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Weekend Roundup: HR professionals, Pre-Employment Drug Testing, Employer Liability Shield

In this week’s Weekend Roundup, we take a look at how the coronavirus is changing the way HR professionals work. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the pre-employment drug-testing waiver. In recent news, the GOP is proposing an employer coronavirus liability shield. Click the headlines below to learn more.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change the Way We Work

While many HR professionals have toiled through difficult times before, the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus has brought a troubling new twist.

Unlike a flood or a tornado, the virus doesn’t hit once and go away. It lingers, leaving business leaders and employees uncertain about their next steps.

That uncertainty “absolutely makes HR’s job harder,” says Steve Pascot, leader of the HR practice at Spencer Stuart, an executive research and consulting firm in Chicago.

FMCSA Extends Pre-Employment Drug Testing Waiver

FMCSA has extended through Sept. 30 a waiver from certain pre-employment drug testing requirements for truck drivers during the COVID-19 emergency.

“In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, many employers have imposed layoffs, furloughs, or otherwise temporarily removed employees from performing safety-sensitive functions, resulting in their removal from the random pool for controlled substances and alcohol testing for a period greater than 30 days,” the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said in the waiver announcement, dated June 5.

Senate GOP Eyes Broad Coronavirus Liability Shield for Employers

Senate Republicans are drafting legislation that would let employers choose which government coronavirus safety guidelines to follow in order to be shielded from lawsuits if their customers or workers contract the virus, GOP Senator John Cornyn said Wednesday.

Cornyn said in an interview that the liability proposal, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says is a “red line” for talks with Democrats on the next big economic stimulus bill, will likely be released next month. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups are pushing hard for curbs on lawsuits as the nation emerges from lockdowns that have paralyzed the economy.

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