Many “essential businesses” owners worry that staying open during the crisis might put their employees’ and customers’ health at risk.
Here are a few concerns we have recently heard:
What should I be doing to make sure my employees don’t bring coronavirus to work?
My employee isn’t practicing social distancing while off the clock. Can I prevent the employee from coming to work?
We deliver to elderly and high risk individuals. Should we be taking special precautions.
Frankly speaking, the law wasn’t prepared for coronavirus any more than we were. There is nothing that will 100% protect your employees and customers or insulate your business from potential lawsuits. That being said, he are three recommendations you should consider (in this order):
- Do what the government says. Local, state and the federal government have provided guidance. Look to the Florida Department of Health, CDC, FDA, etc… The FDA has provided some great resources at this link. Proving you relied on the government’s guidance could help defend future lawsuits. TIP: Print/save whatever information you rely on so it’s easily accessible later.
- Do what your professional advisors say. Lawyers, accountants and business consultants who care about their clients and communities constantly monitor updates. Save yourself several hours and call a professional rather than looking to social media. Showing you relied on professional advice also can help defend future lawsuits.
- Trust your instinct. If you don’t feel your business can safely operate, or, deep down, you don’t feel that staying open is the right thing to do, close your doors.