A Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources webinar on June 11 covered important considerations for municipalities as they develop plans for bringing municipal employees back into the workplace and opening municipal buildings to the public.

The topic was discussed from multiple perspectives, including public health, emergency management and legal considerations.

The two-part webinar began with a panel of local experts sharing best practices for reopening. Dr. Louis Fazen, former chair of the Southborough Board of Health, gave an overview of important public health guidelines and recommendations for municipalities to consider as they begin to reopen, and Bruce Proia, acting emergency management director in Newton, discussed the steps that his city is taking to prepare.

Heather Harper, assistant town manager in Sandwich, discussed the steps implemented and lessons learned so far in Sandwich, which recently reopened its town hall to both municipal employees and the public.

MMA Legislative Director John Robertson gave an update on the legislative response to the COVID-19 emergency in the human resources arena.

Attorney Jaime Kenny of Clifford & Kenny LLP explained the legal implications of bringing both employees and the public back into the workforce. Kenny covered return-to-work policies and logistics, employees refusing to return to work, enforcement in the workplace, and paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and leave under the Expanded Family and Medical Leave.

Nearly 300 human resources professionals participated in the two-hour webinar.

Town of Sandwich presentation (1.7M PDF)
Clifford and Kenny presentation (616K PDF)
All Staff Communication, Town of Sandwich (713K PDF)

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