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Ken Hardison: Well hello everyone. This is Ken Hardison and welcome to this week’s coronavirus survival kit.
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Ken Hardison: Webinar. And we will talk today about re entering your law is to bring new employees back to the more brick and mortar and
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Ken Hardison: I’ve been talking to lawyers every week, every day, my different masterminds and some have already gone back, it’s me. I’m not going back and some we’re doing different things taking chefs.
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Ken Hardison: So we’re going to talk about it. And here’s the reason I think and I think it’s so important is that
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Ken Hardison: Not just for your class safety in your employee safety, but the whole survival your law firm. If everybody in your law firm get sick.
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Ken Hardison: What would you do, how would you look at your class with a fire you go get somebody else that was looking at the hill.
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Ken Hardison: These are days when you think about so well.
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Ken Hardison: Right. Um, and, and Tom is but from Pennsylvania, and he’s one of our masterminds and he’s going to talk first and kind of give us he put what these put a whole plan together and solid in our mastermind. I asked him what he shared with our group.
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Ken Hardison: Also Tiana hardest and my wife, who writes for the pillar magazine and she’s written a very lengthy article that’s coming out in July magazine.
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Ken Hardison: Yes. Okay. And so she’s done voluminous research on this, and I know this. We’re back of the seat of this deck with the stuff from the all the different
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Ken Hardison: CDC and whatever.
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Ken Hardison: And all kinds of articles and we’re trying to get Alan Chrome. Oh, and he has an employment lawyer. He’s also in a pillow member. He’s a member of our strategic attorney coach program and Alan is Memphis and he is a employee employer employment lawyer and I wanted to pick his brain about
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Ken Hardison: The possible liability that you as a business owner might have. If you don’t do things right. So without further ado, let’s get started and
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Ken Hardison: Tom, you can. I think you can share your screen if you want to and you just take it and then we’re going to follow up with the Tiana, and then Alan and I got a few words to say so.
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Ken Hardison: To interview, Tom.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Thanks, Ken. So
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Thomas Pivnicny: Just to give a little bit of background, we are a
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Thomas Pivnicny: Personal Injury based law firm in Pennsylvania. We have a couple of different offices. So we have our staff split into a few different locations and we’ve been lucky enough over the past couple of months here on lockdown to be able to work pretty seamlessly remotely.
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Thomas Pivnicny: But that being said, we’re looking forward to getting back in the office soon and as a result, we’ve needed to develop some procedures and practices that we want to follow to make sure that not only
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Thomas Pivnicny: Our staff is healthy and safe, but also our clients and potential clients and right now we’re operating on a by appointment only basis when it comes to people coming into the office and will likely keep it that way.
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Thomas Pivnicny: With a lot of formal procedures layered on top of that, once things start opening back up more here in Pennsylvania. And so what I wanted to do is take a few minutes just to show everybody
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Thomas Pivnicny: Our outline that we are using when it comes to reopening and bringing people back in
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Thomas Pivnicny: So hopefully everybody can see this is that right
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Thomas Pivnicny: Can you guys see my screen can
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Erik Smelser: I can. Yeah, looks good. Okay.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Great. I’m sorry.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So,
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Thomas Pivnicny: Where we are currently as far as Pennsylvania is concerned, is we’re in this this phase called the yellow phase.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so for our industry. That means we have to continue doing everything remotely that can be done remotely and on a limited basis. We can go into the office for things that cannot otherwise be done remotely to grab files to sign documents to give checks out, stuff like that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so we hope that soon will beginning in the green. But even with green. We’re still going to want to keep everybody safe.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’re going to continue using zoom using the phone using other types of video conference or teleconference technology and logging into work remotely and all that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: But more importantly than keeping people remote as much as we can. We want to make sure that when people do come into the office staff included
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Thomas Pivnicny: That we’re taking the appropriate precautions. So the first thing that we’ve done is we’ve purchased infrared thermometers, there’s a number of different kinds that you can get a varying price ranges from various sources.
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Thomas Pivnicny: All over the internet Amazon included
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Thomas Pivnicny: So we’ve got a supply of those for each of our locations and what we’re going to be doing is making sure that the staff has when they come into the office that their temperatures taken
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Thomas Pivnicny: And we’re going to be a little more conservative than what the guidelines are saying we’re looking at 100 degrees is our cut off. And if you’re 100 degrees or higher. We’re going to say, you know what, thanks for coming in today, but go on home you can work from home today.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And continue to monitor things as far as that individual is concerned.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’re also going to be providing masks. We
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Thomas Pivnicny: Actually have on order and actually recently received some really cool branded masks, you can, you know, get them from all different sorts
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Thomas Pivnicny: Sources, I should say. But we chose to give Brandon masks that we can give out to our staff as well as to clients for marketing purposes.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So master going to be required in the office, unless you are at your workstation, we’re lucky enough that pretty much everybody has their own space.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We really don’t have a cubicle situation. Everybody has their own little office area. So when they’re in that area. They’re going to be able to go without the mask.
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Thomas Pivnicny: But if someone comes in, or they’re going to be meeting with someone. We’re going to require the masks and obviously if you’re eating. You know, you can’t wear a mask while you’re eating so that’s that’s also an exception.
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Thomas Pivnicny: If someone is sick. We want them to stay home. We’re going to
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Thomas Pivnicny: You know, keep monitoring them if they feel sick and make sure that they get the appropriate testing if they’re having coven type symptoms.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And then we’ve also implemented procedures for when someone gets sick at work and they start feeling unwell. And they start exhibiting symptoms, they’re going to be required to notify the supervisor right away.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And then we’re going to make sure that everything is what down disinfected the employee is going to be sent home so that they can basically quarantine and get checked out. Anybody who’s been exposed is going to be notified and they’ll likely be sent home to monitor as well.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’re going to help provide contact information for people to get tested. So in our two main offices. There are a couple of nearby testing locations.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We have one office located in Allentown. So here’s the information will be giving out there, another one in Reading, Pennsylvania. So we’re providing that information as well.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We are to the best of our ability. We are telling everybody in the office to keep their distance so
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Thomas Pivnicny: When people need to go to the kitchen area or something like that to get their food or get a snack or whatever.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’re going to make sure that it’s basically one at a time, keep your distance will have supplies in there to wipe things down, including
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Thomas Pivnicny: The refrigerator and countertops and that sort of thing. And then importantly during breaks when people are eating and having lunch. We’re going to require everybody to either eat at their workstation.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Because everybody’s separated the way we laid out, or if you’re on a natural break and you want to go outside and and eat outside where you’re away from people in your car somewhere else at home, whatever, that’s going to be fine as well.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Regarding meetings. We’re going to still make every effort that we can to conduct to them virtually
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Thomas Pivnicny: either by phone or through the internet. If we do need to have in person meetings with staff members. We’re going to limit that to no more than 10 employees at a time.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Keep a distance. We do have fortunately, we do have a nice big conference room where even with 10 people in there will be able to keep our distance. So that’s how we’re going with that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Now, all this is great for we have to make sure that we are continuing to clean and make making make sure that the surfaces, especially high touch surfaces are sanitary
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Thomas Pivnicny: So we have some supplies currently still in the offices from when we previous to going under lockdown. But we have a really nice big supplier stuff on order that should be arriving shortly.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so we are instituting these procedures where each staff member is going to be responsible to clean their own workstation their own individual office area each day.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’ve also created a schedule, kind of like an Excel spreadsheet that we’re going to post in each office where a rotating
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Thomas Pivnicny: Selection of staff members will be responsible each day to white down frequently used high traffic areas like door knobs tables keyboards.
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Thomas Pivnicny: countertops kitchen area bathrooms, that sort of thing. And so each day there’s going to be a new set of people responsible for doing that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And that’s going to be twice per day. So once shortly before noon time and a second time, toward the end of the workday. And each time that’s done, they’ll be able to check off that was done.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So we’ll have those posted in each of our all of our offices for people to take care of that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We just want to make sure that we are limiting the total number of people who come in lots of times in our line of business people come in with their
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Thomas Pivnicny: Spouses their friends, their kids, their significant others, that sort of thing. And to the extent we can, we’re really going to be telling people
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Thomas Pivnicny: You know, we’re not letting anybody else in the office. We have an appointment for you. You’re coming in for this specific reason.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And if you have childcare issues. If you have other people who are involved in your life, let them know that you’re the only one who’s going to be coming into the office. So if you have to get childcare arrangements, taking care of ahead of time, make sure you do that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And that’s going to be going that way on an ongoing basis. And same thing goes for our staff. We like to keep an open office environment where if you have a
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Thomas Pivnicny: Family member who lives nearby or is in the area. Feel free to drop by that sort of thing. For the time being, it’s really not going to be allowed. So it’s just a staff members and just a client or potential client. And that’s it.
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Thomas Pivnicny: In addition to what we talked about earlier, as far as someone gets sick at work. We are going to end up closing the office. If that happens,
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Thomas Pivnicny: And we’ll have a natural professional cleaning crew come in and do basically a deep clean if that was to occur.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’ve done some preliminary reaching out to a couple of cruise companies in the area that do this kind of stuff. So we have a couple of quotes on hand that we can go back to and rely on if we need it in a pinch.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So those are going to be our procedures there.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And
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Thomas Pivnicny: Then we have these protocols in place for appointments, sort of like I’ve been saying by appointment only must wear masks and if they don’t have a mask with them or if they would like one anyway, we’re going to have a nice supply of those branded masks that we ordered
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Thomas Pivnicny: We’re also going to have signage posted at the doors, the HR offices and we have a very large Spanish speaking clientele. So we’re going to make sure it’s post posted, both in English and Spanish.
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Thomas Pivnicny: To make sure that when they do come to the office while we’re going to notify them ahead of time, we’re going to have it also posted in front of them saying, call us so we’re going to have them call
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Thomas Pivnicny: When they get to our office. We’re going to ask them some screening questions regarding their exposure their symptoms that sort of thing. If they pass. Then we’re going to do a temperature check at the threshold of the building. And that’s why we have those infrared thermometers.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And if that satisfied, then they’ll be allowed to come in the office.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Now our two main office locations are Allentown, and why missing, which is in the Reading, Pennsylvania area.
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Thomas Pivnicny: The procedure is basically once they go through the screening, they have their temperature taken their ask the questions and they have a mask.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Then they’re going to be escorted directly to a conference room. Previously, we would have people come maybe into the attorney’s office and have the conference room for other things going on, and all that sort of stuff.
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Thomas Pivnicny: I personally liked having people come into my office because I thought it was more personal and more of a personal and intimate setting.
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Thomas Pivnicny: But we’re just going to have people go into our conference room in each of our offices and we’re also going to dedicate a specific restroom for clients only and we are lucky enough to have
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Thomas Pivnicny: Multiple restrooms in each of our offices. So we’ll have one whichever one is closest to that conference room is going to be dedicated for clients and then all the staff will use another another restroom.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so clients won’t be admitted or allowed in any other parts of building we’re not going to have them sitting in a waiting areas or anything like that. It’s you come in, go to the conference room or go to the bathroom and you leave not going to be sitting around and
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Thomas Pivnicny: congregating and having everybody kind of build up in the office.
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Thomas Pivnicny: If anybody’s interested drop me a line. This is some information that came out over the toma listserv. A while ago. This is a quick proof of our branded mass that we got sort of the stock.
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Thomas Pivnicny: In logo there or look there with how hours. Look here, and in person. They look really well look really good. They’re
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Thomas Pivnicny: Nice color nice print quality and people really like him so far that have been using them. So if you want that information, let me know.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And these are the screening questions we’re going to ask
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Thomas Pivnicny: Questions about if they’ve been tested if they’ve been exposed on a cruise, New York, New Jersey, how they’re feeling
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Thomas Pivnicny: Shortness of breath fatigue aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell chills and if they don’t pass those questions about don’t pass that screening. Then we’re going to tell them. Thanks. But, you know, please head back home.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We can try to do this over the phone or try to do a virtual meeting or something like that, or just reschedule for another day. Hopefully, another time you’re feeling better and you’re not
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Thomas Pivnicny: Having these symptoms.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And so this is what I mentioned earlier, as far as tracking in our calendar for the conference room, making sure there is space between meetings.
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Thomas Pivnicny: We want to make sure that they’re not scheduled back to back, because we don’t want people crossing each other in the hallways, or in doorways, that sort of thing. So enough space that one meetings over people leave, then you have a fresh batch of people coming in at a later time.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So we’re going to keep that
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Thomas Pivnicny: That way.
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Thomas Pivnicny: If there are high risk clients. We will make special arrangements to meet them all after hours or maybe in a different location in like an outdoors kind of public space, something like that, if we need to do that. So we’re keeping our options open. There
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Thomas Pivnicny: Again, make sure you wash your hands and use the products that we’re giving you to keep things sanitary and we have all those procedures in place and
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Thomas Pivnicny: That’s pretty much it. So,
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Thomas Pivnicny: Those are the procedures that we’re putting in place to try to keep everybody safe staff clients included and if anybody wants some additional information please reach out and I’ll be happy to send that information to you.
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Ken Hardison: You know, just put your email just put it in the chat, people can look at that.
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Thomas Pivnicny: I knew that.
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Ken Hardison: We had some people asking, but this whole webinar is recording and plus, we’re going to long as times. Okay. We won’t take here’s the documentation.
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Ken Hardison: And put it downloaded into the coronavirus survival kit website this on our homepage website which is MMA dot orgy. So you can just go there and directly download that we have a lot of things you can download, not just this
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Ken Hardison: So is there for anybody is no charge and
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Ken Hardison: So you’re pretty
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Ken Hardison: You covered a lot of the basis of my friend, I think, you know, the thing that worries me the most is the bathrooms and the and the kitchens. I say that every time we have sedated mastermind meetings.
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Ken Hardison: Because, you know, everybody can kind of control space and all that. But when you start going to bathrooms and I like that idea that you’re saying you got cleaning crews and you got everybody’s taking responsibility and
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Ken Hardison: So do you like have lost all in the bathrooms, where you can just spray everything down when to use it. And if you got a client goes in there. So my guides him. How much praise everything last. Oh.
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Thomas Pivnicny: Yeah, we’re, we’re going to have Shannon sanity sanitizing wipes disinfecting wipes, as well as the spray Lysol type things. So, you know, we’ll be able to cover a lot of ground without having to spend a lot of manual labor times kind of go in quick white quick spray that sort of thing.
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Thomas Pivnicny: And since we know you know there’s one dedicated bathroom for clients, it’ll be pretty easy for us to monitor when it’s being used, so that someone can go in there and take care of that.
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Ken Hardison: The other one wall for they’ve actually close the kitchen down what he’s done is he says you can eat at your desk, but he has a blue ball and each day. This
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Ken Hardison: Is they have the kitchen, if you if you know if you want to bring drinks, Max, bring them to you. There’s
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Ken Hardison: But, but I like what you’re doing. So, I mean, that’s just another alternative, you could do.
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Ken Hardison: That but I’m worried and I like the fact that you’re taking you just divided at the bathrooms. I said, Okay, you know what’s going on before the class and ones will be forced if something gets really good well. Good job. Thank you.
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Thomas Pivnicny: So I can
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Ken Hardison: And will say, anybody got any questions, go to the question q&a and ask him at the end we’ll let everybody you know ask somebody in an alien. I’m glad you you got you made it that you haven’t traveled to getting into getting into the zoom meeting.
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Ken Hardison: We will save you for last because you got the legal Brian on this. Do we want to get your take a world of liability. So Tiana you wrote an article and
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Ken Hardison: I want to know what if there’s anything that you could add or anything that you’ve seen out there that
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Ken Hardison: That you can add to what Tom was he was pretty pretty thorough but but other stuff that you fail.
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Tiana Hardison: Well, and you’re right. I agree. I think Tom. Tom has done a bang up job and being very methodical and thinking about how to keep the location safe.
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Tiana Hardison: The employee safe and the clients and there you can see there’s just a lot of detail that has to go into it. One thing I would say one thing that Tom had to keep in mind was his states.
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Tiana Hardison: Rules and regulations and guidelines for reopening and that’s what each of us are going to need to do every lot is going to need to be cognizant of what your state’s guidelines are as well as looking at Asha looking at CDC.
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Tiana Hardison: I would recommend AND I’VE GOT GOT IT noted in in the article, that’ll be coming out in the members magazine Asha has come out with a guideline that I think is very helpful.
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Tiana Hardison: Guidance on preparing workplaces for Kobe and CDC has got a really nice tool kit that you can download. It’s even got
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Tiana Hardison: posters that you can print to put in your office because of course in educating your employees is going to be critical and being very clear with them about what your expectations are.
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Tiana Hardison: And putting in posting things throughout your office, I think, is going to be very helpful.
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Tiana Hardison: In thinking in terms of the four P’s people place plan and process. And that’s exactly what Tom’s had to do and what he’s done with what he’s put together.
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Tiana Hardison: I would like to add just a couple of things ventilation systems are something that it’s being recommended and what we’ve looked at as been CDC and Asha.
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Tiana Hardison: Primarily, and so the the caveat, of course, is look at that, but also look at your own space guidelines.
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Tiana Hardison: There is mentioned of looking into ventilation systems to evaluate your office system to disarm to determine
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Tiana Hardison: If you need to increase ventilation rates or increase the percentage of outdoor air that might circulate in the system and consider air cleaners with that HEPA filters and also consider floor markings in terms of maintaining social distance throughout the office, you may want to
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Tiana Hardison: Direct the traffic pattern to flow of traffic within the office and to keep people able to maintain the sexual doesn’t seem more easily.
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Tiana Hardison: Also, you may want to configure your office space, depending upon how your office is set up. Now, when you go back to brick and mortar to maintain that six feet of social distancing if possible.
00:24:27.150 –> 00:24:35.130
Tiana Hardison: You can even reconfigure rooms like a conference room that you might not need as much anymore if office space is a premium.
00:24:35.460 –> 00:24:44.580
Tiana Hardison: Also, if you have cubicle settings, you may want to think about some kind of partition if they’re if they’re open so that employees can maintain social distance safely.
00:24:45.930 –> 00:24:56.220
Tiana Hardison: Another big thing, I think, to think about is the protocol that you’re going to want to do if somebody actually has symptoms, one of your employees because you’re going to need
00:24:56.970 –> 00:25:03.600
Tiana Hardison: Best practices would be to send them home and not every place has testing ready readily available.
00:25:04.110 –> 00:25:09.750
Tiana Hardison: And you’re going to need to think in terms of if the employee has a symptom, and you’re sending them home for how long.
00:25:10.290 –> 00:25:18.480
Tiana Hardison: You’re going to need to think about. What responsibility do you have as a business owner in terms of other people in your in your office that may have been exposed
00:25:18.870 –> 00:25:29.820
Tiana Hardison: close contact at this point is determined to be less than six be more than 15 minutes but the rub, is you got to maintain the confidentiality. So if
00:25:30.360 –> 00:25:39.660
Tiana Hardison: If you find out that employee has a symptom you sent them home and you’ve got to figure out how many other employees in your office have been exposed and what you’re going to do about that and how you’re going to handle it.
00:25:41.610 –> 00:25:50.370
Tiana Hardison: Also, how long will each person be sent home for if you’re sending people home that have been exposed to someone who may or may not have coded
00:25:50.820 –> 00:26:00.060
Tiana Hardison: It takes two weeks for symptoms to materialize. So theoretically, you would need to send someone home on the safe side for two weeks.
00:26:00.630 –> 00:26:13.800
Tiana Hardison: Now, the CDC recommendations if someone has COPD symptoms or cobra diagnosis, then the criteria is pretty specific right now, although that may change over time as, as we see and learn more about
00:26:14.190 –> 00:26:31.110
Tiana Hardison: The coronavirus but as it stands now, they need to be home for 10 days from the date that they first exhibit symptoms they need to be fever free for at least three days with no medication to bring the fever down
00:26:32.370 –> 00:26:37.020
Tiana Hardison: But when the regulations were first looked at a couple of months ago it was seven days.
00:26:37.500 –> 00:26:54.060
Tiana Hardison: So again, you’re gonna it’s gonna be on on the business owner to keep an eye on what CDC is recommending in terms of that. So I see that as being a beer, a significant challenge for law firm owners is nailing down what these processes are going to be and then navigating through that.
00:26:59.130 –> 00:27:07.770
Tiana Hardison: I think in terms of what Thomas put together with handling clients is just spot on, you’re going to have to think about how you’re going to handle that. Also, what’s going to happen.
00:27:08.490 –> 00:27:13.140
Tiana Hardison: In the front of your office when people are coming and going to maintain the social distancing
00:27:13.590 –> 00:27:29.580
Tiana Hardison: And also think staggering your employees, doing some form of hybrid situation so that you have less people less employees in the office at one time is probably going to make the, the whole social distancing concept easier to to ensure
00:27:30.510 –> 00:27:39.960
Tiana Hardison: And another option would be have some employees coming into the office several days a week working remote for on other days. Another thing that I would throw out there. Lastly,
00:27:40.650 –> 00:27:53.430
Tiana Hardison: Is because we still have uncertainty with schools and childcare and closings or openings, you may have some significant problems in terms of trying to go back to brick and mortar if schools are not in session.
00:27:53.760 –> 00:28:00.930
Tiana Hardison: And daycare is an option. So you may have some employees that will just need to remain in remote status. Regardless, so
00:28:01.590 –> 00:28:11.130
Tiana Hardison: Even having some kind of hybrid and then also encouraging and giving people the opportunity to work remotely even after you go back to bracket brick and mortar. I think would probably be a good idea.
00:28:12.060 –> 00:28:19.230
Tiana Hardison: So, I think. All in all, what I’ve concluded from the research we did. And the best practices that we put together is that
00:28:20.310 –> 00:28:26.070
Tiana Hardison: It’s an evolving process and you’re just going to need to carefully plan it out, but keep an eye on.
00:28:26.730 –> 00:28:33.120
Tiana Hardison: What standards might be changing over time that may make you need to re evaluate and the last thing. Can I say is
00:28:33.360 –> 00:28:42.870
Tiana Hardison: We have a very lengthy report with a lot of suggestions in it. It’s going to be in the magazine and we’ll make it available in the tool kit so I didn’t want to take time to go through each one of those
00:28:43.470 –> 00:28:49.890
Tiana Hardison: But it’ll be there for our members if they want to take a look at it. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah.
00:28:50.010 –> 00:29:05.700
Ken Hardison: And so and so here’s the other deal is that I know some all promoters are sending out surveys and seeing how they how comfortable you feel. But getting back to work. So if you guys somebody this over 60 or you have somebody that’s got
00:29:07.260 –> 00:29:26.700
Ken Hardison: asthma or somebody that’s got certain diseases, you know, breathing problems they you know if they want to stay home. I think we’re going to ask Mr. Mr. Chrome here, but I think I would definitely try to keep them home because they’re happy, as you were talking about that.
00:29:27.750 –> 00:29:33.240
Ken Hardison: In the top of the class, making sure how it is. And we’ve got some law firms that are
00:29:33.810 –> 00:29:42.300
Ken Hardison: Not even let them come into the office, they go out to their cars and get clipboards and getting give them the pins and then you walk down the clipboards we got some law firms that are in high rises.
00:29:42.810 –> 00:29:47.790
Ken Hardison: It won’t even let them come up elevator that they’re just going down and meet with them in the lobby.
00:29:48.660 –> 00:30:00.900
Ken Hardison: So, I mean, everybody’s doing a little bit different. And I think it depends on where you’re at and what your stakes doing and what you’re comfortable with. But what we’re trying to do is give you the best practices. Now,
00:30:02.340 –> 00:30:02.790
Ken Hardison: Tell
00:30:04.560 –> 00:30:12.870
Ken Hardison: You. What are we going to be worried about, or do we have to worry at all. Anything about or is it a state by state deal
00:30:14.340 –> 00:30:21.750
Ken Hardison: bringing people back and let class the end and different things. But what what are we concerned about what’s our exposure.
00:30:23.280 –> 00:30:27.660
Alan Crone: Well, I think in terms of third parties not employees.
00:30:29.640 –> 00:30:45.000
Alan Crone: You know, I think you you do everything that that has been mentioned on the call. I mean, from a legal standpoint, I think the first place to look at is what’s my exposure and, you know, I think at the end of the day, there’ll be lots of theories on how
00:30:46.050 –> 00:30:53.520
Alan Crone: Business owners are liable for Co good exposure. But I think at at the end of the day, there’s going to be very little liability.
00:30:54.690 –> 00:31:03.720
Alan Crone: In terms of. Now, that doesn’t mean people won’t settle cases. But if if I the way I’m approaching it is I’m looking at my local
00:31:05.340 –> 00:31:17.250
Alan Crone: Reopening orders originally they were called safer at home orders or shelter in place orders. Now in Memphis, it’s back to business. That’s the order. The state has its own orders.
00:31:18.390 –> 00:31:27.090
Alan Crone: As has been mentioned OSHA has guidelines CDC has guidelines and so from a good old fashioned tort liability standpoint.
00:31:28.260 –> 00:31:36.210
Alan Crone: I would focus on making sure that I complied with those from negligence per se standpoint. You don’t want the argument that
00:31:37.380 –> 00:31:43.680
Alan Crone: You know you didn’t follow those guidelines and therefore that’s negligence, per se. I think there’s still going to be a big causal
00:31:45.180 –> 00:31:57.480
Alan Crone: Proximate cause a problem in any of these lawsuits, because how the world is anybody going to prove that they caught the virus on your property. Yeah, you know, but that doesn’t mean somebody will sue you for it.
00:31:57.840 –> 00:32:03.330
Alan Crone: And so I think being able to say at the very, very beginning will look, you know, what do you want me to do. I did all of these things.
00:32:05.220 –> 00:32:06.870
Alan Crone: In terms of employees.
00:32:08.010 –> 00:32:19.980
Alan Crone: In terms of liability, most states laws of workers comp laws are going to be the sole remedy for that. Now, there may be some states that
00:32:21.810 –> 00:32:41.250
Alan Crone: Say, an intentional violation of OSHA standards or tissue violation of of safety regulations is an exception in Tennessee. That’s not the case. But some states that may be the case. You want to investigate that. So I think it’s just good business is I tell a lot of my clients, you know,
00:32:42.750 –> 00:32:52.710
Alan Crone: Oftentimes legal compliance is is good from liability standpoint, but it’s also good business, you know, it’s good business, not to discriminate against people. It’s good business to provide a safe.
00:32:54.120 –> 00:33:11.550
Alan Crone: Environment and workplace. I think customers in our case clients and employees are going to vote with their feet down the road if they perceive that the law firm isn’t trying to provide them a safe place to conduct business or a safe place to to work. So I think that’s all important.
00:33:12.780 –> 00:33:17.520
Alan Crone: Probably what’s more on a day to day operational concern.
00:33:18.150 –> 00:33:27.240
Alan Crone: Are the various leave laws and and I always remind people, you know, the Americans with Disabilities Act is still the law. The Family Medical Leave Act is still the law.
00:33:27.720 –> 00:33:45.600
Alan Crone: And I think a lot of a lot of lawyers are going to be very creative and applying reasonable accommodation requirements and family medical leave requirements to to code situations break that down a little bit. You mentioned, you know,
00:33:47.280 –> 00:33:50.910
Alan Crone: Attorneys or staff members are over 65 or have
00:33:51.990 –> 00:34:00.330
Alan Crone: You know, respiratory problems and you may have conditions that six months ago did not qualify as a disability because it didn’t.
00:34:01.470 –> 00:34:14.580
Alan Crone: It didn’t impair any major life activities. But now that do impair the major life activity of working because of their pre existing subset susceptibility to the to the virus.
00:34:15.210 –> 00:34:25.200
Alan Crone: So you know all that has to be to be litigated. But if if a reasonable accommodation is teleworking and they’ve been teleworking and there’s no
00:34:25.710 –> 00:34:41.640
Alan Crone: Impediment I think you your advice is really, really good. You need to be flexible and allowing that teleworking as an option because, you know, God forbid that that somebody leaves the house and and become sick and and
00:34:43.470 –> 00:34:58.740
Alan Crone: You know becomes fatally ill or or or dramatically ill. This code is even the folks that recover say it’s no it’s no picnic and you certainly don’t want to spread this thing within your office I when I first heard about it in January in February.
00:35:00.420 –> 00:35:13.200
Alan Crone: That same pretty remote as a possibility. But I could very easily see my law firm becoming like the meatpacking industry where you know every third person is out. And as you point out, how you going to serve your clients.
00:35:13.860 –> 00:35:30.360
Alan Crone: That you know you’re not settling cases you’re not building time whatever your model is if our time keepers are flat on their back for two to four weeks, that’s much more devastating than having people working from their house. So I think you want to look at that very carefully and
00:35:31.410 –> 00:35:42.030
Alan Crone: And so then the the reasonable accommodation is an important part of this. And the other part is, you know, the cares act which the congress passed and President Trump
00:35:43.020 –> 00:35:51.060
Alan Crone: Signed early on in this pandemic provides two different kinds of leave that are unprecedented
00:35:51.660 –> 00:36:04.830
Alan Crone: And I say it’s unprecedented because American employers have never had to pay for sick leave or other kinds of medical leave now they they’re encouraged to do so. And many people do offer sick.
00:36:05.820 –> 00:36:17.100
Alan Crone: Sickly even and family medical leave and that sort of thing that’s paid, but that’s something they voluntarily do so now we for the first time we have a paid leave in it. There’s two flavors.
00:36:19.110 –> 00:36:20.430
Alan Crone: The first is the
00:36:23.130 –> 00:36:31.950
Alan Crone: The, the, the, the family leave entitlement and it, it basically applies to people who
00:36:33.210 –> 00:36:35.520
Alan Crone: throw my glasses so I can read this.
00:36:38.250 –> 00:36:44.580
Alan Crone: It’s, it’s an expansion. The families first core provided has expanded the FM LA to include
00:36:45.960 –> 00:36:48.630
Alan Crone: A coven as a
00:36:49.800 –> 00:36:55.410
Alan Crone: Covered event. And the first 10 days of leave must be
00:36:57.480 –> 00:36:59.280
Alan Crone: Paid and
00:37:02.310 –> 00:37:12.120
Alan Crone: Must be paid to the employee and it’s capped at $200 a day and $10,000 total and that’s for people who have to
00:37:13.470 –> 00:37:26.640
Alan Crone: Take lead to care for a son or daughter under the age of 18 whose school or other places. Click care has been closed or childcare providers are unavailable due to the public health emergency
00:37:27.210 –> 00:37:35.520
Alan Crone: So this is a pretty narrow Paisley. It allows for telework. So in other words, if in fact I have some intake people that
00:37:35.940 –> 00:37:47.670
Alan Crone: Had that situation and they’re working from home and they’ve been set up this whole time to telework. And so that’s going to cover them, but in the event that you need to have them come in.
00:37:49.050 –> 00:37:52.230
Alan Crone: Then you’re gonna have to pay in that $200 a day.
00:37:53.640 –> 00:37:58.050
Alan Crone: That’s a cap, whatever their full time employment is for that for those
00:37:59.370 –> 00:38:05.580
Alan Crone: For those 10 weeks and you just divide 200 by 10,000 that gives you the number of days that you’re talking about.
00:38:06.990 –> 00:38:10.710
Alan Crone: The next is a little more complicated is the emergency paid sickly
00:38:12.480 –> 00:38:24.000
Alan Crone: Purchase a paid sickly benefit and and apply that this is different than the family medical leave and this is enforced under the family medical leave at excuse me under the
00:38:24.780 –> 00:38:32.220
Alan Crone: Fair Labor Standards Act. Now for you. Plaintiffs lawyers out there. What, what that means is, is that
00:38:32.940 –> 00:38:41.010
Alan Crone: The fee shifting provisions apply. So a lawyer that shows you under this is going to be able to get his or her legal fees.
00:38:41.820 –> 00:38:53.010
Alan Crone: You know lawyer fees from you as well as the damages. So basically there are two again. There are two. There are two flavors of this. The first or what I, what I’m going to call
00:38:55.560 –> 00:39:11.640
Alan Crone: real sick leave and the other is associated person sickly so the there’s six basis. The first basic is the employee the employee themselves is subject to a federal state or local quarantine or isolation order related to coven 19
00:39:13.650 –> 00:39:28.650
Alan Crone: And so that can be a county health order, where the they’ve been exposed and so they are required to to to quarantine themselves, they’re subject to an order or there’s somebody to one of these big general orders. If
00:39:29.700 –> 00:39:37.170
Alan Crone: You know, if you weren’t an essential worker, going back to the, the, the, the shelter in place orders.
00:39:37.740 –> 00:39:46.230
Alan Crone: The second is the employees been advised by health care provider to self quarantine due to concerns related to coven 19 so if
00:39:46.770 –> 00:39:56.040
Alan Crone: If, if I come in one day. And I’ve got a cough and some fever and My doctor says, well, we need to test you. I’m gonna take you off work, and I’m going to
00:39:56.670 –> 00:40:00.810
Alan Crone: Get you tested then during that period of time, they’re entitled to this Lee.
00:40:01.560 –> 00:40:08.460
Alan Crone: And the employer code in the last basis under this flavors, the employee is experiencing symptoms of cover 19
00:40:08.820 –> 00:40:22.650
Alan Crone: And seeking medical diagnosis. So under the previous one. It could be. I’ve just been exposed. This one I’ve got symptoms and I’m seeking a medical diagnosis, all of those circumstances, the person is entitled to their full pay
00:40:24.060 –> 00:40:28.230
Alan Crone: For a period of time, they’re entitled to their full pay
00:40:29.880 –> 00:40:41.580
Alan Crone: With a cap of $511 a day at 15 $110 total. So in other words, 10 days at $511 a day for a total of
00:40:42.000 –> 00:40:51.900
Alan Crone: $5,110 so if the person makes the less than $511 per day, then you’ve got to, you’ve got to kind of pro write that out. The second group.
00:40:52.410 –> 00:41:01.890
Alan Crone: And these. This is the words capped at $2,000 per day, excuse me $200 per day. So, two thirds pay
00:41:02.490 –> 00:41:12.120
Alan Crone: The employees caring for an individual who subject to a federal state or local quarantine order or the individual has been advised to self quarantine due to concerns related to CO, the
00:41:13.110 –> 00:41:22.470
Alan Crone: Employees caring for the employees daughter or son. If the child school or child care facilities been closed that’s in addition to the FM la Ligue we talked about
00:41:23.010 –> 00:41:32.760
Alan Crone: Although it’s it’s it’s similar in terms of the cap the employees experiencing any other subs substantially similar condition specified by
00:41:33.780 –> 00:41:46.470
Alan Crone: The Health and Human Services in consultation with Department of Treasury in the Department of Labor. It’s also a two thirds pay now I’ve got a I’ve got a ebook them. I’m happy to send anybody that has all of this laid out.
00:41:48.210 –> 00:41:55.350
Alan Crone: In terms of the details of it, but this is one of those things where if you have somebody, do you have an employee present with one of these
00:41:55.680 –> 00:42:01.200
Alan Crone: Situations, you really want to be careful about it. I would seek out an employment lawyer in your area to
00:42:01.560 –> 00:42:07.530
Alan Crone: To consult with and make sure that you’ve got a good plan. And I would make sure that that this is all published
00:42:07.890 –> 00:42:24.990
Alan Crone: All that there’s a poster, you can get from the Department of Labor’s website you can download it, it has all of this on it that you must post in a prominent place in your business and so that your employees know about this benefit and have it available to them.
00:42:26.400 –> 00:42:40.590
Alan Crone: Now teleworking also is a way to satisfy this requirement as well. You know, if somebody just being quarantined and they, they’re not exhibiting symptoms they can otherwise work then
00:42:41.040 –> 00:42:50.760
Alan Crone: You can have them telework as opposed to just paying them benefits if you’d rather have them just completely self quarantine and not telework that’s that’s
00:42:51.540 –> 00:43:04.140
Alan Crone: Your you know that’s a call that you that you can make. But those are those are some of the statutes that are out there, can that are immediately applicable to to folks as people come back in.
00:43:04.770 –> 00:43:08.940
Ken Hardison: It less. That’s great. I mean, that’s, man. That’s a mouthful less a lot
00:43:09.720 –> 00:43:11.880
Ken Hardison: So tell me, I mean, it really is. It’s
00:43:11.970 –> 00:43:12.960
Ken Hardison: Got my head spin.
00:43:15.360 –> 00:43:22.980
Ken Hardison: Is there any, like, you know, sometimes you get over 50 employees under 50 employees or any kind of threshold or is it plowed all employers.
00:43:23.700 –> 00:43:25.920
Alan Crone: That’s a great question. This particular
00:43:27.210 –> 00:43:45.870
Alan Crone: This particular benefit structure applies to every employer with less than 500 employees and you can get an exemption allegedly from the Department of Labor. If you have less than 50 employees. I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten that exemption from the Department of Labor.
00:43:47.280 –> 00:43:51.360
Alan Crone: I know I know people that have applied for it and they’re waiting for the Department of Labor to get back to
00:43:52.920 –> 00:43:53.970
Ken Hardison: Three years later. Yeah.
00:43:55.440 –> 00:43:58.980
Ken Hardison: So, okay, great. So we have anybody got any questions.
00:44:00.210 –> 00:44:06.810
Ken Hardison: We have one. I know it says is insurance going to cover us if we get sued. What up, insurance, do we need
00:44:08.880 –> 00:44:13.920
Alan Crone: Well, the only insurance that I know that we cover you would be EP Li insurance, which is
00:44:15.030 –> 00:44:29.760
Alan Crone: Employment Practices liability insurance. So if you’ve already got it. You want to check with your insurance carrier about whether this sort of thing is covered the Fair Labor Standards Act is usually exempted from coverage under EPA, a lot of EPA a lot
00:44:31.050 –> 00:44:40.110
Alan Crone: Policies. So I talked to my agent about that and and see if there are policies being written to cover these these leave requirements.
00:44:42.540 –> 00:44:44.790
Ken Hardison: Okay. Do we have any more questions.
00:44:46.560 –> 00:44:51.330
Ken Hardison: I don’t see any, you know, this has been great. I appreciate everybody
00:44:52.740 –> 00:45:10.620
Ken Hardison: You know, I think sometimes, you know, and I’ve talked to a lot of lawyers do every day now with a become a zoom groupie monsoon three or four times a day, every day and I’m surprised with some lawyers that are just not taking this seriously and I think
00:45:11.970 –> 00:45:26.400
Ken Hardison: They need if they hear you. I think they’re taking a little bit more seriously our and and Tom. Thank you, you’ve laid it out, you thought about it and you’ve done a great job and Tiana you’ve done the research and you had some great things here today, so I think
00:45:28.080 –> 00:45:38.370
Ken Hardison: We’re also recording this, and we’re gonna put this on our podcast to Friday. So we want this word, the word to get out and we’re going to post all this on our website up see another question.
00:45:40.320 –> 00:45:47.220
Ken Hardison: Do you have advice for office that are located in any large office buildings with many other companies in terms of dealing with community bathrooms.
00:45:48.240 –> 00:45:54.210
Ken Hardison: Obviously, this has to be coordinated with a building over. Yeah. Anybody got an answer for that.
00:45:57.390 –> 00:46:01.200
Thomas Pivnicny: I’m a practical perspective, I would say that’s where you got to start the building owner
00:46:02.820 –> 00:46:10.020
Thomas Pivnicny: See if they have a specific contractor that they use a vendor that they use for for the cleaning and what they’re doing about it.
00:46:12.480 –> 00:46:23.640
Thomas Pivnicny: Hopefully if you have neighbors on your in your building on your floor. Maybe you can talk to some of the main players there and maybe arrange some type of
00:46:25.530 –> 00:46:39.300
Thomas Pivnicny: Scheduling kind of like we’re doing within our office to make sure someone goes in and gives it a regular sort of spray or white or something, even when you don’t have the professional staff in the building. At that moment, that might be a place to start.
00:46:41.550 –> 00:46:41.820
Tiana Hardison: Yeah.
00:46:43.320 –> 00:46:50.550
Tiana Hardison: If you’re in a large office setting. You’ve got to be thinking about elevators to I mean if it were talking multi floors.
00:46:51.090 –> 00:47:03.570
Tiana Hardison: May elevator stairwells, if there’s a way to control, who’s going to use them in indirect and designated try and minimize the amount of people using the same facilities at the same time.
00:47:04.410 –> 00:47:05.070
Tiana Hardison: Coming to recommend
00:47:05.250 –> 00:47:07.740
Tiana Hardison: Recommendation on elevators is only two people at a time.
00:47:08.850 –> 00:47:12.420
Ken Hardison: Yeah, and other some orders that are just using their stairs. Right.
00:47:14.160 –> 00:47:20.610
Tiana Hardison: Now right and then even with stairwells, have you have a choice to direct traffic to us particular ones.
00:47:22.230 –> 00:47:25.590
Ken Hardison: Do. That’s a tough one. That or
00:47:27.810 –> 00:47:40.620
Ken Hardison: Let me see any other questions, and obviously any well listen thank all of you, every one of you for taking time out of your busy schedules, because I know things are getting back to normal. In some states, and
00:47:42.600 –> 00:47:48.240
Ken Hardison: Until next time, this is Kim Hardison dedicated your success, you’ll have a good day. Thank y’all. Thank you, everybody.
00:47:48.630 –> 00:47:49.440
Tiana Hardison: Thank you. Thank you.
00:47:50.280 –> 00:47:50.820
Thomas Pivnicny: Thanks again.
00:47:51.300 –> 00:47:51.660
Ken Hardison: All right.
00:47:53.910 –> 00:47:54.630
Ken Hardison: Thank you Rob