FREE HR assistance for small businesses affected by COVID-19

Bambee is committed to helping the small business community tackle the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. So, we’re offering free HR assistance to businesses affected by the situation. We’re in this together.

Sick leave policy + health questions to avoid

Remote & flexible worksite policy

How to properly take action with employees

Get FREE help from a
Bambee-certified HR expert

Resources & Templates


COVID-19 Webinar

COVID-19 Q&A with a panel of bambee-certified hr experts

COVID-19 HR Brief

CDC summary, policies & communication escalation plans

SBA Disaster Loans

Small business administration info about federal disaster loans

Get Disaster Loan Assistance

Common Questions & Answers


Layoff vs furlough: What's the difference?
A traditional layoff means a complete end of employment. This means you’ll need to follow traditional payroll termination processes.

A furlough is a mandatory suspension from work without pay. It’s typically done as a cost saving measure in response to special needs or economic circumstances.

If you are considering a layoff due to the COVID-19 situation, we would recommend first considering a furlough instead. This is so that you have the option of recalling staff quickly in case circumstances change in the future, without having to restaff and go through recruiting, hiring and onboarding again. In either case, your employees can apply for unemployment insurance benefits if they experience any reduction in pay. Should you choose to layoff or furlough your staff, please work directly with your Bambee HR Manager to assist you through the process.
Layoff vs furlough: Hourly (non-exempt) vs salary (exempt)
If you are doing a traditional layoff - complete end of employment - there is no difference in how you lay off exempt (salaried) or non-exempt (hourly) employees. If this is truly the end of their employment, you need to follow traditional payroll termination processes. If this is a furlough - a temporary layoff - employees (regardless of status) can be furloughed based on business needs. Keep in mind that non-exempt (hourly) employees will only be paid for the hours they work during a workweek. Whereas, as a general rule, exempt (salaried) employees that perform any work during the workweek must be paid their full salary. An employer may not make deductions from an exempt employee’s pay for absences caused by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business, including when there is no work. There are a few exceptions where an exempt employee can be completely furloughed with no pay, so please speak with your Bambee HR Manager for more information on these complex topics.
Are employers allowed to ask if the employee has COVID-19 during the pandemic?
No. You cannot ask your employees to confirm any type of specific medical diagnosis or diagnosis of COVID-19 since it can raise issues under various privacy and discrimination laws like the HIPAA Privacy Rules (which is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the GINA Act (which is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act rights), and potentially under the ADA (which is the Americans with Disabilities Act). Speak with your Bambee HR Manager for how best to navigate these questions.
Can you pay employees a little less if they work remotely?
No. If your full-time salaried employees are working remotely given the current coronavirus crisis, you will still need to pay them in accordance with the FLSA and your normal pay practices.
Can we mandate that any sick employees must use their sick or vacation time while they are home sick?
Yes. If the employee is taking time off from work due to being sick, you can mandate the use of any sick time available.
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