Returning to Work, Recalling Furloughed Employees and the Rehiring Process

As government officials begin to lift stay at home orders, employers are thinking about returning employees to the workforce.

Some employers may need to recall only some employees depending on demand, social distancing measures, and other employer-specific imperatives and production demand. Other employers may need to recall their entire workforce.

Employers should consider the following hurdles when returning employees to work:

  • Obligations under agreements and policies, including any collective bargaining agreements
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act implications
  • Employees who refuse to be recalled
  • Protections necessary to achieve OSHA and state safety standards for employees in the workplace and on job sites including providing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Preparing the building for employees to return including cleaning, disinfection plans, and HVAC issues and plans
  • Easing employee anxiety about returning to work including employee surveys
  • Safety and cleaning protocols related to common employee touch points, visitor access control, shared spaces like kitchens and pantries, elevators, and package deliveries
  • Employee health checks and screenings
  • Establishing physical workspaces that allow for social distancing
  • Employer obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII (discrimination), and other similar state laws and statutes
  • Workers’ compensation COVID-19 claims
  • Recall or rehire paperwork

Please contact Donald Burke to address any issues unique to your business or if you require general guidance in this unprecedented time.