Punk Rock HR Episode 101:
This episode covers some of your questions about Coronavirus and how your employer should and shouldn’t behave. To help me explore this topic, Minneapolis-based employment attorney, Kate Bischoff joins me. She’s an expert on work and in the world of politics. She understands how power works at an organization, and she definitely knows a thing or two about sticking up for the underdog. We also talk about unemployment, COBRA Health Insurance and some considerations employers should think about when laying off their workforce. If you want to hear two-midwestern women talk about what is going on in the world of work right now, you won’t want to miss this episode.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- COVID-19 and work: the questions on the minds of today’s leaders, employees, and organizations
- Healthcare coverage concerns in the face of a global pandemic
- We discussed the incompetence by the federal government when they had months of forewarning
- Kate explains unemployment and addresses the notion that some people may be fearful of applying for benefits
- Some relief benefits or resources for self-employed
- Unconventional tips for leaders, managers, and owners who have to lay-off their workforce
- COVID-19 is going to prove whether or not we were committed to those issues in the first place
WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYEES KNOW ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
When you are unemployed, and usually, when you’re available and able to work, you get unemployment to help bridge you to your next job. These days, it’s if you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19, you can go on unemployment until you can find more work or until your work comes back from a layoff situation, temporary furlough, or whatever it may be. There is a set maximum cap by the state. You do get some cash for a period of time. It’s designed to help cushion the blow of losing your job.
WHAT ARE SOME RELIEF BENEFITS FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED?
Kate advises: In part because most self-employed individuals haven’t been paying into unemployment taxes, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if they have, then it’s possible. There’s also relief in this new Families First Coronavirus Act from Congress. There is some relief out there. We just don’t know to what extent it’s going to be.
WHAT IS SOME UNCONVENTIONAL ADVICE FOR LEADERS FACED WITH LAYING OFF THEIR WORKFORCE?
Here is some insightful advice from Kate Bischoff, “I want you to contact them. I’m not asking you to have them do work. But in this particular time of uncertainty, the extent of which you can maintain a relationship with folks even though you’ve laid them off is essential. You can be compassionate in this period of time. Usually, we lay people off and say, ‘Have a good day.’ This is different. If we’re ever going to be able to ramp up again, I want you to have people who are champions for you, who want to rally and come back to your house. Also, throw all of your money at Cobra.”
Resources from this episode: