How do I invite an employee to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In order for your employment offer to count in your favor for PPP loan forgiveness purposes, it has to be in writing. Check out this sample letter and edit it to match the actual practices in place at your business.

Dear __________,

Our business has received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program that allows us to start up work again .  You are requested to return to work at [date and time] in the position of [position name] at an hourly pay rate of [$$.$$]. Please note that some positions will receive a temporary increase in pay due to reduced tip income. If you are a tipped employee, your pay rate will be reassessed once we are able to resume normal operations. 

If you fail to return to work, we are required to report it to the Unemployment Insurance Agency.  If you have a legitimate reason for not returning to work, please notify us as soon as possible.

While our ultimate goal is to return as many employees as possible to pre-COVID-19 earnings levels, your work schedule for the foreseeable future will be based on business needs. You are not guaranteed the same schedule, number of work hours, or same position as you held previously. You should consider yourself to be a variable hour employee and should not have any expectation of being scheduled or paid for full-time hours. We encourage you to closely monitor your earnings and continue to file unemployment claims for any weeks when you remain even partially unemployed (by State standards).  

To provide as safe a work environment as possible [company name] is implementing the following mitigation practices.  We are taking these measures because we take your safety seriously and because they are advised by the State of New York and federal authorities:

1. We will implement social distancing, not only in the workplace, but when entering and exiting the work facility.

2. We will providing face coverings. We require employees wear face coverings while at work.

3. Please wash your hands regularly.

3. The company is implementing regular cleaning and sanitizing of work areas and encouraging workers to clean and sanitize common work areas after use if using the furniture or equipment. This includes commonly used furniture and equipment (door handles, light switches, phones, kitchen equipment, etc.).

4. Where symptoms are observed an affected employee will be told to go home for the required quarantined period (14 days) and/or get tested for Coronavirus.  In order to return to work sooner than 14 days, the employee must present a negative test result from a licensed health care provider.

5. We will follow recommended government and Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols in the event a worker tests positive for Coronavirus including notifying employees of the contact incident.

Should you have any questions please contact _______________________________.