HR Management & Compliance

Key Questions for Long-Term Workplace Disruptions

Yesterday, attorney Tracy Moon outlined some of HR’s responsibilities relating to emergency management preparedness. But what happens when the disruption morphs from “immediate crisis” to “long-term state of affairs”?

Here are some key questions Moon suggests that you, as an HR professional, carefully consider. Moon is partner in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Fisher & Phillips, LLP.

What is HR’s Role During and After Longer-Term Disruptions?


If there’s a long-term disruption, what is HR’s role? Moon outlined this list of considerations that you should plan for:

  • What should you do when a remote site or corporate office becomes inaccessible?
  • What is HR’s role in remote work and telecommuting?
  • Who is responsible for cross-training? Succession planning? Shifting operations to different facilities?
  • Who should create new job descriptions? Who informs employees, vendors, and customers of changed roles?
  • What is HR’s role in necessary overnight stays and travel? Will attendance rules need to be changed?
  • What is the effect of communicable disease or public safety on the company?
  • What concerns do you have about getting employees to work (in the case of a disruption of public services, for example)?
  • What is the effect of communicable disease concerns on coworker relationships?
  • How should you communicate with employees?

Are you prepared for the worst at your workplace? Are you sure? Join us for our up-to-the-minute emergency preparedness webinar later this month, specifically for HR professionals. Learn more.

  • How will you pay employees during a disruption? (What if banks are closed, or direct deposit is no longer available?)
  • How will you compensate for nonroutine work?
  • Who will evaluate exposure based upon unanticipated use of leave or other benefits? What about taking care of family or property during the emergency—will leave be allowed?
  • How will you handle security management to minimize theft and protect trade secrets?
  • How will you handle layoffs, terminations, and reduced schedules?
  • What is HR’s role in coordinating with OSHA’s local inspectors and Cal/OSHA inspectors, county and state health departments, the CDC, etc.?

While HR may not be directly involved in many of these areas, it still has a role and a responsibility to communicate with the other departments and ensure consistency across the company.

Emergency Preparedness: Response-Planning Strategy Essentials to Manage Unexpected Catastrophes

Webinar coming Thursday, June 19, 2014
10:30 a.m. to Noon Pacific

A mighty magnitude 8.2 earthquake rocked Chile recently, triggering landslides, cutting power, and generating a tsunami. Weeks later, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area. Also recently, devastating mudslides decimated parts of Washington, claiming at least 21 lives, and powerful thunderstorms spawning tornadoes touched down in parts of the central United States.

The key takeaway: Natural disasters and other catastrophes can strike anywhere, at any time. It’s important, therefore, that your organization has a comprehensive emergency response-planning strategy in place at all times. If you wait for an unexpected and potentially devastating situation to arise, it’s too late because without a plan for how to respond before a disaster strikes, you risk placing your workforce further in harm’s way.  

Join us on June 19 when a seasoned attorney who has helped many companies create, update, and improve emergency preparedness plans will lay out an approach to help you develop and implement a process that will ensure that your organization is ready to manage any contingency.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • Proven strategies for establishing a planning team, including who should participate on it
  • The applicable OSHA regulations pertinent to an emergency preparedness plan
  • How best to perform a comprehensive assessment of potential natural risks
  • How best to evaluate the hazards that need to be considered based on the assessment
  • A detailed discussion of the basic elements to include in your plan
  • Recommendations on the business/organizational recovery strategies to consider and address 
  • How best to ensure that all employees are accounted for during an event, including those with limited abilities
  • Proven ways for training emergency personnel and ensuring that the training is kept up to date and drills are included in the process
  • How to best identify and evaluate third-party resources that might be useful in developing your emergency preparedness plan

Don’t miss it! Reserve your spot at this important event today. Can’t make it on the 19th? Order the CD, and learn on your own schedule.

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