Practice Management

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Back to Practice Letter to Employees

May 07, 2020 6173

Tell employees the "new normal" before returning to practice.

Before employees start returning to the practice on a regular basis, employers should define the “new normal” by documenting a range of critical, mandated workplace change processes, including employee schedules, new policies, duties, wages and any effects on benefits.

Letter template - Return to Practice Employee Letter

This list is not exhaustive, and this template is for guidance and should be customized for your use. Things to consider including are:

  • Compliance with any local Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance for employees who meet the Ordinance’s eligibility requirements.
  • Note to employers who follow a registered alternative workweek schedule: Temporary changes with a one-week notice are allowable under an alternative workweek schedule. However, employers must comply with overtime laws when working outside of the registered schedule.
  • If and how, as recommended by the CDC, the practice will conduct temperature checks and employee COVID-19 screening.
  • If cross-training will be necessary to accommodate employee absences.
  • What infection control changes will be made, patient flow, facility and other protocols employees will be mandated to follow.
  • Document and communicate any modifications to an employee’s wages, classification, schedule, duties or eligibility for benefits. Employers may not make changes to an employee’s wages without prior notice and acknowledgement.
  • Add COVID-19 addendum to office injury and illness prevention program.
  • Thoroughly explore an employee’s hesitance to return to the practice.
    • Is it fear based?
    • Is it for a reason that may necessitate the employer entering the interactive process of reasonable accommodation for a COVID-19 related need?
    • Does the employee meet eligibility requirements to qualify for expanded leave under FFCRA?
    • Is the employee eligible for any other leave by law or practice policy?
  • Include any necessary training or retraining requirements.

Additional resources:

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual provides in-depth enforcement guidance on wages, hours and working conditions for employees in the State of California.

Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enforces pay and overtime rules, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces worker safety.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has imposed rules on expanded paid sick and family leave.

Letter template - Return to Practice Employee Letter