Earlier this week, we hosted a “Back to Work Virtual Chat.” As businesses begin to re-open and adjust to the “new normal”, we hoped to provide employers, big or small, with guidance to help navigate through these unprecedented times. Our goal was to provide practical information (not legal advice)  to help organizations address the various steps needed to implement back-to-work processes.

We had just under 500 folks join us and we received many good questions. Thank you to all who joined us! To our clients, if you have questions or need advice or guidance on any specific issue or workplace situation, do not hesitate to contact us. We also encourage others to contact their attorneys for additional information and guidance.

For those of you who need a refresher or weren’t able to join us, we’ve included our top takeaways below!

Return to Work Guidance – Employee Prescreening and Testing by Ingrid Ponce

  • Regardless of what type of pre-screening works for you – Return to Work Questionnaires, Temperature Checks or COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing – develop of plan to help avoid inviting COVID-19 into your workplace
  • Ensure that this plan is updated regularly to keep up with the evolving changes surrounding this virus

Return to Work Guidance – Preparing the Workplace by Andy Rodman

  • Perform a workplace risk assessment as part of a preparedness and response plan
  • Communicate to returning employees your commitment to safety, the steps you will take to ensure safety, and your expectations for the entire workforce
  • Consider social distancing, safety, and sanitation protocols for the workplace and the workforce

Return to Work Guidance – Employee Objections by Lisa Berg

  • When employees raise objections or concerns regarding returning to the workplace, use your W.I.T.!
    • What is the specific objection?
    • Inquire why the person is reluctant to returning to work (e.g., safety issue, employee is sick, childcare provider is unavailable, etc.)
    • Tailor your response to the specific objection

WARN Act and CARES Act Issues by Bob Turk

  • FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 workers to provide short – and long-term leave to workers who come down with COVID-19 or are not able to work for certain reasons tied to the virus, including need to care for minor child due to school, daycare and camp closures
  • FFCRA remedies are the same as those allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act-recovery of back wages, liquidated damages and attorney fees and reinstatement (if terminated)
  • DOL has revised retail commission exemption regulations to allow more business to claim the exemption for retail commission sales employees. It also has revised regulations to allow more employers to pay overtime at a half time rate of pay to non-exempt employees work fluctuating hours and paid on a weekly salary basis

PPP Forgiveness, Tax Credits and Benefits by Sharon Quinn Dixon & Andy McLaughlin

  • How you treated employees since the quarantine began (e.g., furloughed, terminated) dictates the benefit plan treatment (insurance, 401(k)) upon return to work
  • The IRS has extended significant flexibility to allow employees to change health plan and FSA elections; employers must consider what flexibility to employees is feasible for the employer (e.g., administrative challenges and vendor/carrier approval)
  • Any employer planning to take full advantage of the payroll tax credits allowed by the recent laws must be prepared to demonstrate entitlement to those credits with important back-up documentation

Unemployment & Immigration by Glenn Rissman

  • The requirement for unemployed workers to search for work expired on May 30, 2020.  However, Governor DeSantis extended the waiver through June 13, 2020
  • Although you probably do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for employees returning from a temporary layoff, make sure that all employees remain authorized to work
  • If you remotely inspected I-9 documentation during the closure, make sure the employee brings in the original documentation for inspection within three business days of returning to normal operations

If you have any follow up questions for one of our presenters or topics you would like addressed in a future webinar, do not hesitate to contact us:

We look forward to connecting with you again soon — either virtually or in person!