Most Important Developments for 10/30

Can you make your employees get a flu shot? What about a COVID-19 vaccine? Before you try to, you may want to watch your step. Flu season is in full swing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says getting the flu vaccine this year is more important than ever. And a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, which offers the promise of a return to normal society and safe workplaces. But before you make a mandatory vaccination policy for the flu or the future COVID-19 vaccine, consider this: Generally, an employer may have a policy that urges or requires employees to be vaccinated for the flu. Also, states may have specific vaccination laws for certain employment settings like schools, daycares, and health care facilities. The CDC keeps a database of these laws. However, a strict vaccination policy that makes no exceptions will likely run into trouble, mainly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Phelps

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The Kroger Co. has unveiled a multi-pronged plan to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as in the thousands of communities served by its supermarkets. Cincinnati-based Kroger said Monday the Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative focuses on five areas, covering 10 short- and long-term efforts: creating a more inclusive culture, developing diverse talent, advancing diverse partnership, advancing equitable communities, “deeply listening,” and reporting on progress. The nation’s largest supermarket operator, with nearly 2,800 stores under more than 20 retail banners, Kroger said the plan was developed in tandem with associates and leaders across the company. This year, Kroger plans to provide unconscious bias training to every leader and DE&I training for every associate by May 2021. The company said it’s preparing a more comprehensive DE&I training program for its nearly 500,000 associates, and it expects to introduce the program next spring. Supermarket News

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“Intelligence at Work” is a new custom podcast from FastCo Works and Ceridian. Hosted by Abigail Bassett, the podcast tackles the modernization of HR and payroll within today’s evolving world of work. The newest episode: Abigail Bassett sits down with Ceridian’s Chairman and CEO David Ossip to learn about changes in how employees today get paid. She learns how David’s company helps employees to better manage unexpected expenses, minimize financial stress, and take greater control over their financial well-being. The basic question is, why are people paid in arrears? Why do I work for a company for up to two weeks before I can access my pay? And how do I alleviate the financial burden on people who are trying to bridge their financing? Fastco Works

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For millions of Americans the return to the office has been delayed indefinitely by a resurgent virus. In big cities like New York and San Francisco, offices are still running at less than 50% of their pre-pandemic capacity. So how open is too open? Well, there’s an algorithm for that: Several companies now use software designed to help them shuffle employees, schedule meetings, map office hot spots, and maintain safe distance among colleagues keen to ditch the home for the high-rise. There’s a healthy market for this feature. Nick Eurek, founder of Maptician, says that more than 80% of their revenue this year is being driven by companies looking for ways to juggle staffing so they can reopen safely. Fifty businesses are currently using the Maptician platform, which allows employers to keep their in-person staff as socially distant as possible and detects areas of high transmission risk, like desks spaced too closely, narrow walkways, and enclosed conference rooms. The office maps are also time-sensitive, which means companies can use them as a form of contact tracing: If someone in the office reports a positive COVID-19 test, co-workers can go into the map and see if they were ever seated nearby. Bloomberg

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is giving all U.S. employees the entire week of Thanksgiving off, according to an internal message he sent on Wednesday night. The move is meant to reward employees for the work they’ve done during “unprecedented challenges,” and could help bolster morale after the company’s moderation policies have come under fire from some employees. The note says that all employees around the world will get an extra three days off — either Monday Nov. 23 through Wed. Nov 25, or other days for particular teams or geographical regions. “The idea here is to give as many people as possible a break. I hope you can disconnect and take the time to rest and recharge before the final push of the year,” Zuckerberg wrote. Facebook has faced an unusually tumultuous time internally. All employees have been working remotely since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and the company has instituted a wide range of policies around misinformation and political posts over a politically charged summer and in the run-up to the U.S. elections next Tuesday. CNBC

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