National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

Summer 2022 • NAMA InTouch 29 HR Column Policies should address how to evaluate when an ill employee can come to work. They should outline the operator’s response plan, which must require management to inform unaffected employees of potential outbreaks and precautions to take to reduce the risk of transmitting the illness to others — all while maintaining operations and confidentiality. Response plans should remind employees of their unpaid (or paid) sick leave to cover absences due to contagious illnesses. Plans should also provide employees a complaint procedure and indicate who to contact if they believe they are being put at risk in the workplace. Finally, a response plan should highlight the company’s non-tolerance of discrimination or harassment against those with a serious illness and/or disability, as well as against those ethnicities where a pandemic may have started. Developing these written plans shows employees that the company is thinking ahead and cares about their safety. Disabilities and Religious Accommodation Policies Prior to the pandemic, many employers did not have an accommodation process policy in their handbooks for either disabilities or religious beliefs. During this recent pandemic, disability and religious requests for As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue to be relaxed and employees return to workplaces, it’s time for convenience services operators to review human resources policies to ensure they are prepared for any future pandemics or health emergencies. Best HR Practices By Heather A. Bailey, Esq., SmithAmundsen LLC Coming Out of the Pandemic HR Column