May 8, 2020
Volume 2
Back to Business - ONE STEP AT A TIME
Information. Resources. Support.
Spotlight on Human Resources
What employers need to know
Whether you're reopening your business after a shutdown, or redefining what daily life looks like for your business moving forward, there are a few key HR items that you should know.
Joanna Forbes, MS, SHRM-CP | Owner/Chief Consultant | Forbes Human Resources, LLC
Recalling Employees - steps to take
1-Phasing-in employees returning to work:
  • Use seniority or other nondiscriminatory factors for selection.
  • Consider work share or bringing employees back on a reduced schedule.

2-Creating a plan for employees in high-risk categories for infection to return to work:
  • Consider allowing them to work from home or remain on leave until they feel comfortable to return.
  • Determine increased measures to protect them when working onsite, including isolated workstations, additional PPE as requested, fewer days in the office, etc.

3-Notifying the ODJFS of employees recalled to work. This is a state requirement and will help save on unemployment taxes for those who choose not to return to work.

4-Determining how to handle employees who are unable or unwilling to return to work.
Can an employee refuse to return to work?
In most cases, no, but ultimately it will be up to the state to decide on a case-by-case basis.

When an employer recalls an employee to work, notify ODJFS of work made to that individual. This should stop the eligibility for benefits based on work not being available.

Depending upon the circumstances, however, an individual may be unavailable for work due to COVID-19, a stay-at-home order, childcare, caring for someone with COVID-19

Some reasons to feel unsafe at the workplace due to the pandemic might be deemed allowable.  

If an employer has any reason to believe an employee might refuse a recall for unlawful reasons, they may wish to educate the employee on the consequences of unemployment fraud. These could include not only reimbursing the state for benefits paid but also civil and criminal penalties, including incarceration.  

Ask why they don’t want to return . If you have a conversation, you may be able to ease their concerns.
Safe Workplace
Employers have the legal responsibility to ensure their workplaces are safe for employees. 
Employees and customers alike may have fears of returning to business as usual; preparing for and communicating how safety is a top priority will help alleviate some of those fears and remind your customers why they choose you.

All of these Safety Measures should be followed for all industries:
  • Implementing employee health screenings procedures.
  • Developing an exposure-response plan
  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Detailing cleaning procedures 
  • Establishing 6 feet physical distancing measures within the workplace
  • Defining customer and/or visitor contact protocols 

Follow industry specific guidelines as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health Responsible ReStart Ohio.  For industry specific guidelines, follow these links:
Resources to help you reSTART

More resources available on our reSTART resource webpage:
May 12, 2020 | Time: 2-3 PM
May 14, 2020 | Time: 11AM | 1.5hrs
May 14, 2020 | Time: 2-3 PM
Ohio Emergency PPE Makers' Exchange
Join | Share | Buy

To help get equipment in the hands of those who need it, a new online marketplace called the  Ohio Emergency PPE Maker’s Exchange was established. It’s primarily designed for smaller purchases of PPE from retooled or repurposed manufacturers. These products are made through the ingenuity, hard-work, and perseverance of so many Ohio manufacturers and we should all be very proud to support them.
reSTART Manufacturing
reSTART SALEM has manufacturing resources available
Six ways to combat fear in your manufacturing company
1 - Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Now is the time to over-communicate. Get into the details. Reach out early and often. Tell your employees exactly what you are doing to keep them safe. Tell them what is happening with their jobs and the company. Even share how YOU as a leader are feeling. In the absence of real information, people will assume the worst ... read more

2 - Monitor mental well-being, along with the physical health of your employees.
Uncertainty affects all of us differently. You just don’t know exactly how individuals are coping. And the stress of being in constant “fight or flight” mode can be debilitating and depleting. Consider how best to monitor and support employees’ mental health as well... read more

3 - Do (and be seen to do) all the right things on safety.
Safety is most likely part of your core company values. And this is the surest way to combat employee fear. If you don’t show everyone all the ways you are working to keep them safe, not only will your values be called into question, but people may not want to come to work.
When you do something to advance workplace safety, make sure everyone knows about it. Better yet, make sure they see it. .. read more

4 - Be understanding towards employees who aren’t ready to come back to work.
As excited as we all are to re-open and get back to work, there will be people who simply aren’t ready. They are too afraid to resume normal life. If you can’t allay their fears one-on-one, perhaps you should consider giving them alternative work to do remotely. If you can’t give them remote work, perhaps consider a grace period for them to return to work once they feel safer... read more

5 - Remember the little things.
Do you normally have an office lunch you can’t have anymore? Can you buy your staff lunch remotely? Can you send them a dozen donuts? Can you recognize on all-staff emails the amazing things people are doing to support each other? Maybe these things are out of reach normally or feel awkward, but these are extraordinary times. I guarantee that investing in doing extra things to show that you care and that you are there (even for laid off employees) will be more appreciated today than any past office picnic ever was. These little things include just reaching our one-on-one to ask how someone is doing and thank them for their hard work, dedication, or just hanging in there.

6 - Fight fear with inspiration and possibility.
Crisis is scary but it also creates opportunity. An opportunity to learn new things, to pivot, to bond. This is where your leadership comes in. Inspiration is the antidote to fear. Your employees need thoughtful, inspired leadership that helps them see the light more

Together, we make the things that keep people safe. We make the things that run the world. That’s important. And a real reason to be proud about getting back to work. If we can make our pride bigger than our fear, we will successfully navigate this crisis together.
The SOD Center, Inc. can connect you to resources and professionals that can help you develop a plan to adapt and move forward. Contact Julie Needs at 330-337-7669 or