What if Employees Are Scared to Return to Work During COVID Reopening?

By: Alissa A. Kranz Posted on: Monday, May 11th, 2020

The last thing a business owner needs right now is a labor dispute with an employee.

The current situation makes that a possibility.

Things are starting to return to normal. Businesses are reopening. Millions of companies have received Payroll Protection Program loans and need to use the majority of those funds quickly for payroll in order to obtain loan forgiveness.

But what if an employee does not want to return to work due to fear of contracting the Coronavirus?

In last Friday’s Tampa Bay Business Journal, LSA attorneys, Alissa Kranz and Jeff Lieser analyzed three scenarios that employers may face in the weeks ahead.

In addition to Coronavirus concerns, some employees may be satisfied with their unemployment benefits. However, they may not realize that, generally, refusing to return to work can result in such benefits being cut off.

Employers should consider counseling their employees accordingly and following the guidance in today’s article, including: documenting communications with employees, understanding current leave laws, accommodating employees with disabilities when it would not result in an undue burden on the company, and following federal, state, and local recommendations and guidelines on how to reduce exposure to
COVID-19.

Read the full article on the Tampa Bay Business Journal. (subscription required).

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