Businesses are gearing up to get back to …well, business.  This cheat sheet will help you consider things to keep your work environment safe, and help you develop a plan of action for return-to-work in a post-pandemic world.  Before opening your business, be sure to review federal, state, and local protocols for your industry.  Check out information from the U.S. Chamber on state-by-state business reopening.

Operational Changes

  • Changes in business hours
  • Travel freeze or limitations
  • Amendments to vacation and/or benefit programs
  • Compensation reductions or freezes for all employees

Hiring / Recalling Employees

  • Determine dates employees will return to work.
  • Will it be done in stages? Will it be staggered by ramping up hours over a certain period of time?  Consider voluntary call-backs.
  • Who will be brought back? Criteria should be non-discriminatory such as skill set, education and/or tenure.
  • Analyze impact of recalling and re-hiring employees using any PPP or other government loan programs.
  • Update employee handbooks on accommodation policies based on EEOC and state government COVID-19 issues.

Safe Work Environment

  • Implement screening protocol – daily health screenings such as a questionnaire, temperature checks, symptom checks, and/or COVID-19 testing. Reminder to obtain only necessary information; establish protocol for maintaining health/risk screening results; provide employees with notice of health screening protocols.
  • Determine protocol for employees testing positive including reporting obligations to co-workers, customers/vendors, and government agencies. Follow HIPAA and privacy guidelines.
  • Follow OSHA guidelines and any state or local protocols for PPE – face masks, gloves, respirators, etc. Protocols for third-party visitors, vendors, and customers. Conduct employee training.
  • Develop protocol for routine cleaning and disinfection using CDC and OSHA guidelines. Consider periodic announcements asking employees to sanitize common touch points in work area.
  • Install hand sanitizer dispensers across worksites.
  • Install proper signage or floor markings for social distancing. Consider one-way hallways.
  • Monitor common areas where employees are likely to congregate. Remove every other chair in break-rooms, workstations, etc.  Consider partitions in common and/or reception areas.
This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and should not be acted upon as such.  This post may contain hyperlinks to forms, materials, and websites operated by parties other than Unique Employment Services. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. Unique Employment Services does not control such websites and is not responsible for their content.