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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 09, 2020

How to re-open businesses without sacrificing safety or service

As states, counties and cities begin to "re-open" for business, businesses have their eyes towards balancing the safety of their customers and employees, with maximizing profits and transactions to make-up for lost time. Businesses want to know the best way to ramp up operations without running afoul of CDC guidelines and best practices to limit any potential liability for Coronavirus exposure.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What employee health and safety policies should business owners be implementing?

Yameen Salahuddin, Access Lawyers Group Attorney, Rocket Lawyer: All businesses navigating the process of re-opening should implement, at least, the following:
• Temperature checks
• Symptom checks
• Disinfecting policies
• Mandatory facemask policies
• Workstation layouts to promote social distancing
• Closure of common areas to reduce group gatherings
To avoid issues of potential discrimination claims, Businesses should limit their medical inquiries to symptoms related to Covid-19. While a business may inquire into Covid-19 symptoms and exposure, it may not delve into other, unrelated medical issues an employee may have. Work areas should be regularly disinfected, and complaints of potential virus exposure should be responded to immediately.

Kristina: How can owners change their business's layout for social distancing?

Yameen: The office layout that existed two months ago will likely not be the same as the layout that will be implemented now. In addition to staggering work shifts, allowing work from home where appropriate, businesses should consider the following improvements to their layouts and operations:
• Sneeze guards
• Layouts to promote social distancing
• Contactless customer service
• Provide Personal Protective Equipment
• Replace high-contact items such as coffee pots, snacks, water coolers with single-serving alternatives

Kristina: Who can business owners get in touch with to help with unexpected needs?

Yameen: There are a number of local, State and Federal agencies providing guidelines and best practices to businesses re-opening in this era of uncertainty. In addition to your local health department, the following links provide guidance: 

White House Guidelines
CDC Guidelines for Re-Opening Business
California Industry Guidelines for Re-Opening

Tags: COVID-19, reopening business, Rocket Lawyer, small business tips, small business trends, SMB tips, SMB trends

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