Return To Work Guide: An Employer’s Post-Pandemic Handbook
As many states and municipalities begin lifting stay at home orders and implementing steps for a phased reopening of businesses, employers should be developing a written “game plan” to minimize the risks of transitioning from a COVID-19 complete or partial shutdown to resumption of business as usual, or business in the post-Pandemic workplace. In addition to following local, state, and federal orders relative to a particular business’s ability to reopen, employers should be cognizant of any guidance, including guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), and other state and local government agencies. Employers should also carefully consider implementing policies, procedures, and practices to promote a safe return to work and to mitigate any risks as they bring employees back to work. Employers should likewise create a plan for determining when and how to return employees to the workplace. After developing an appropriate written timeline and developing a “return to work strategy,” employers should be cognizant of unique issue that are likely to arise as they seek to resume business as usual. The myriad of employment issues which employers will likely face include paid and unpaid leave issues, disability accommodation issues, safety issues, wage and hour issues, and managing employee complaints, among others. This reference guide is meant to provide a general overview of these requirements and other critical considerations for employers.
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