Many businesses are beginning their re-opening phases, while others are being forced to close again due to COVID-19 fluctuations. In such uncertain circumstances, many employers are struggling to find a balance between the safe and efficient operation of their businesses, and preparation for potential closure orders and/or business restrictions.
Due to the uncertainty of the circumstances, there is no way to predict what is in store for employers. However, the following are things to consider as COVID-19 persists:
- Determine whether your business qualifies as “essential” under the state or local orders, keeping in mind, that even if your organization’s mission may be considered “essential”, not all employees may be deemed “essential”, under local orders.
- Prepare and/or update your company’s COVID-19 exposure and Prevention Plan and Cal/OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Plan;
- Review state and local requirements for symptom screening procedures for employees working on-site and/or customers coming to the worksite;
- Ensure you have appropriate sources of personal protective equipment for your employees;
- Review remote work and telework policies;
- Evaluate expense reimbursement for potential further telework;
- As to employees who cannot work from home, assess which applicable supplemental paid sick leave ordinances may apply to your business;
It is recommended that reopened companies implement an action plan to ensure they are prepared to handle potential future closures due to the fluctuation of COVID-19 infections.
Some things businesses should do to prepare for a potential second wave of closures are:
- Review Cal-WARN Act obligations;
- Revisit former employee notices and communications to ensure they are compliant under the rapidly changing regulations;
- Consult local orders applicable to furloughs and layoffs;
- Verify compliant practices for processing requisite terminations and layoffs.
To ensure you are staying on top of national and local regulations surrounding COVID-19 in real-time register for the Jackson Lewis COVID-19 Advisor. Our firm has attorneys nationwide from multiple practices and industries actively assisting businesses on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 workplace challenges.