Here we go folks, the time you have been anxiously waiting for the last 100 some odd days is here, it’s time to get back to work. While every state is requiring different things at different times, we noticed a few common themes employers should reflect on as you plan your big return.
Know your phase
The thing you need to understand first is: when. Each state is opening on a different timeline and within that, each industry has a different date. Our partners at Ogletree Deakins have a comprehensive breakdown of each state’s timeline
Know your outfit
Every first day of school requires a special outfit, and returning to work in the COVID era is no different. Unsure if you should require your employees to rock a mask and gloves? Our partners at Bernstein Shur say businesses should conduct this analysis based on the OSHA exposure risk levels as well as the latest recommendations by the CDC. If a business will be requiring PPE, it needs to ensure that it provides training to employees on how to properly use the equipment.
Know your plan
Many states are requiring employers to draft and distribute a COVID-19 prevention plan, a written guide on how you will react if someone on your staff becomes ill. Our partners at Littler explain what is required for Massachusetts employers: the plan must include:
- Contact information for local health authorities, including the MA Department of Public Health, and the local/municipal health authority
- Regular evaluations of all workspaces to ensure compliance with all federal, state and local guidelines
- Isolation, contact tracing, and communication plan if a worker is diagnosed as positive with COVID-19, or comes into close contact (within six feet for 10 minutes or more) with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.
Know your space
According to our partners at Shawe Rosenthal, there are some changes you can make around the office to keep your team safe, such as:
- Moving furniture and workstations
- Installing barriers
- Using markers to show where people should stand
- Improving ventilation by increasing airflow, filtration, and use of outside air
Of particular interest, the CDC also suggests that employers replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items.
Ready to get back out there? Our partners at Laner Muchin made this checklist for Illinois employers, but we think it’s a pretty good gut check for employers elsewhere as well. Want more state-by-state info? Check out this list of resources for your neck of the woods.
CDC Issues Reopening Guidance for Offices – “Change the way people work” from our partners at Shawe Rosenthal
COVID-19 Closure and Reopening Orders – States and Major Municipalities from our partners at Ogletree Deakins
5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance from our partners at Fisher Phillips
Arizona - from our partners at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and our partners at Gammage and Burnham
Kansas - from our partners at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce
Oregon - from the State
South Carolina - from our partners at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce