REOPENING BUSINESS DURING COVID-19


08 Oct

As it has been several months since the documented beginning of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), focus has shifted, to some degree, from sheer isolation and containment to issues affecting the economy, which, in most cases involves a staggered reopening of businesses.  It is most probable that we have never seen anything as drastic as reopening the economy in light of a pandemic.  Accordingly, legal issues continue to multiply.  Areas of concern include, but are not limited to, employment, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), worker anxiety, tort liability, privacy, insurance coverage and social contact.  As a start, employers should remain compliant with the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Consideration must be given to all federal, statee and local laws, redesigning workplaces for social distancing, balancing in-house work with remote work, screening processes for workers re-entering the workplace, and reminding sick employees to stay home.  Are employees entitled to paid leave under the FFCRA? Have mental health issues developed?  What liabilities do companies have if customers or vendors become infected at their workplace?  How does monitoring health interact with HIPAA?  Does the business have a business interruption insurance policy?   Simply put, at this point, there has not developed a significant body of law in each of these areas, and it will take time.  Should you desire to discuss these issues, call me at (423) 424-6208.  You can also send confidential emails to kjoneslawyers@gmail.com.

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