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Weekend Roundup: Coronavirus Disease Plans, Background Checks, Pay Equity

In this week’s Weekend Roundup, companies are prepping infectious-disease plans for their workforce. In this week’s headlines, a former employee of a nonprofit was arrested for sexual abuse even after being cleared by thorough background checks that were conducted. As states impose broader laws regarding fair pay for more employees, it’s important for companies to review their compensation policies.

As Coronavirus Spreads, Prepare Infectious-Disease Plans

More countries are reporting cases of coronavirus, and employers around the world have been asked to educate their workforces on how to prevent the spread of the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices advising that precautions be taken when traveling to Hong Kong, Iran, and Italy, as the number of cases of coronavirus has spiked in these countries. Precautions include cleaning hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve—not hands—when coughing or sneezing. The CDC also issued travel precautions for Japan and South Korea, including postponing nonessential travel for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

Former Employee Arrested for Sexually Abusing Child At Boysville, Police Say

A former house parent at Boysville was arrested Tuesday on an aggravated sexual assault of a child charge after a 2015 incident, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Pablo Cosme Briones Jr., 40, was the house parent at an all-girls cottage at the children’s home when the alleged incident took place.

The Importance of Pay Equity

As business leaders focus on closing the gender pay gap and states enact broader laws covering fair pay for more workers, HR professionals may want to review their organization’s compensation policies and practices.

“We’re seeing an explosion of new equal-pay laws adopted by state legislatures,” says Lynne Anderson, an attorney with Faegre Drinker in Florham Park, N.J.

Most state laws provide broader protection than the federal Equal Pay Act by requiring employers to pay men and women equally for “substantially similar” work, rather than for “equal” work. Moreover, many states have expanded fair-pay requirements beyond gender to include race and other protected characteristics.

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