Return-to-work guide aims to assist employers

Ogletree Deakins launched the Return to Work Guide, which offers more than 100 pages of guidance and resources to help employers. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / FlamingoImages (hotel front desk)

As cities and states contemplate lifting portions of stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders related to COVID-19, many employers are beginning to make preparations for restarting normal work operations. In response, Ogletree Deakins, labor and employment law firm, has launched the Return to Work Guide, which offers more than 100 pages of guidance and resources to help employers develop responsible and sound back-to-work policies and plans. The comprehensive guide provides recommendations on return-to-work issues such as benefits, paid time off and leave requirements; reinstatement procedures; workplace safety protocols; health screening procedures; medical records and employee privacy protection; absenteeism; immigration issues; drug testing and background checks; and diversity and inclusion measures.

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The Return to Work Guide also includes numerous template policies, checklists, and flow charts to help employers ensure safety for their employees and minimize risk as they bring back their workforces.

“In preparation for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are making plans now to resume operations and return their workforces to the workplace when it is safe to do so,” said Matt Keen, managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins. “These employers have pressing questions on a range of issues, including how to implement appropriate safety measures, establish necessary protocols, and develop policies to address paid leave, FMLA, and other potential concerns from employees. Our detailed Return to Work Guide provides employers the resources they need to help ensure a safe, effective, and smooth transition back into the workplace.”

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Ogletree Deakins launched a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center to deliver information and resources employers need to minimize risk and remain informed about the many workplace issues related to the public-health emergency.