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Weekend Roundup: Coronavirus Bill, Unemployment Benefits, Working Remotely

In this week’s Weekend Roundup, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be voted on by Senate and potentially signed by the president later this week. Unemployment benefits are being amended by the states who suffer unemployment due to the coronavirus. It’s essential to ensure employees who shift to working remotely have all the tools to perform their respective jobs. To learn more, click the headlines below.

Congress Working on Coronavirus Bill to Provide Paid Leave and More

Lawmakers are finalizing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—which could provide free screening, paid leave, and enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for people affected by COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

After several days of negotiation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that a deal was reached on March 13 with the White House to pass the bill. The House approved the bill later that night, CNN reported. The Senate will vote on the measure this week, and Trump is expected to sign it.

States May Expand Jobless Benefits During Pandemic

States have significant flexibility to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits for employees who lose work because of effects of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, according to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on March 12.

“The administration is using all available tools to decrease the risk of coronavirus in the United States and to assist workers who may be affected,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.

Technology Eases Transition for New Remote Workers

Companies are sending employees home to work in large numbers to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. These dramatic moves mean many employees will be working remotely for the first time. The Society of Human Resource Management spoke with experts about software, data security practices, and “group cohesion” techniques that employers can apply to ease the transition and ensure that workers remain productive and engaged. Don’t assume all employees have the same Internet connectivity and bandwidth at home as they do in the office. Survey workers to determine their home technology capabilities and needs.

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