Monday HR Minute: Natural Disasters & Afghan Refugees
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Current Affairs & HR Implications

Over the last several weeks, we received HR questions regarding two trending current affairs topics.  We wanted to use this HR Minute as an opportunity to share this information with you.

Please know we are always here to assist with your non-standard workplace concerns.

National Disasters Policy Guidance

We have seen natural disasters devastate much of the country. Fires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes have caused short-term and long-term impacts for millions of people.

Employers have had to adjust, from covering an employee’s shift because they cannot get to work to having to close for days or weeks to recover from and repair their own damages. 

While no one can know when and how a natural disaster will impact your business, you can make certain preparations ahead of time.

These  include:
  • Establish policies for closing the workplace and include client sites, if applicable. Detail who decides if the office will be closed, who must report, who and how employees should notify of their status, and if / when employees will or will not get paid. Be sure to stipulate that the employee’s safety is the most important priority.

  • Research employee pay requirements and options. If paying employees is voluntary, establish a maximum time limit so you are not obligated to pay indefinitely.

  • Implement communication plans to keep in touch with your employees and clients. Utilize multiple methods in case some are not available when needed. 

  • Back up any critical files so operations can resume as soon as possible, even if remotely.

Afghan Refugee Work Authorizations

When researching the potential workforce status of the thousands of refugees who were air-lifted out of Kabul in anticipation of their arrival in the US, we learned that the Afghan refugees who were permitted to seek asylum in the US will be brought to various military bases where they will be vetted and processed, including for work permits, before being moved to more permanent locations. The whole process could take several days or several weeks depending on various factors, but we know that refugees are already being welcomed into communities across the country.

As for work authorizations, the refugees will probably fill out Form I-360 which specifies Afghans who assisted the US (probably the Special Immigrant Visas) and we believe they will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) I-766 which would fall under Document A for Form I-9 employment verification. At this time we have not found any Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghan refugees.

American citizens or permanent residents who were evacuated will be processed quicker, only having to wait until they test negative for COVID, so they may enter or re-enter the job market sooner.

If you need any assistance with researching an issue that impacts your business or preparing for worst-case scenarios by drafting policies and procedures, please contact us at Affinity HR Group. No matter your problem, we’re always here to help.  Connect with us at or 877-660-6400.

Recruiting & Workforce Trends Webinar
Wednesday, September 15th 2:00-3:00 pm Eastern

We are excited to announce our upcoming Recruiting & Workforce Trends webinar!  Join Claudia St. John and Lisa Ritchie as they discuss the latest in recruiting trends and review Affinity HR Group's mid-year Labor Market Summary.  Registration is $35 but free to Affinity HR Support Plan subscribers.  Click here to register!
The Monday HR Minute, brought to you by Affinity HR Group, is designed to provide you with practical, applicable human resources and management advice and information in a format that will take you 60 seconds or less to read.  We believe that by dedicating just one minute a week to thinking about people management practices, business owners and managers can make enormous strides in improving workplace performance.
Affinity HR Group is a full service human resources consulting firm that specializes in advising small and medium-sized enterprises. Our services include recruiting and selection, HR policies and compliance, ad hoc HR support, compensation and performance management, and training and development. We are an endorsed HR partner of a number of leading national trade associations and offer free initial consultations and discounted services to their member companies.
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This e-mail may contain general information about legal matters. Affinity HR Group does not provide legal counsel. The information provided should not be considered legal advice and should not be relied on as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about this content or any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider.
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