We recently presented to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce via webinar on “Business Re-Entry – What Should Employers Be Considering Before Opening Doors?” The link to the webinar is below. In this webinar, we discussed developing a plan for re-opening, communication tips for employees regarding returning to work, and screening considerations for employees returning to work, as well as an update on the Paycheck Protection Program. Here are a few takeaways from the webinar:
- Excluding employees of a certain age or high-risk employees from returning to work may cause issues under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of age. Under the ADA, before excluding a high-risk employee from returning to work, employers should determine whether there is a direct threat to the employee or others, and if so, whether that direct threat can be reasonably accommodated by allowing the employee to work at home.
- The EEOC is permitting employers to take employees’ temperatures during the COVID-19 pandemic, but developing a policy on return to work/COVID-19, identifying symptoms that employees are prohibited from working with, and then trusting employees not to come to work with those symptoms may be a more practical approach.
- When communicating with employees on returning to work, it is important to stay positive and make employees feel like they are returning to a safe work environment by explaining that employee safety is a top priority, explaining the workplace policy on trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, explaining steps you have taken to protect employees, and explaining the screening policy.
Click the below .pdf version of this blog post to use as a reference guide as you’re developing your re-opening plans