By Matthew Hulme, CAPP, MPA
To say that the entire world is sick and tired of hearing the word “COVID” would be an understatement. And yet, here I am writing about it. It is certainly not going anywhere soon and its effects on the parking industry will be felt for years to come. The guidance and regulations from federal, state, and local government seems to change with the wind, and your employees expect you to have all the answers–after all, you are their supervisor so you must be the expert, right? Of course not, unless there are epidemiologists moonlighting as parking operators. However, there is one area where you must grasp facts for your employees, and that is fully understanding policies regarding COVID-related leave.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) enables employees to take paid leave to be on quarantine, to care for someone quarantined, or if their child’s school or care provider has closed due to the Coronavirus. While this sounds easy enough, the necessary paperwork and qualifications can be difficult to understand and remember. Additionally, health departments, medical providers, and contact tracers may provide varying levels of paperwork for confirmation. Finally, guidelines for returning to work after quarantine have changed multiple times since the beginning of the pandemic.
Employees will likely be frantic if faced with the potential for sudden income loss due to a COVID diagnosis or quarantine order. Strive to be the calm they need by being able to fully (and correctly) explain the process and necessary documents without needing to refer them to HR first.
For more information on the FFCRA, click here. Make sure to check with your employer’s HR department for specific guidelines.
Matthew Hulme, CAPP, MPA, is parking services supervisor with the City of Cincinnati.