First, many small businesses took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, put into place by the Small Business Administration, to stay “afloat.” These loans will be forgiven if the borrower follows all the rules.
One requirement of that program is that the borrower (employer) must offer to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) laid-off employees.
For purposes of loan forgiveness, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire. However, if the employee rejects that offer, it must be documented by the borrower. Some employees prefer, for safety or other reasons, to remain at home and not to return to work.