Return to Work Checklist for Florida Employers
Considerations for Florida Employers While Preparing to Bring Employees Back to Work
This is not an exhaustive list. It is an addendum to the Paychex Return to Work Checklist. Employers should consult with their HR professionals, legal counsel where appropriate, as well as the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and COVID-19 websites.
☑ Consult guidance and examine timing of re-opening businesses
On June 5, the state moved forward in its plan to re-open and all Florida counties, as of that date, are in Phase 2 except Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties. Check with your local jurisdiction (e.g., Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County have own re-opening plans ) to learn whether they might have additional requirements or whether the state has moved into other phases of re-opening.
☑ What date should employees be recalled or rehired?
This may impact employers seeking loan forgiveness for their Paycheck Protection Program loan, as well as may establish entitlement to leave benefits under FFCRA.
☑ Understand any new or enhanced requirements to state or local paid leave laws
☑ Understand the obligations under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) if you have unionized employees or an employment agreement, for non-unionized employees
Check applicable agreements for obligations. For example, a CBA may provide rehire/recall language, including agreed upon factors in order to bring employees back. Most changes will need to be negotiated with the union. For employment agreement obligations, employers should review the contract and, if in doubt, consult legal counsel.
☑ If an employee was terminated and signed a separation agreement, check the language to see if the rehire requires an amendment to the separation agreement.
☑ Consider providing letter offering return to work to employees
☑ Review and adhere to internal policies and state law on rehiring, if any, to determine any reinstatement of accrued PTO or vacation time, especially if these were not paid out at the time of furlough or layoff.
☑ Consider providing a new Form W-4 in case the employee wants to make changes upon returning to work.
☑ Explore whether “new hire” employee documents (i.e. employee handbook, handbook acknowledgment, direct deposit, employment agreement, etc.), are required and, if so, properly executed to ensure effective.
☑ Does the employee need to update an existing Form I-9 or complete a new Form I-9?
Review information and compliance requirements for Form I-9.
☑ Did employee elect COBRA, or Florida COBRA, and what benefits will employee be entitled to upon their return?
☑ Determine status of health plans, cafeteria plans, and fringe benefit plans, such as vision and dental insurance
☑ Determine implications for 401(k), 403(b), and pension plans
☑ Evaluate executive compensation and exempt classification status to determine what, if any, changes are necessary. Also review any applicable employment or severance agreements.
☑ Consider appropriate health and safety actions related to COVID-19 pandemic
Learn what new supplemental policies on safety are recommended or required to be followed and documented. For example, measures to promote social distancing in the workplace and safety gear such as masks and gloves will be provided.
Additional considerations as you prepare to return employees to work include applicable wage and hour laws, especially if employees have different work schedules, pay, and classification under state and federal laws. Check out our Return to Work resource page for FAQs and view this Florida-specific webinar on navigating the state’s workplace for helpful information.