CLIENT ALERT: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Be proactive to protect your family and your business.

By Attorney Amanda N. Follett, Schloemer Law Firm, S.C.

As concerns around Coronavirus (COVID-19) unfold daily, you must prepare to address the threat.  Even if you are not concerned, it is important to remember that your family, employees, and customers may be concerned, and may be part of a vulnerable population.

Consider deploying proactive protocols to protect yourself, your business, and those you care for.

  1. Limit In-Person Meetings and Events

Consider whether in-person meetings can be changed to a virtual format (telephone call-in line, video conference, etc.), post-poned, or—if not very important—simply cancelled.

This can help limit exposure for family, clients, employees, and yourself.  This can also help alleviate fears of those involved.

An added benefit may be that time otherwise spent in non-essential meetings can be diverted to more economical tasks, as many business efficiency experts are increasingly questioning the efficacy and productivity of time spent in non-essential meetings.

  1. Travel

Do not—and prohibit employees and anyone you work with—from travelling to or from current CDC designated high-impact areas.

Also consider prohibiting all non-essential international travel and minimizing non-essential domestic travel.

Also consider travel by car rather than by plane, train, or other public transportation.

  1. Contracts

Review all contracts you are entering into carefully.  If your event or the services you are contracting for need to be cancelled due to Coronavirus, are you entitled to a refund?

  1. Business Crisis Plan

Make sure you have a Business Crisis Plan in place.  This Plan would provide an outline for your Company for what to do in case of emergency, whether it be that the business owner or key employees were to pass away or become unavailable, or if there was an exposure within the Company.  Click here if you would like to request our free guide for outlining a Business Crisis Plan.

  1. Update your Estate Plan

This is a reminder that it is never too early to make sure you have a plan in place in case of the unexpected.  A basic estate plan will ensure that you have documents in place that address:

  • Distribution of your estate
  • Who can act on your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to act for financial matters (e.g. if you are quarantined)
  • Who can make health care decisions on your behalf
  • Who would be Guardian of your children, if they are minors
  1. Employer Practices for Coronavirus

Limit employee contact.  Encourage employees to work from home, work alternative hours, schedule virtual meetings, or meet off-site.

If an employee requests accommodation related to Coronavirus, contact an attorney to determine your legal exposure and legal requirements.

Encourage employees to stay home if they or anyone in their immediate family is feeling under the weather.

If an employee shows up to work under the weather, send them home.  Let it be known that for the time being this is your policy to prevent employees from trying to show up to work sick.  Consider whether this should be a permanent policy change.

Above all, communicate with your employees and be proactive.

  1. Next Steps

At Schloemer Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients prepare for—and react appropriately—to the unexpected.  Being prepared can protect those you care for and your business in these uncertain times.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact the authors Amanda N. Follett at [email protected] or 262-334-3471 or your trusted advisors at Schloemer Law Firm.

Originally published: March 12, 2020.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law, Schloemer Law Firm makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content. You should consult with an attorney to review the current status of the law and how it applies to your unique circumstances before deciding to take—or refrain from taking—any action.  If you need legal guidance, please contact us at 262-334-3471 or [email protected].