U.S. Sugar is an agriculture business based in Florida. In response to federal government and CDC guidelines governing the widespread coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Sugar has taken all necessary precautions to protect its workers and its food production facilities. Those precautions include closing its offices to visitors, limiting access to food processing facilities, and increased safety and sanitation requirements throughout the workplace. U.S. sugar is currently challenging UPS over the failure of their drivers to comply with new food safety practices enacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
See "South Florida agribusiness challenges UPS over failure to comply with food safety practices during coronavirus", BPR Wire, March 30, 2020
With most workers working remotely organizations have had to vamp up the technological capabilities. Some critical ways that organization can improve their workplace productivity, especially while majority of workers are working remotely, are to optimize their VPNs, use up-to-date technology, monitor their online traffic, invest in cybersecurity, ensure that staff devices are functioning properly, among other things.
See Jon Lang, "7 ways you can boost workplace productivity with a quality IT network", IT Brief, March 30, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, majority of Americans are now working virtually from home. There have been many studies published on the costs of the switch to remote work, in terms of employers. However, little research has focused on the costs of remote work to employees, such as rising electrical bills.
See Michelle Cheng, "Will your electricity bill go up if you’re working from home?", Quartz at Work , March 27, 2020
Many companies have had to layoff workers due to the Coronavirus Outbreak. However, some companies that are in industries that are deemed essential by the national government. Amazon is one of the companies in an essential industry that is currently ramping up its hiring process in hopes of hiring new workers in order to fulfill the needs of consumers.
See Allison Griswold, "The companies that are hiring even as the global economy grinds to a halt", Quartz at Work , March 27, 2020
The Coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the weak spots for many supply chains in the US, specifically delivery services. The surge in demand for food and household supplies has led to long lines at grocery stores and it has now pushed America's biggest online fulfillment networks well beyond capacity. Amazon, deliveries for certain nonessential items are expected to be delayed by as much as a month as the company scrambles to restock and ship out high-demand products like hand sanitizer and household cleaning supplies.
See Hillary George-Parkin, "Home delivery has helped China through its coronavirus crisis. The US needs to catch up.", Vox, March 25, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has caused companies to change their policies regarding remote work. However, many government agencies that require employees to have security clearances have not changed their policies. The issue becomes even more complicated for government contractors that have contracts that explicitly say that they cannot work offsite.
See Lindy Kyzer, "Telework Should Be an Option for Some Workers With Security Clearances", Government Executive, March 25, 2020
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three week lockdown today, asking all citizens to stay inside and practice social distancing. Unfortunately, public health officials are concerned that social distancing is not feasible for millions of unorganized individuals. Many workers whose jobs involve working closely with others or traveling via public transport need their wages in order to sustain themselves. Those who work in the informal sector have basically no legal safeguards such as paid sick leave and benefits- staying home is not an option for them.
See Puja Changoiwala, "Social Distancing Is Not an Option for India’s Poor", Slate , March 24, 2020
In order to address staffing shortages, Canada is asking retired meat inspectors to return to work in an attempt to maintain the food supply during the coronavirus outbreak. In response to capacity constraints the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will reduce staffed hours at meat processing plants. The output of meat across the country could decrease by 10% or more due to reduced hours. Presently, the CFIA is struggling to employ enough inspectors. While the Agency is in the process of hiring and training new inspectors, it intends to ask recently retired inspectors to come back to work if possible.
See Kelsey Johnson , "Canada seeks to recall retired meat inspectors, unveils C$5 bln in farm credit", Reuters , March 24, 2020
Recently, at Hackley Campus of Mercy Health Partners, management told nurses that they are not allowed to use donated protective equipment, despite a lack of PPE during the coronavirus outbreak. Nurses were upset as the hospital does not have enough proper protective gear and is not allowing nurses to use their own N95 masks. The Michigan Nurses Association filed a complaint with the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the NLRB in response to hospital administration telling nurses they cannot use their own masks.
See Callie Rainey, "Michigan Nurses Association files complaint against Mercy Health Partners Hackley campus", WWMT News , March 24, 2020
Most employers are having to lay off workers due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the gig economy is booming during the coronavirus outbreak. Workers for companies in the gig economy such as DoorDash have proven theirselves to be deemed essential to the flow of the American economy during the outbreak.
See Michelle Cheng, "Gig jobs are suddenly looking more secure amid coronavirus", Quartz at Work , March 23, 2020