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Melissa Spence Offers Guidance as Employers Prepare for Employees to Return to Work

The Post and Courier

May 4, 2020

Melissa Spence, a Nexsen Pruet employment attorney in the firm's Charleston office, recently offered guidance on safety and legal issues as businesses reopen in The Post and Courier article "Safety, liability concerns move to forefront as more employees return to work."

The article discusses the concerns of both employers and employees regarding the return to work with the coronavirus still prevalent, and the precautions needed to ensure safety. 


Businesses that take basic precautions as they call their employees back to the workplace face little legal liability if one of those workers develops COVID-19, and those who are wary about returning to work have few choices, according to labor experts.

“Once a stay-at-home order is lifted with regard to a particular business, employers of that business have a right to recall workers,” said Melissa Spence, an employment lawyer with Nexsen Pruet in Charleston.

She added that “a generalized concern about returning to the workplace is not a legitimate reason for an employee to refuse to return to work.”

South Carolina is still under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, but an executive order by Gov. Henry McMaster has allowed many businesses throughout the state to reopen. Businesses that were deemed essential to the U.S. economy or defense have been able to operate throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

To read the full article, click here

Nexsen Pruet, LLC is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas, with more than 190 attorneys and offices in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1945, Nexsen Pruet provides a broad range of legal services to the business community and represents companies and other entities in local, state, national and international venues.