July 17, 2020

Employees Refusing to Return to Work? Now’s Your Chance to Build Your Dream Team.

Medical dream team puts hands together while standing in a circle

When the coronavirus pandemic crossed the border into the United States, it sent a shock wave through our nation’s business sector.

Storefronts and practices were shuttered and employees were sent home to wait out the storm, though nobody knew how long the lockdown would last.

 

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Employees Refusing to Work

Months later, as the country began making efforts to reopen, many employees refused to return to work when given the opportunity to do so.

For some, their reasons for refusing work are protected by law. They have no access to childcare and have to stay home to care for their children, for example. Or they have compromised immune systems and exposure to the virus presents potentially devastating health consequences. 

Others who were not considered “high-risk” are simply nervous about being exposed to the virus. And still others decided that they would rather remain on unemployment than go back to work to earn their wages.

Employers who received PPP Loans were sent into a panic as a result of employees refusing work. At first, it seemed to threaten their ability to have those loans forgiven. 

Fortunately, the feds updated their guidance to allow business owners to include those individuals in their final count of full-time equivalent employees required for loan forgiveness (see item 5.h on page 6 of this document from the US Department of the Treasury), but that doesn’t fix the problem of suddenly finding yourself short-staffed. 

The Senate later gave businesses more latitude toward loan forgiveness by extending the forgiveness period and allowing more of the loan to be applied to expenses not associated with payroll.

 
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If They Don’t Want to Work, It’s Not Your Problem Anymore

Thankfully, employers don’t have to worry about the impact of employees refusing to work on their eligibility for PPP loan forgiveness. Still, the reduction in your workforce presents a new challenge — filling those vacancies with employees who are difference makers.

Though it might not feel like it right now, losing employees who refuse to work is not a burden. In fact, it’s a golden opportunity to make sure the next person you bring on board is the right one for the job. 

The long and short of it is this: employees who refuse to work for reasons that are not legally protected are not the ones you want working for your business!

These are people who were likely disengaged from your business long before the pandemic took hold and forced them out of a job. They were looking for a way out, anyway — the coronavirus simply gave them an excuse not to show up.

 

Your Ideal Employee Is Out There — You’ve Just Got to Find Them.

Rest assured that there are plenty of people out there looking for gainful employment with a business like yours.

And, with unemployment affecting nearly 25 percent of the nation’s population, it makes you wonder why anyone would voluntarily choose to insert themselves into that pool of increasingly desperate jobseekers. 

That said, people are in need of work, and they need it fast. This means that any job ad you put out into the world is likely to see a rush of applicants who are ready and willing to hop on board and start producing for your business — and that is exactly the type of employee you’ll want to replace anyone who flat-out refused to come back.

 
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Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…

Rather than bemoaning the loss of those employees who rejected your offer to return to work, now is the time to look to the future.

Focus on writing the best damn job ad you’ve ever written and use this opportunity to bring a true difference maker on board for your practice!

We’ve updated our free Hiring Guide for just this reason. We want to make sure you are prepared for this moment, and that you have all of the tools you’ll need to make sure your next hire makes a positive difference for your business. Download it now and give your practice an unfair advantage over your competition in this increasingly crowded job market.

We’ll also be updating the guidance for each step of the hiring process (Writing Job Descriptions, Job Ads, Interviewing, and Onboarding) here on our blog in the coming weeks. 

We’ll post the first installment in that series on Job Descriptions early next week, so keep your eyes peeled for additional hiring guidance and/or check back here for links to those posts as they are released!

 

Related Reading:

Job Descriptions: What They Are, Why You Need Them, and How to Write Good Ones.

How to Write Job Ads That Attract Top-Tier Applicants.

50 Behavioral Interview Questions (and How to Write Your Own)

 
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Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.