When I started a managerial job with a bank, many of us in the batch were young (read, stupid) enough to believe all those inspirational ‘action’ flicks where we would see a bank’s officials valiantly defying and thwarting armed robbers’ efforts to loot it! Imagine our surprise, bordering on shock, when our training included very strict orders against any such acts of ‘valor’! We actually received strong official instructions to cooperate with the robbers in such a situation and just hand over everything and anything without any attempt at resistance! Today, when I look back, I laugh at the memory and the fact that we were capable of such naiveté! Of course, an employer’s primary concern is, and should be, the safety of its employees.
What happens when disasters, natural like Katrina, or man-made like the Boston bombings, strike – causing disruptions and preventing employees from even reporting to their workplaces? What if the work they do is such that it cannot be handled from a remote location like the employee’s home? What if the worker is an hourly employee, classified as nonexempt under the FLSA, and is not entitled to any of the reasonable accommodations that exempt workers are entitled to?
What does employment law require of employers in such situations, and how do those laws apply to agency contractors Let us look at them:
As temporary workers continue to plan an increasingly important role in your success, be sure that your disaster planning considers the impact of your entire labor force – permanent and contingent. Work with each staffing agency to establish plans and common expectations so that, if disaster should strike, all parties are able to quickly take action and rapidly resume normal operations.
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