As businesses start to reopen, they need to be mindful of some issues that may land them in trouble. Below is a non-comprehensive list of some areas to consider:
- Employees. It will still be unlawful to dismiss an employee who has to take work off if they or an immediate family member has Covid-19, or they are the caregiver for children affected by the school closures. Even though school will be out shortly, keep in mind that summer programs are still closed, so this prohibition will likely still count. However, you are not forced to keep problem employees during this time. Keep clean records of bad/inept behavior, and then let them go.
- OSHA Standards. Whether you agree with the rules or not, your employees have a right to have protection if you put them in contact with the public. This includes social distancing work areas, availability of masks, and hand washing stations. We are seeing some pushback where the employer is in trouble if the employee refuses to wear the mask. For you part, have them wear the mask if they deal with the public, and if they want to fight it, tell them to fight OSHA, not you.
- Reopening Plans. Do you have one? If you do not, get one. It is just a document that says how you plan on safely reopening. It should use CDC and OSHA guidelines of distancing, etc. Make sure you have this dated before you open in the event your county asks for it.
- It doesn’t always pay to be a hero. We’ve seen, nationally, several business owners open on their own terms, utilizing the Constitution as their right to do as they please. I happen to adore the Constitution and believe many of these owners are right. That being said, your local city and county may have additional laws that can get you in trouble. Little things like failing to show your ID, or maybe you haven’t had an inspection recently… You get the idea. My point is do what you feel you need to do, but when you get push back, step back, don’t fight, and pursue the proper legal channels. (Or media, which has been working great!)
Good luck everyone! Godspeed hefty profits to your business!
Heather A Ijames, Esq
63 Keystone Ave., Suite 101
Reno, NV 89503
(775) 997-0795 — Fax