Mitigating Risk – Return to Work Post COVID-19

We have partnered with Wilson McCoy to do legal updates. Nathan McCoy will be with us today and he is a subject matter expert.

Post-Covid advice for employers in Florida
Graphic element
Graphic element

Presented by Nathan A. McCoy, Esq.

Fringe Benefit Plans, Inc. has been committed to Central Florida since 1969

  • We are built on our shared principles of culture, service, advocacy, education and partnership. We are committed to serving our community employers and leaders with meaningful education and communication.
  • We are a comprehensive financial services firm specializing in employee benefit programs and executive benefits. Our scope of services is focused on consultation, financial strategy, compliance, technology and wellness.
  • We help employers recruit, retain, and reward good employees.
  • We strive to make insurance a positive and professional experience.
  • We work for our clients. Our team consists of knowledgeable professionals working together to provide the best strategies to achieve success.
  • We possess the tools to analyze each employer’s unique situation and offer solutions that complement their short-term and long-term goals and objectives.

Legal Update Experience

  • There will be an opportunity to share questions via the Chat Option
  • We will share the presentation after the event via email
  • Introducing: Nathan McCoy

Impact of Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Coronavirus/COVID-19 has and continues to impact nearly every business across the nation.
  • Presenting challenges to all employers and forced most businesses to temporarily close, establish remote work arrangements, and change the way they do business altogether.
  • With “shelter-in-place” orders being lifted, what should businesses consider when re- opening?

Considerations When Re-Opening

State, Local, and Federal guidelines must all be reviewed prior to reopening.

  • State of Florida – Phase One
    • most non-essential businesses may open at 25% capacity
    • personal services, bars, and gyms to remain closed
  • City and County Local Orders
    • ex. Orange County mandates sanitizer in certain areas of workplaces, temperature checks, and face coverings for employees who work in cubicles without dividers, and encourages employees aged 65 and older to stay home.
  • CDC/OSHA Guidance
    • all State and Local suggest CDC/OSHA guidelines be followed

Which laws should businesses be cognizant of when reopening?

  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    • 500 employees or less
    • Paid Sick Leave and EFMLA still apply!
  • CARES Act
    • Enhanced unemployment still available for furloughed employees
    • PPP loan forgiveness considerations (staffing and salary levels)
  • ADA/Florida Civil Rights Act/County Ordinances (accommodations)
  • FMLA (additional time off)
  • OSHA (duty to provide workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm)
  • Whistleblower Acts (are you compliant?)
  • FLSA


Mitigating Risk

  • Stay calm – there is no “one size fits all” approach to re-opening!
  • Analyze your business in comparison to orders currently in effect.
  • For example, ask:
    • Which employees are essential to re-open the business?
    • Can employees can be brought back to work safely?
    • Is the business identified as a high-risk, medium, or low-risk for exposure to coronavirus by CDC guidelines?
    • Does the workplace need to be reconfigured to keep employees and customers safe?
    • Should employees work in shifts or report to work in waves?
    • Should access to breakrooms be reduced or eliminated?
    • Should the number of people in a restroom at a time be limited?
    • Should employees be required to wear masks?
    • Should employees be required to travel?
    • Is the business required to provide personal protection equipment (“PPE”)?
    • Can/should some employees still work from home?
    • How will requiring employees to return impact employees?
    • What if employees refuse

Develop a Return-to- Work Plan/Policy

  • Openly and clearly communicate with employees about re-opening.
  • Assure employees that the workplace will be reopened consistent with state, local, and federal guidelines.
  • Provide employees with notice of their rights (DOL Posters).
  • Clearly state expectations and mandatory requirements regarding matters such as:
    • altered reporting to work procedures, sick employees or those who exhibit symptoms, temperature checks, hand washing or sanitation, social distancing, PPE, cleaning work areas, breakroom etiquette, not using other employees’ work equipment, etc.
  • Pre-address unique situations such as high-risk employees, elderly workers, employees who have children in school.
  • Provide employees with the ability to relay concerns to management through an open-door policy.

Beyond Policy

  • Use common sense and good judgment when dealing with people, erring on the side of caution and kindness!
  • Most lawsuits are filed due to how an employee was treated by employers – not because of the pertinent laws.
  • Go “above and beyond” when employees raise legitimate concerns about safety or when conflicts arise in guidelines.
    • ex. pregnant employee, older workers, high-risk employees
    • Can the employee work remotely or otherwise be accommodated?
  • Healthy employees who are scared to return to work.
    • Can they be fired? Yes. Should they be fired? It depends.
    • Concerns reasonable?
    • Have they developed a disability under the law (mental conditions such as anxiety)?
    • Have the employee complete and supply documentation from doctor.
    • Can the employee be accommodated

Partner with Professionals

  • Unfortunately, due to the financial impact on their businesses, many employers are afraid to obtain legal advice and are simply relying on unreliable FAQs alone to obtain answers.
  • Price should never be a deterrent to quality legal advice, especially in a time of critical need.
  • To help serve our community during the pandemic, Wilson McCoy has created its 3-month CRITICAL NEEDS ADVICE PLAN (“CNAP”).
  • Through the CNAP, employers of all sizes are provided with access to affordable legal advice.
  • The goal of the CNAP is to help employers keep their doors open, keep their people employed, and help them strategically comply with each law which may impact their businesses.
  • During the duration of the CNAP, employers can ask our attorneys unlimited questions each month for less than the price most law firms charge per hour.
  • There are no long-term commitments or hidden fees.
  • Employers get practical legal advice at a time when they need it most. And, when more than just advice is needed, CNAP clients will receive additional discounts for all other hourly and flat-fee services.


Send via chat at bottom of screen and Doug Foreman or Tina Craft will serve as a moderator.