As we transition from the initial stage of a national health emergency, Greenberg Traurig’s Reopening the Economy team is helping clients find legal solutions to the wide range of challenges that directly impact businesses reopening and bringing employees back to the workplace. We understand that solutions for each business are unique and must be in sync with every jurisdiction where they operate.
At the same time, this multi-disciplinary legal team is thinking ahead to help businesses across industries position themselves for the future in a volatile global economy where “going back” is not likely to mean “going back to normal.”
Greenberg Traurig’s Reopening the Economy Team brings a proactive approach to updating its strategies for businesses in the wake of COVID-19 as related laws, rules, and issues evolve. As new legal issues associated with returning to business amidst COVID-19 are identified, we provide clients with guidance on how to work and deliver products and services during these unprecedented times.
Our team has leveraged the skills of attorneys across Greenberg Traurig’s worldwide platform to create a “playbook” of related issues and strategies. All speak directly to our mission to assist you with practical and solutions-focused advice in the areas that will most likely affect your business:
Greenberg Traurig’s Services Platform for Returning to the Workplace and Reopening Business
State and Local Government Orders
Across the United States, state and local government orders vary greatly and many change daily. As a business, employer, and property owner, managing the ever-evolving orders and planning your operations accordingly is a cumbersome task. Our expansive Government and Regulatory Practice is already tracking, analyzing and updating clients as these orders change.
- Advise on the content and interpretation of reopening, essential business, and similar government orders and regulations
- Represent clients in local, state, and federal lobbying efforts surrounding procurement and rebuilding
- Liaise with the CDC and other government health care agencies to assist with compliance
- Advise on grant procurement for targeted planning efforts
Privacy & Data Security
Tracing, monitoring, and collecting data via app questionnaires from employees, customers, and other visitors to your business or property are suggested methods to respond to COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, many organizations transitioned their employees to work remotely, resulting in a myriad of security issues. These new measures and the transition to a work from home environment raise unprecedented privacy and security considerations that organizations must consider as they open for business again. GT’s Privacy, Security, & Cybersecurity practice can work with your organization to develop practical strategies and procedures to address these issues that balance safety and your data protection obligations.
- Advise on data protection issues relating to the collection and storage of data
- Assess if existing privacy policies need revision
- Provide guidance on use of AI software and security camera use in relation to social distancing
- Advise on security risks and solutions in relation to remote workforce
- Conduct privacy impact assessments for organizations offering digital COVID-19 health monitoring products
- Prepare terms, privacy notices and contracts for organizations offering digital health monitoring products
Return to Work Policies & Best Practices
Bringing employees back to any worksite is challenging in the pandemic environment. GT’s Labor & Employment practice partners with you to provide pragmatic, thoughtful, and proactive guidance pertaining to managing a workforce through sound policies and best practices during the pandemic. Regardless of company size, industry, or location, GT is well-equipped to assist with the myriad of employment issues.
- Advise on policies and strategies for employee communication, social distancing, and self-reporting
- Provide guidance on employee testing, including associated health care and privacy issues
- Advise on compensation and benefits during business interruption, including international benefits transferability
- Assist with telework and remote employment issues
- Provide guidance on closures and cost-cutting measures, including WARN
- Advise on FFCRA, FMLA and sick leave
- Assist with unemployment insurance eligibility and employer obligations
- Provide guidance on wage and hour issues
- Advise on workers compensation
- Assist with workplace safety and OSHA issues and regulations
- Provide guidance on tax issues
- Assist with ADA compliant medical screening protocol, workspace, and OSHA considerations
- Provide guidance on employer insurance issues
Real Estate & Property Matters
Landlords, owners, and businesses with significant real estate interests face a new world of obligations to employees, customers, and the general public regarding their property during the pandemic. Our Real Estate Practice is the largest in the United States and works with clients on matters relating to the full spectrum of property ownership and management, regardless of location, property type, or size of portfolio.
- Advise on legal aspects of building and site security plans
- Develop stakeholder communications strategies
- Address post-event tenant and employee access issues
- Negotiate, draft, and interpret construction and design contracts
- Advise on interpretation of force majeure events and impact on construction projects
- Provide counsel on hazardous waste issues and securing the workplace/building
- Advise on post-event lease termination and relocation issues for landlords and tenants
- Negotiate leases for temporary space and advise on landlord/tenant insurance issues
- Advise parties conducting site cleanups on interacting with regulators
Vendor Relationships & Supply Chain
Companies are revisiting the services they receive from vendors considered essential to keeping their businesses operating in a safe and compliance manner. They also are assessing supply chain and procurement to ensure safety and compliance with all policies.
- Development and implementation of vendor policies specific to business operations, site cleaning, deliveries, mail services, security, and more
- Review of vendor contracts imposing obligations with access to workplace rules
- Advise on federal, state, and county reporting requirements regarding third party services and supply chain
- Applicability of OSHA requirements for vendors and supply chain
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
With COVID-19 litigation on the rise across the United States, GT is working with clients to address potential risks and reduce liability. Our team collaborates closely with the Regulatory and Compliance and Government Law & Policy practices to track the regulatory and legislative changes related to COVID-19 and focuses on how to plan accordingly.
- Advise companies considering issuing force majeure notices, as well as the companies receiving them, to ascertain all rights and obligations under various agreements, financing instruments, and applicable law
- Assist with changing environmental litigation strategy given abruptly-changed economic circumstances
- Defend against class action matters related to price gouging, consumer fraud, consumer financial services, products liability and mass torts, employment discrimination, environmental law, health care, and insurance matters, among others
- Represent public companies confronted with stock price drops occurring due to COVID-19, and securities class actions following therefrom
- Provide risk management advice, including limiting tort liability, and advising on the availability of risk-shifting mechanisms, such as insurance
- Advise on personal protective equipment (PPE), hours-of-work, and other regulations that apply to workers wearing certain PPE
- Advise on prevention and containment strategies and how to address exposure scenarios
Sound business continuity is essential for any company regardless of size, location, or industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. GT is advising on the wide-range of legal issues that are crucial to the health and long-term planning of businesses.