There is no one size fits all for businesses as they struggle to stay open or reopen, as each business has different risk factors. How do you keep your staff and clients safe with an uncontrollable disease? We have more guidance now than we did this spring. Hopefully the resources provided below, and our example will prove helpful to other business owners.
Our lawfirm has managed to stay physically open to our clients, because we staggered our days that we come into the office and sit in offices that we can physically separate ourselves. Our conference room table is large enough that I can sit more than six feet apart from our clients. We wipe down our conference room table, chairs and touch points before and after each meeting, provide masks, hand sanitizer and now offer bottled drinks. At the height of the pandemic, clients got to meet my family members as witnesses and my husband as a notary, so I could limit the community exposure to clients. Not perfect, but the best I could come up with for clients who wished to meet in person and complete their documents, while respecting a risk we cannot see.
The CDC now provides a lot more information and is updating it regularly. A helpful link is below that points to their page entitled, Reducing the Spread of Covid-19 in the Workforce.
Arizona’s Department of Health Services guidance seems largely focused on “high risk” businesses and public compliant procedures, and was last provided on August 10th, but it can be found here:
California is providing more detail and guidance to employers on how to reopen your business and it regularly updates its Industry guidance to reduce risk which provides a host of other resources that I think can be instructive regardless of where your business is located. See link below:
The various county health departments are also more or less helpful. But navigating a myriad of legal regimes can feel overwhelming for the small business owner, and I found a colleague’s recent article very helpful. The article provides a good guideline on how to reopen, what to do when an employee won’t return, how to conduct health checks, what to do when there has been exposure, and what to do when an employee tests positive. I sat on the Executive Committee of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the California Lawyer’s Association with the author, Cindy Elkin, who is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles area. I attach her article that was recently published to other lawyers. She kindly agreed to share her article in our newsletter, but cautions that this area is rapidly changing.
Read: Covid-19 - The Road to Reopening for Business by Elkins Employment Law
Disclaimer – This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice to anyone. If you require advice, you should reach out to our firm or another lawfirm to discuss your facts and circumstances to obtain legal advice.
The Road to Reopening for Businesses in the Midst of Covid-19
By C. Margaret Tritch