As COVID-19 restrictions are eased or rolled back, there are many practical and legal considerations to take into account as employers reopen and/or reintegrate teleworkers into the workplace. A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate — different variables and actions you have taken thus far will affect the who, what, where, and when regarding how you prepare to, and actually do, return to the workplace and/or expand on-site operations. Some of the considerations include:
- Have you laid off employees?
- Have you received a federal loan?
- What does your business or organization do?
- Are remote operations working well enough that you will not yet reintegrate or can do so at a slower pace?
There are many other factors that will impact your plans, including how your organization fits within Governor Hogan’s Plan to reopen Maryland. Deciding that you will reopen and reintegrate is just the beginning of the process. You will want to create a plan for reopening that considers workplace safety, employee communication, policy revisions, and employee, labor, and customer relations. Other guiding questions include:
- What will you communicate to employees?
- Will you implement a staggered reopening and reintegration?
- What physical modifications will you make to the workplace?
- Have you reviewed your policy and considered revisions and/or supplemental policies and rules?
- If you are a unionized workplace, what are your contractual obligations?
We have developed a guide to assist employers in this process and look forward to working with you to create an employer-specific roadmap that suits your organization.
My partner, Randi Hyatt, and I are also hosting a Zoom Talk on Friday, May 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to discuss these issues and answer your questions. You can register here.
We look forward to working with you as we return to the (new) normal.