Society

Reopening businesses after the pandemic

Owners of small businesses encountered problems like never before with the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. They continue to face some of these challenges to date even as they continue to reopen up their businesses across the country due to the government lowering the restrictions it had imposed to control the spread of the pandemic. This essay will focus on how business owners can develop a strategy to reopen their business that observes the law and avoids liability after the pandemic.

All entrepreneurs need a reopening strategy that satisfies the requirements of the state and locally, ensuring the safety of consumers and workers and minimizing liability. Some of the issues that the entrepreneurs should address include health organization guidelines, contract law, employment law, matters concerning local and state law, and other matters about privacy law and tort liability. Small business owners should take some steps before reopening.

The first step is understanding what the state and local laws require of your business to reopen successfully. Business people who don’t comply with the law expose themselves to lawsuits and expensive fines being levied against them.[1] Some of the state-issued requirements include necessitating the regular washing of hands and putting in place social distancing parameters. Observing the state and local law assists in ensuring the safety of the workers and the employees and limiting probable cases of liability such as tort liability in cases with workers or consumers that claim they were made ill at your business premises.

The second step involves entrepreneurs reviewing and adhering to guidelines set by health organizations to assist them in reopening safely. For instance, the World Health Organization has imparted concerns for public health and social measures in business premises regarding COVID-19.  Businesses are not legally required to observe the guidelines set by health organizations in many instances.[2] Still, following the guidelines can remarkably lower the exposure of the business to liability and ensure the safety of workers and consumers.

Step three involves assessing matters concerning employment law if the entrepreneur has employees. Some of the issues the employer has to consider regarding employment law include ways of maintaining a safe work environment for the workers, if workers should use personal protective equipment or masks while working, and measures to include in policies for handling COVID-19 among employees or their families[3] By closely observing laws and guidelines, the employer ensures the safety of workers and avoids liability. The entrepreneur ought to be conscious of the employee privacy rights and be consistent in the policies they put in place to avoid violating anti-discrimination laws.

Revisiting business contracts and insurance policies is the next step. Revisiting business contracts helps ensure they offer protection to the enterprise when experiencing challenges in future such as the pandemic.[4] Furthermore, any difficulty on account of the pandemic is business insurance coverage. Suppose the entrepreneur is not looking at acquiring insurance coverage on business losses resulting from COVID-19 disruptions. In that case, he should closely look at the business insurance policy during renewal to understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. For instance, are losses resulting from business interruptions caused by future pandemics covered?

The final step involves getting an attorney’s assistance. Currently, the pressure on enterprise owners is higher than ever. The entrepreneur might decide he needs assistance creating a business reopening strategy and ensuring that he observes the law and is not exposed to liability. Therefore, a business law attorney can offer guidance and assistance to the entrepreneur during these challenging times.

Bibliography

“How to Develop a Reopening Strategy That Avoids Liability – FindLaw.” Findlaw. Last modified May 22, 2020. https://www.findlaw.com/smallbusiness/business-laws-and-regulations/how-to-develop-a-reopening-strategy-that-avoids-liability.html

“Safety Measures Small Businesses Should Keep in Mind When Reopening.” FindLaw. Last modified May 13, 2020. https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/small-business/safety-measures-small-businesses-should-keep-in-mind-when-reopening/.

“How to Reevaluate Business Contracts After COVID-19.” Findlaw. Last modified June 17, 2020. https://www.findlaw.com/smallbusiness/business-contracts-forms/how-to-reevaluate-business-contracts-after-covid-19.html.


[1] “How to Develop a Reopening Strategy That Avoids Liability – FindLaw,” Findlaw, last modified May 22, 2020, https://www.findlaw.com/smallbusiness/business-laws-and-regulations/how-to-develop-a-reopening-strategy-that-avoids-liability.html.

[2] See note 1 above.

[3] “Safety Measures Small Businesses Should Keep in Mind When Reopening,” FindLaw, last modified May 13, 2020, https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/small-business/safety-measures-small-businesses-should-keep-in-mind-when-reopening/.

[4]  “How to Reevaluate Business Contracts After COVID-19,” Findlaw, last modified June 17, 2020, https://www.findlaw.com/smallbusiness/business-contracts-forms/how-to-reevaluate-business-contracts-after-covid-19.html.

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