Business Readiness & Recovery Planning 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented health, safety and economic challenges to businesses across the world. Each business has had to create its own solutions for dealing with employees and operations from stay-at-home orders, temporary business closures, unemployment, furloughs, and mobilizing Work From Home (WFH) workforces.
Now, an equally (if not more) challenging task is next: How do you plan and manage the risk of returning to work?
How can employers be sure they are prepared to receive their workforce—and make sure their employees are prepared? Faced with many of the issues, we have assembled leading third-party sources and have outlined a handful of operational guiding principles to help you navigate the return to the workplace.

Disclaimer: Team Lurie is diligently reviewing the latest news, adding resources and supplying links to third party websites. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Lurie LLP of any of the services of government agencies, organizations or businesses. Lurie LLP bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Location Readiness

The Safe Six: Workplace Readiness Essentials

Faced with many of the same challenges, building owners & occupiers have the responsibility to work together to reopen their businesses in a safe and effective manner. The Safe Six was put together in order to help these owners and tenants navigate the tricky situation that is beginning to unfold, going back to the office. The link below describes six steps in detail, and best practices associated with each. Starting with how to prep the buildings and ending with reduced workplace touchpoints, The Safe Six is an easy to follow guide to bring business some order the chaos.

> Click here to view The Safe Six: Workplace Readiness Essentials

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings

Office building employees may be at risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the strain that causes COVID-19. Office building employers, building owners, managers, and building operations specialists can take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace to protect workers and clients.

> Click here for more information regarding what you can do to prepare your buildings for the return of the workforce. 

Source: CDC

Employee & Customer Health

Returning To Work FAQs

Below are some popular questions answered by the Centers for Disease Control regarding how companies should go about returning to work. More can be found on the CDC website.

Source: CDC

Employees who appear to have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, upon arrival to work or become sick during the day with COVID-19 symptoms should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.

CDC has a symptom self-checker chatbot called Clara that employers and employees may find helpful. It has a series of questions and recommends what level of medical care, if any, the user should seek. It is not intended to provide diagnosis or treatment.

To keep your employees safe, you should:

  • Consider options to increase physical space between employees and customers such as opening a drive-through, erecting partitions, and marking floors to guide spacing at least six feet apart.
  • At least once a day clean and disinfect surfaces frequently touched by multiple people. This includes door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets,
  • Consider assigning a person to rotate throughout the workplace to clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Consider scheduling handwashing breaks so employees can wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Consider scheduling a relief person to give cashiers and service desk workers an opportunity to wash their hands.

Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees may want to draft non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.

Employers can also:

  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Provide soap and water in the workplace. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If hands are visibly dirty, soap and water should be chosen over hand sanitizer.
  • Place hand sanitizer in multiple locations to encourage good hand hygiene practices.
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, the importance of hand hygiene, and coughing and sneezing etiquette at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where employees are likely to see them.
  • Discourage handshaking

The risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 through ventilation systems has not been studied, but is likely low. Routine HVAC maintenance is recommended. Although it is never the first line of prevention, consider general ventilation adjustments in your workplace, such as increasing ventilation and increasing the amount of outdoor air used by the system. Maintain the indoor air temperature and humidity at comfortable levels for building occupants.

CDC Resuming Business Toolkit: Protecting Your Workforce

The CDC has issued this toolkit in order to assist employers in best practices when it comes to COVID-19, and lowering the potential impact it may have on the workplace. The link directs you to the kit which includes a restart readiness checklist, worker protection tool, and returning to work infographics. The Resuming Business Toolkit can be found here

Source: CDC

COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

COVID-19 Business Losses Coverage

For some policyholders, the deadline for filing suit on COVID-19 Business Interruption losses could be fast approaching. Many property policies contain a “service of suit” limitation period that requires any suit to be filed under a property policy within a certain time— which can be as early as one year from the date of loss. The best practice is to consult with coverage counsel and consider securing a tolling agreement to preserve your rights. 

> Click here for more information and guidance on Business Loss Coverage. 

Source: Pillsbury Law

Business Risk Planning

COVID-19 Business Recovery Decision Making Toolkit

As business around the world have been in the remote work environment for the past couple months, we’re beginning to see employers slowly opening back up the offices. With that comes a lot of planning and execution on the employer’s part. As part of the COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan, AON Risk Management put together a document detailing best practices for businesses that are reopening. It identifies the necessary groups and precautions business must take in order to reopen safely. Starting with identifying all government regulations and making sure they are in place along with looking at a variety of groups such as employees, vendors, customers, and critical operations making sure they have necessary regulations to get back to work.

Click here to see the full document.

Source: Aon Risk Management

Essential Steps to Return to the Workplace

As various states begin to life the “shelter in place” orders it remains essential to have a well thought out plan when returning to the workplace. USI Insurance has put together a detailed hub of information that will help business owners in the reopening process. This includes numerous checklists to consider when deciding to reopen, such as office cleanliness, employee training, protection of employees, workplace best practices, and more.

Click here to view all the things USI has to offer in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: USI

State Resources for Minnesota

As our home state of Minnesota is beginning to open back up, we wanted to add various state specific resources for our clients. We will continue to add pertinent information as things continue with the “new” normal. As this section grows we will add more information pertaining to other states where our clients reside.  

  1. To view necessary information regarding reopening requirements for your business follow the link here. Available will be information regarding the state required criteria for reopening businesses such as restaurants, fitness centers, places of worship, retail etc. 
  2. View the State of Minnesota’s general reopening requirements here. This document gives information pertaining to general practices such as social distancing in the workplace, worker protections & protocols, day-to-day operations, workplace hygiene and more. 
  3. The State of Minnesota has worked to implement a Stay Safe Plan which details the reopening phases of business. The document is available here and includes phases for all kinds of business. 
  4. For additional information regarding all executive orders from the State of Minnesota click here. 

Source: State of Minnesota

Additional resources include the Greater MSP Recovery Hub linked here.

Lurie is a proud sponsor and supporter of Greater MSP. They put together this hub of information to relay the following content:

  • Weekly take blogs that highlight unemployment trends throughout the Twin Cities
  • Give monthly trends on the business recovery processes, both through the lens of Minnesota and nationwide.
  • General trends on the statistics of employment, travel & movement, health, and business & family volatility.

This hub is a great tool to stay up to date with information from our local Twin Cities employers, policymakers, and civic leaders. The pertinent data is updated weekly and monthly so you are always up to date. We encourage you to follow the links and learn more about how the Greater MSP Recovery Hub can keep you up to date, and benefit your business. 

Follow the link here to watch a video on how to navigate the hub and learn about its features.  

Disclaimer: Team Lurie is diligently reviewing the latest news, adding resources and supplying links to third party websites. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Lurie LLP of any of the services of government agencies, organizations or businesses. Lurie LLP bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.