April 14, 2020
Authored by: Hope Goldstein and Sara O'Keefe
As we approach the one month anniversary of the first “stay-at-home” orders, many are asking when we can get back to work and what will it look like when we do? In response, companies are beginning to consider the logistics of returning employees to the workplace. Just as the “stay-at-home” orders vary widely from state to state, any regulatory return to work orders issued by the states, or any guidance issued by any federal agencies, will likely vary widely as well. Employers with multiple locations may again find themselves juggling different requirements in different facilities, with no single approach fitting an entire multi-location business.
Though “stay-at-home” states have not yet issued guidance on how or when they will allow non-essential businesses to begin operating again, such a return could commence at any time. In order to assist companies with preparing in the absence of regulatory guidance, we have developed the following suggestions for employers’ consideration as they plan to return employees to the workplace and seek to be positioned to do so, when permissible, as efficiently and quickly as possible:
- Be prepared to comply with the CDC’s Guidelines in effect at the time of a return to work. For current example, employers should ensure they have sufficient handwashing stations and supplies, tissue disposal options and appropriate postings regarding sanitation and hygiene.
- Consider improved infection control/sanitization practices for high-touch areas such as equipment, machinery, restrooms and breakrooms, and sanitization materials for workers and visitors.
- It is likely that in every