On Thursday April 16, 2020, President Trump unveiled his "Guidelines for Opening Up America Again" (the "Guidelines"). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and several state and local health authorities have issued requirements and instructions regarding when and how to implement the Guidelines to get people back to work and provide some initial topics for employers to consider prior to reopening. Masuda Funai is publishing a series of articles addressing the business, human and safety aspects that employers will need to consider as part of each company's individualized reopening plan. Please reach out to your relationship attorney with any questions. Today's article will discuss the "Returning to Work" considerations with respect to:
Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the extension of the stay-at-home order through May 30, with some modifications that would allow certain businesses, such as garden centers and golf courses, as well as parks, to open. However, in a lawsuit filed last Thursday by Republican State Rep. Darren Bailey of Xenia, Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney ruled on Monday against Gov. J.B. Pritzker's executive stay-at-home order and granted a restraining order to temporarily block the order. Gov. Pritzker’s legal team filed an appeal on April 28, 2020 calling for a reversal of that ruling, and to dissolve Republican Rep. Darren Bailey’s temporary restraining order.
Other states, such as Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have relaxed the restrictions of their state-imposed, shelter-in-place directives. Both non-essential businesses that have suspended operations and essential businesses that limited the number of employees at their worksites need to prepare for the return of their workforce, which will not mean they can return to "business as usual."
To comply with CDC guidelines and reduce the risk of infection, employers should develop a social distancing plan by taking the following steps:
There are many ways to limit or reduce employee contact. Most changes do not require substantial expenditures by employers, but require extensive knowledge of business operations and the ability to think out of the box.
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