Polson and Vance provided an overview of the COVID-19 situation as it stands today in the U.S. and went into some detail on how the new legislation will affect businesses with fewer than 500 employees. They also touched on best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), offered practical advice to business owners, and answered questions about what can be done, legally, to prevent an outbreak in the workplace.
Vance said it is critical for all employers to carefully consider how their actions moving forward will impact their employees. The choices made today can affect their brand for many years to come, he said, which is why it is imperative to consider public perception in addition to employees’ health.
Polson advised business owners to do what they could to set up employees with the tools they need to work remotely if possible. That will mean ensuring employees working from home have a means to track their time, if they are nonexempt, he said. They should also have access to a VPN network for data security.
Owners and those in the C-suite will need to closely monitor the news and the CDC and WHO recommendations to ensure business continuity, and to quickly weigh risks and make process-driven decisions during this period. Communication is critical now, Polson said, as is the ability to empathize with employees who have an abundance of stress and anxiety due to family and financial issues.
Polson and Vance shared several more tips detailing what employers can do to remain in business and compliance with current and new government regulations. Watch the G&A webinar to hear their advice and their answers to important questions submitted by attendees.
“These are unprecedented times,” said John W. Allen, G&A Partners’ Chief Operating Officer. “During this time of uncertainty, we’ve taken steps to ensure our 400-plus employees are safe and remain accessible to our clients.”
John Polson is a partner in the Irvine office and a member of the firm's Management Committee. He represents employers and staffing industry clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, including transactional matters, litigation, compliance advice and audits, executive and management training, and other employment-related legal matters.
John handles administrative and civil employment litigation matters, including arbitrations, in California and elsewhere. John has significant experience representing temporary staffing, employee leasing, and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) clients in labor, employment, tax, and transactional matters.
Travis Vance is a partner in the firm’s Charlotte office and co-chair of the firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. He has tried matters across several industries and various subject matters, including employment litigation, business disputes and matters prosecuted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He uses unique or outside-the-box approaches to counsel employers and owners on all aspects of employment law and the development of preventive policies and procedures to avoid employment and workplace safety-related claims. Travis handles litigation in both federal and state courts as well as claims pending with state and federal agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), MSHA, OSHA, and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).