July 27, 2020
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Employment Security Department offers advice to employers on issuing formal job offers

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) is offering information for employers about the importance of making specific, detailed offers to employees about coming back to work.

Some employers are making informal offers (like a text message) to tell employees that they can come back to work -- but this can backfire if a claim ends up in unemployment adjudication.

ESD said that when an employer wants employees to come back to work, the job offer should take a specific form.

When making a return-to-work offer to employees, employers should provide the rate of pay, hours, start date, schedule, location and any other relevant details, ESD says, "so that we can determine whether the work offered is suitable. While job offers may be made verbally by phone or in person, written return-to-work offers are preferable to establish a clear date for and description of the offer made. If you are making an offer to an individual who is receiving Extended Benefits (claiming unemployment benefits for 40 or more weeks), the offer needs to be in writing."

Learn more at the ESD website.

The U.S. Department of Labor is also offering additional guidance on a variety of workplace rules, including how the protections and requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act affect the workplace as workplaces reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For any questions on workplace law, AWB members are always welcome to contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles.

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Stay Safe Washington
Prepare for Post-Pandemic Life

When the mills close, what's next?

By Mac Alexander Macdonald

What do communities do when their chief sources of income evaporate?

"Re-galvanize and reinvent," says Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. But what can we do as citizens to contribute to making this a place where industry wants to locate? What will people in the future want to purchase or acquire, and then how do we attract those companies, while nurturing the businesses we currently have? Complacency is not an option, and neither is hope alone.

For a company to partner with an area, it needs a ready and ample workforce. Are people being trained for the skills needed? Will enough housing be available? Will company executives and workers feel comfortable having their medical needs met? Will all employees feel comfortable having their kids educated in the local schools?

Robert Duvall's second famous line in the movie "Apocalypse Now" was, "Someday this war is going to end." Someday this pandemic will be over, so we need to prepare now. Communities like mine need to lay aside rivalries and attract passengers to their future train. It has been well quoted: When the time for action arrives, the time for preparation has passed.

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times