All across the country, employers are making decisions about whether or not to reopen their physical locations once local health and safety mandates are lifted. If you have plans to go back to your workplace soon, there are multiple documents that you may want to have on hand as an employer. We’ve answered a few questions below.
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What documents should I personally prepare before going back to work?
Even if you plan to follow all social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, it is important that you take the time to complete an estate plan. Pondering the worst-case scenario may be difficult to do, but it can be a great help to your loved ones should you fall ill or pass away. Consider making the following documents if you don’t have them already:
- Living Will – Outline your preferences for medical treatment
- Healthcare Power of Attorney – Select someone to make medical decisions if you are unable to
- Last Will and Testament – Record your last wishes, including selecting a guardian for your kids, if needed
- Buy-Sell Agreement – Agree with your co-owners on what should happen to your business if you pass away
What documents should I use to manage my employees returning to work?
There are several documents that you may want to have available when bringing your team back to the physical workplace. Whether your employees are working from home, currently on furlough, or previously laid off, it is important to communicate your decision to reopen as early as possible so that they’ll have adequate time to make any necessary arrangements. Also keep in mind that in some cases, your team may be eligible for emergency FMLA or paid sick leave. You can work with a lawyer to understand any specific guidelines that you should take into consideration when reopening your business. Here are a few documents that you might want to consider making or updating:
- Employee Handbook – Document your policies as an employer
- Recall to Work Letter – Bring employees back from furlough or layoffs
- COVID-19 Health Screening Form – Screen for symptoms of COVID-19
- Work from Home Agreement – Arrange further remote work, if needed
What documents should I use to protect my business?
COVID-19 caught many businesses off-guard as far as what to do when a pandemic strikes. To better prepare for future emergencies, here are several more documents that you may want to draft:
- Business Contingency Plan – Define your business continuity strategy
- Emergency Action Plan – Outline step-by-step emergency procedures
- COVID-19 Liability Waiver – Have customers sign a release form
- Durable Power of Attorney – Appoint someone to manage business-related affairs on your behalf
Ask a lawyer
Even if you don’t plan to reopen soon, it is important to protect your business. If you have questions about the documents listed above or need more suggestions, ask a lawyer for free in the Coronavirus Legal Center for business. For more information to consider when making the decision to reopen, check out our free Return to Work Assistant.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.