Employers are now confronted with the next COVID-19 challenge: safely bringing employees back to work. The recent federal guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” specifically refer to recommended practices for employers. As the ultimate power to ease restrictions will be at the state and local level, employers will also need to navigate modifications to stay-at-home orders that will likely return employees to work in phases based on the nature of their industry, local data on COVID-19 measures, and other factors.
The checklist below addresses both how to manage increased crowding in the workplace as employees return to work and how to onboard new hires or formerly-furloughed employees. An employer should review and update our recommended procedures based on the then-current information about COVID-19. This will certainly be an ongoing effort as multiple studies are currently under way regarding strategies such as contact tracing, antibody testing and rapid, broad-scale COVID-19 testing. While the ultimate import of these efforts is currently unclear, it will be critical to monitor whether any of these are authorized for implementation or recommended as a workforce protection strategy.