Client Alert: Coronavirus

Date: March 3, 2020

The CDC is warning of major disruptions to businesses due to the potential spread of the coronavirus. If the virus spreads, we can expect that schools may close, large public events may be canceled, professional conventions will be canceled and businesses may be asked to encourage employees to work from home for a period of time, particularly if there are community wide quarantines imposed. This is likely to disrupt normal business operations.

In response to the CDC's warnings, businesses need to take action now. Action should include establishing a coronavirus business response action plan and adopting new policies that would go into effect in the event of a pandemic.

As an initial step, businesses should create an internal response team that consists of key stakeholders including representatives of management, human resources, and IT. These stakeholders should meet with legal counsel to review and modify policies that may be triggered including, without limitation, remote work options, sick leave, travel restrictions, environmental policies for the worksite and flexible hours/leave. Other considerations include ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination statutes and wage and hour laws in the event of quarantine situations.

To prepare for what could be serious interruptions in normal business operations, check in with your insurance agent to determine whether you have business interruption coverage and, if you do not, consider adding this coverage now.

Please contact our Coronavirus Response Team if you want assistance in preparing your business response action plan.

The information contained here is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion and should not be acted upon without consulting an attorney. Counsel should not be selected based on advertising materials, and we recommend that you conduct further investigation when seeking legal representation.