who worked in close proximity (three to six feet) with you in the previous 14 days to ensure we have a full list of those who should be notified and/or sent home. If this is necessary, it will be communicated such that your personal name and information are protected and will not be identified.

If you are in a client facing position that requires your onsite presence to complete service expectations, please evaluate each situation with your client to determine if CDC recommended social distancing practices are in place prior to your onsite visit. If you have an underlying condition that would make you at higher risk of COVID-19, please discuss with your manager so that alternate work arrangements can be made for you. You do not need to disclose what your underlying medical condition is – merely that you must further limit social interaction. Jennifer Wheatley, President, HR Affiliates

What are best practices for employers who have 24/7 business operations and non-exempt staff? GLI encourages regional employers to continue to prioritize workplace safety and wellness to minimize the community spread of the disease. This means encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick, following CDC guidelines…
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to prevent illness, being flexible with your leave policies, and ensuring that you communicate these changes to your employees. The Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) offers good health, wellness and leave benefits for employers. For employers that must continue in-person operations, the CDC offers guidelines and best practices for keeping employees safe during this crisis and the SBA also offers guidance for Coronavirus planning and response for small businesses.

As an employer, we have chosen to pay our hourly staff even though they will be working fewer hours. For example, if someone normally works 35 hours and now there is only 20 hours of work, we will be paying them for 35 hours. Will we be the one seeking reimbursement from the federal government or state government (assuming the relief bills at the federal and state level get passed) or should we not do what we are contemplating and have the employees seek relief? If there’s any possibility employers can keep employees “whole” with respect to their paycheck during this situation, we recommend it. Not every employer will have the financial ability to do this, and that will create hardships for employees…
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living paycheck to paycheck. At this time, the details of federal relief packages are still being developed, and we expect those details to be released in the upcoming days. We expect the relief packages would come in the form of tax reduction for employers on a federal level, and increased state unemployment benefits. As of today (March 17) there’s not been specific details released, so this would be our speculative guess of what may be coming. Amy Letke, Founder & CEO, Integrity HR

Do the paid medical leave and FMLA requirements apply to companies with less than 50 employees? The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act expands the FMLA to add qualifying reasons for leave related to the coronavirus and to provide partial paid leave for such leave. The Act applies to all employers with fewer than 500…
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employees. An employee is eligible for coronavirus-FMLA leave if the employee has been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer from which the employee is requesting the leave. With respect to the FMLA provisions, the bill allows subsequent regulations to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees when it would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. Jennifer Wheatley, President, HR Affiliates

What changes can we expect from the Louisville Metro Public Works Department? Specifically, will there be an impact on the sanitation department in regard to trash and recycling pick up for the near future? The only change in service at the moment for Louisville Metro Public Works is that yard waste collection has been suspended (except by request) through April 15, 2020. There are not currently changes to recycling centers or…
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waste pick up. You can stay up-to-date on all things Public Works by subscribing to our Works Week newsletter. Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Chief, Louisville Forward

How will the change in the economy from COVID-19 impact internships, both for Summer 2020 and in the longer term? At the end of the day, the most important item is the welfare, well-being, and safety of all students. Companies that are flexible and allow for remote working opportunities during these times are the ones …
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who can best take advantage of their talents. For those organizations that need the students on-site, they must practice social distancing and provide a safe working environment, which includes cleaning products, sanitizers, and best practices. We are starting to see a few companies shed their interns along with their regular employees; unfortunately there is no other alternative for some businesses. We understand those circumstances and will not penalize the students for lack of credit hours. Employers should not fear any bad-will from having to dismiss an intern – we are prepared to handle the issue and support the students. We know companies will want to partner with the university in the future – it is a two way street. We need each other and will work to provide creative solutions along the way. T. Vernon Foster, Executive Director of MBA & Graduate Programs, Career Management and PR/Marketing, University of Louisville

How will COVID-19 impact students graduating in 2020? Do you have any advice or suggestions for support for students looking for internships entering the workforce in the Spring/Summer of 2020? We’re are not stopping internships because that is truly a relationship built between the employer and the student. I do not anticipate long term impacts to internships as a result of this virus. Students need the work experience and…
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employers have discovered the value associated with investing in these students while they are in school – I suspect the opportunities will continue to exist. If I were a college student today I would be looking hard for internship opportunities. Such career develop is valuable and distinguishes one’s resume from the pack. Dr. Ty J. Handy, President, Jefferson Community and Technical College


    If I am an HR professional looking to lay off or hire in bulk, who do I contact? Jessie Schook

    How can I share my information on GLI’s website, newsletter, and/or social media platforms? Christine Tarquinio

    Which hashtags should I use when sharing information on social media? #glicovid19help #compassionatecity #teamkentucky

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