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Getting Back to Business

As the world looks forward to getting back to business, there are concerns many workers may avoid returning to work, choosing to remain on their more ‘lucrative’ unemployment benefits. Consider the following, as the semantics are important.

1. If you ‘furloughed’ staff, (a ‘layoff while retaining employee benefits,’) you’ve essentially kept them on your payroll with no wages but have not formally terminated your employment relationship. Anyone refusing a recall back to work puts themselves at a double risk. Refusing avail-able work risks not only losing state unemployment benefits but could also be considered a ‘voluntarily resignation’ from their employment relationship all together.

2. If you ‘terminated’ staff, (ending the employment relationship) you are basically in ‘recruit and re-hire’ mode. Your previously terminated staff members have no obligation to return to work with you, and you have no ‘obligation’ to re-hire anyone. The principles of supply and demand will apply, and you might need to become creative in your hiring. Perhaps this is a time to reinvent your teams.

3. A refusal to accept employment under either situation may risk continued unemployment benefits. In either case, documenting and delivering your ‘recall’ or ‘re-hire’ offers would be a good way to demonstrate your efforts to re-employ staff and to mitigate your future unemployment costs.

Michael Tracy
Managing Principal
OMNI Human Resource Management

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