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Planning for reopening or returning employees to the workplace

As states loosen stay-at-home restrictions, many businesses are grappling with how to deal with the myriad issues that arise in connection with bringing employees back into the workplace. These decisions are complicated by the fact that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and looks likely to stick around for the foreseeable future. In this article we’ll discuss the various considerations that should be part of your return-to-work planning. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out our COVID-19 Back to Business Planning Tool, which goes into greater depth on most of the things discussed in this article, provides helpful checklists, and contains template documents along with other resources.

Navigating Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA

We have received many questions from employers since the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and the Emergency Family and Medical Expansion Act (EFMLA) were signed into law earlier this year. Part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (FFCRA), EPSL and EFMLA require certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave for certain qualifying reasons. However, it is not always clear what employee circumstances qualify for EFMLA or EPSL, how the FFCRA interacts with other leaves and time off, how to pay for it (and how much to pay) and what to document in order to receive the eligible tax credits. We’ve created two flowchart resources to help address employer questions and navigate the complexities of these provisions.

Are you considering revising your paid time off policy?

Paid time off policies are typically drafted with the most common circumstances in mind. While this makes sense given that employers can’t anticipate all situations that might arise, it makes it difficult to adhere to your policy when circumstances become unusual and are not addressed in your policy. Employers who have generally felt comfortable with the terms and administration of their paid time off policies may be evaluating them in light of the current circumstances. If you found it difficult to comply with your policy or if your policy was silent as to how to handle these recent events, consider whether your policy might need some attention.