COVID-19: Hoping for the Best, Planning for the Worst

As we expect most of our colleagues and clients are doing, we at Lloyd Gosselink are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in the United States and particularly in Texas.  We are doing so both to ensure that our Firm continues to provide full support for all of our clients without interruption, and to assist our clients in real time to respond to the challenges and risks arising from the situation.  Do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions about how to respond to and manage the impacts of this developing crisis.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of resources that provide helpful and updated information, with links below.  Of course, first and foremost, you should pay close attention to any announcements or directives from federal, state, or local authorities.  Specific online resources with helpful information include:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html

In terms of your own operations, in the event that the COVID-19 situation escalates to require quarantines or other significant interruption in public activities, we recommend that you prepare a Pandemic Event Plan, and communicate that Plan to all personnel necessary to activate it. 

Such a Plan should at the very least account for:

  1. How to continue to provide essential services (including pre-planning and pre-positioning of remote technology resources);
  2. Communication with employees and customers/citizens regarding any impacts of COVID-19 and related quarantines, etc. on your operations; and
  3. HR processes and protocols that may be implicated in a widespread illness or quarantine event (such as sick leave or additional emergency leave policies, work-from-home policies, when feasible, requiring employees to go home when they appear contagious, etc.).

We are available to help with any questions you might have about how to manage your risks in this uncertain situation.  We also have experience dealing with FEMA and similar federal authorities in the event of a disaster in which their involvement or funding is implicated, and we are ready to provide assistance in navigating those processes.  Our Employment Practice Group attorneys are actively assisting clients with human resources protocols, and are available to provide additional assistance as needed.

We remain hopeful that this situation resolves without major impacts to our clients or their activities, but in any event, preparation in advance is key. 

This announcement was prepared by Joe de la Fuente, Chair of the Firm’s Litigation, Appellate, and Business Services Practice Groups, and Sheila Gladstone, Chair of the Firm’s Employment Practice Group. For more information on COVID – 19 Preparedness, please contact Joe de la Fuente at 512.322.5849 or jdelafuente@lglawfirm.com or Sheila Gladstone at 512.322.5863 or sgladstone@lglawfirm.com.

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