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Practical Re-Opening Guidance for Office Buildings

As states begin to re-open their economies, there is no shortage of recommendations on how to do so safely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), for example, has issued numerous guidance documents, with many specifically tailored to certain industries and work-settings, including recommendations for re-opening office buildings and similar environments [see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html]. However, while the CDC guidance contains numerous recommendations, it does not provide the specific details on how an organization can go about actually implementing the regulations.

Enter the global design firm of Perkins & Will.

Perkins & Will has published a 90-page Road Map for Return – Guidance for a Return to the Office During COVID-19. The Road Map for Return covers essentially everything an employer operating an office environment will need to know when deciding when, and how, to safely re-open their offices, including understanding the phases of the pandemic, developing a framework for returning, understanding the risks, and implementing operational changes.

Essentially, while the guidance from the CDC and others recommends what to do, the Road Map for Return shows how to do it, including practical advice for determining a maximum capacity for each floor of the office building (while maintaining safe social distancing), how to set an initial target capacity, and how to safely increase the number of employees returning in future phases of re-opening.

In sum, the Road Map for Return is the best practical guide for how to safely re-open your office building. And despite undoubtedly pouring a lot of time and resources into the publication, the good people at Perkins & Will have made the guide available for free at: https://perkinswill.com/road-map-for-return/. As employers begin to re-open their office buildings, they would do well to consult the practical advice contained in the Road Map for Return.

Employers with questions are advised to consult with their legal counsel regarding specific questions or concerns. If you have any questions, or need assistance, please feel free to contact Jeremy D. Iosue or Jason T. Hartzell at (216) 651-0451.

This Employment Law Alert may provide an overview of specific federal and/or state laws and regulations. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular situation or individual.

Copyright © 2020 Stefanik Iosue & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

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