Ames Chamber of Commerce

Reopening Resources

Re-Opening Business Resource Guide

 The Ames Chamber of Commerce has put together this re-opening resource guide with best practices and tips to keep in mind when re-opening your business to the public.

Download and print this guide today!

 

 

Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures

For most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Provide customers and the public with tissues and no-touch trash receptacles.
  • Employers should explore whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies.
  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.
  • Provide a face mask, if feasible and available, and ask the person to wear it, if tolerated.
  • Consider options to increase physical space between employees and customers such as opening a drive- through, erecting partitions, and marking floors to guide spacing at least six feet apart.
  • At least once a day clean and disinfect surfaces frequently touched by multiple people. This includes door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets,
  • Consider assigning a person to rotate throughout the workplace to clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Consider scheduling handwashing breaks so employees can wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Consider scheduling a relief person to give cashiers and service desk workers an opportunity to wash their hands.

 

Develop Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick People, if Appropriate

  • Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.
  • Employers should develop policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

 

Develop, Implement, and Communicate about Workplace Flexabilities and Protections

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.

 

Implement Workplace Engineering Controls

  • Install physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards.
  • Install a drive-through window for customer service

 

What should I do if I have an employee who refuses to return to work without good reason?

Iowans who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose unemployment benefits, except for certain circumstances including:

 

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms; 
  • If you have recovered but it caused medical complications rendering you unable to perform essential job duties; 
  • If a member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19; 
  • If you are providing care for a member of your household who was diagnosed with COVID-19; 
  • If you do not have childcare due to COVID-19 reasons; or 
  • If you do not have transportation to your place of work because of COVID-19.  

 

Employees in any of these positions are strongly encouraged to work with their employer in the best way to handle the situation to return to work.  

Refusing to return to work when recalled for any other reason, or in an attempt to continue to draw unemployment benefits will be considered a "voluntary quit" which would disqualify a claimant from receiving benefits, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit of $600/weekly.  An employee who is recalled on a part-time basis may continue to be eligible for benefits depending on the amount of wages they earn.  They should continue filing their weekly claims and report the gross wages they earned each week.  Additionally, the self-employed should continue to report their weekly gross income as part of their continuing claims as they return to work.

Businesses should report employees who refuse to return to work without good reason or who quit their jobs as soon as possible to IWD at https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/job-offer-decline-form-employers

 

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