Many companies took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to help keep their companies afloat. These loans will be forgiven if all the rules have been followed.
One requirement of that program is that the borrower (employer) must offer to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) laid-off employees.
For purposes of loan forgiveness, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire. However, the borrower must document if the employee rejects that offer. Some employees prefer, for safety or other reasons, to remain at home and not to return to work.
Here are some other factors to consider:
- If the business is unionized, review the collective bargaining agreement to assure compliance. Wages, hours, and working conditions are covered by such agreements, and possibly any concerns about rehiring employees who have been laid off for certain conditions.
- Employer’s need to review their own internal policies and practices. Be consistent with written policies and/or practices when it comes to rehiring employees who have been laid off.
Be cautious, rehiring practices need to be nondiscriminatory. Reviewing furloughed employees’ disciplinary practices before deciding to re-employ them may be a good idea.
When rehiring these employees, make sure everyone is updated and trained on safety procedures. Including:
- Disinfect surfaces
- Practice social distancing