By Eric D. Morton
With the easing of pandemic restrictions, many businesses are facing choices as to when and how to reopen, whether or not to continue to let employees work remotely, and a number of other issues. The pandemic has changed the business world and there will not be a return to business as it was before. This is a good time to review and renew policies and plans.
- Business Plan. The pandemic has changed the business climate. Many business will find that they can’t or don’t wish to operate as they did in the past. Considerations are changes in needs and desires of customers, supply chain disruptions, and changes in technology. Now is a good time to review and revise business plans and think through what is next.
- Workplace Safety. The State of California has not eased its requirements for businesses to have covid prevention plans, and to implement those plans. We wrote an article on this earlier this year. Companies need to continue to adhere to their plans and the requirements of workplace safety. We are a long ways from easing pandemic restrictions.
- HR policies. The various laws regarding the pandemic, such as the Family First Coronavirus Response Act are still in effect. Businesses should review their policies and ensure they are compliant.
- Work from home vs. Work onsite. We have received inquiries from clients regarding employees working onsite as opposed to working at home. Businesses can require employees to work onsite. However, there are laws enacted during the pandemic that require businesses to reasonably accommodate employees who can’t work onsite and who can work from home. Some businesses would like to pay their onsite employees more than off-site employees. We counseled caution. Generally, we don’t advise doing so for existing employees since this could be discriminatory for various reasons. This could be done for newly hired employees but we again counsel caution.
- Taxes. Some state and Federal tax laws have changed during the pandemic. Please talk to your accountant in detail about how these changes might affect your business.
The State of California has a good webpage with links to resources for businesses. https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/
Do not hesitate to reach out to professionals regarding the changing business environment. Accountants, attorney, bankers and other professionals can be invaluable in these changing times.
Eric D. Morton is the principal attorney of Clear Sky Law Group. He can be reached at 760-722-6582, 510-556-0367, and email@example.com