Back to Work

Back to Work Information

City buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice. However, it is time to take the next step toward reopening, by creating and implementing a plan to return those employees who cannot successfully work from home to their offices.

The working group that has been planning the reopening effort believes protocols have been put in place to successfully return some employees to city offices. Department Heads have received information and guidance, including the materials linked below.

Social Distancing

The goal is to continue to socially distance as much as possible. Governor Baker strongly recommends that those employees who are able to perform their job functions remotely should remain doing so.  

  • At Department Head discretion, any employee who is currently successfully performing their duties remotely, may continue to do so.
  • For those employees who need limited access to the office, consider a hybrid model creating employee cohorts, so the same employees work on the same days.
  • Your Department Head is encouraged to develop, with help from the reopening work group, hybrid models for those who can do some work in both places.
  • The Human Resources Department has created a “Work From Home Policy” that all employees working from home (even on a limited basis) must receive and acknowledge.
  • Based on meetings and information shared in inquiries from the reopening work group, the city believes it is possible to safely return non-remote employees to their offices. Without a full complement of staff, the work group believes all square footage requirements for safe social distancing are met in all city departments.  Please keep in mind in your planning:
    • Employees must be spaced at a least six feet apart in their work spaces.
    • Employees must wear facial coverings while outside of their work spaces.
    • Employees must  practice good personal hygiene and utilize the package of hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment provided by the city that has been delivered to every workspace. 
  • Custodians are back to work and employing COVID-19 cleaning protocols as required by the Health Department.
  • Any department that needs additional personal protective equipment (PPE) should contact Central Services.

Human Resources

  • The Human Resources Department has created updated guidelines for employees who state that they cannot return to the worksite for some other medical reason (which could include anxiety). In this case, Department Heads must engage in the interactive process outlined under the Americans with Disability Act. The first step will be to determine if the employee is a qualified, disabled individual. To determine this the employee will need to fill out the form to request an accommodation and return a medical certification from their doctor that indicates what the disability is and what the doctor recommends as an accommodation. The employee and the department head will have a conversation about what they seek. Department heads should always include Human Resources to discuss options and all accommodations need to be documented. 

Guidance & Documents

Workplace Protocols

Workplace Protocols for City Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Updated April 2021 (PDF)

City of Northampton Employee Health Screening - Self Certification

City of Northampton Work from Home Policy 2020

Work From Home Policy 2020 (PDF)

Accommodation Forms

ADA Access and Accommodation Request Form (PDF)